Operations Manager - Riverbend Industries Operations Manager - Riverbend Industries

Operations Manager

Company Summary 

Managed through the Riverbend Industries portfolio, American Wheatley is a leading manufacturer of ASME stock and custom hydronic and pressure tanks. American Wheatley is also a distributor of related valves and other components used across a wide array of industrial applications. American Wheatley leverages more than forty years of experience, a robust assortment of specialty HVAC hydronic systems and technology, and a commitment to speedy, quality work to ensure clients receive the right product for their jobs.

Riverbend Industries (RBI) is a private family-owned portfolio holding company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The portfolio is primarily comprised of several small, independently operated, previously family-run businesses in the light manufacturing and distribution sectors. The portfolio is a long-term holder of its investments/assets and plans to grow both organically and through acquisitions into the foreseeable future.


The Operations Manager will provide strategic direction and leadership to American Wheatley Operation and Supply Chain facilities. In addition, will develop long term Operational direction and implement operational improvements in Manufacturing, Warehousing and Supply Chain. This position will lead excellence in safety, quality, productivity and talent development and retention.

This role will report to the President and will work close with all other heads of businesses.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Leads by example with a Safety-First mindset in every task.
  • Maintains a safe working environment by training on safe working techniques and monitoring employee behaviors and equipment functionality.
  • Develops a five-year Operational Strategy for Manufacturing, Warehousing, Supply Chain
  • Participates as an active member of the American Wheatley leadership team, assisting with the creation and implementation of strategic and tactical objectives. 
  • Defines and recommends objectives in each area of operations; develops specific short- and long-term plans and programs, together with supporting budget requests and financial estimates. 
  • Develops plans for new areas of technology for the manufacturing functions along with sufficient planning for areas that support the mission. 
  • Establishes objectives and procedures governing the performance of assigned activities, issues specific annual objectives to immediate subordinates and reviews objectives of the operations management. 
  • Strives to create an Employer of Choice atmosphere by continuously communicating, resolving issues, and developing incentives and retention strategies.
  • Recruiter, interviews, hires, and trains production staff and develops direct reports to establish career progression opportunities within the department and organization.
  • Identifies training needs, initiates development of subordinates, recommends effective personnel action. 
  • Budgets for assigned activities in accordance with the budget procedure; approves budge expenses. 
  • Enforces company process standards, procedures, and policies. Including PPE use, proper part handling, sound equipment set-up, daily equipment PM and 5S.
  • Seeks opportunities for improved efficiency and streamlined processes that align with business objectives, regulatory expectations, and industry practices, including all processes, cost, labor, and machine utilization. 
  • Manages the preventive maintenance plan for all equipment.
  • Creates production schedules that optimally utilize labor and capacity.
  • Allocate resources effectively and fully utilize assets to produce optimal results.
  • Collect and analyze data to find places of waste or overtime.
  • Reviews and approves adequate plans for the control of planned outputs, budget spending, labor efficiency, material efficiency, engineering effectiveness, customer service, and employee utilization. 
  • Conduct studies and research to discover a more effective approach to production.
  • Liaise with the quality assurance department to ensure product quality and specification are consistent.
  • Establishing KPIs and monitoring daily production performance in relation to those KPIs and report results 
  • Develop systems and processes that track and optimize productivity and standards, KPI’s and performance targets to ensure effective return on assets.
  • Reviews performance against operating plans and standards; provides reports to subordinates on interpretation of results and approves changes in direction of plans. 
  • Reviews and approves cost control reports, cost estimates, labor, and facilities requirements forecasts.
  • Manages inventory levels and lead times from vendors, including all manufacturing and shipping supplies.
  • Designs and implements plans for the effective use of material and labor resources to achieve manufacturing targets.
  • Oversee the procurement of raw materials and equipment required for manufacturing.
  • Other duties and responsibility as assigned.


Education, Experience & Qualifications


  • College degree Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Manufacturing Engineering, Industrial Engineering, or equivalent
  • 8 (eight) years of directly related experience in managing manufacturing operations and scheduling.
  • Direct experience managing direct reports.


  • Prior experience with material handling and inventory control in a manufacturing environment.
  • Experience in adjusting quickly and reacting to unexpected conditions.
  • Provides innovative thought process and critical thinking skills.
  • Experience in communicating optimization efforts with production team.

Skills and Characteristics:

  • Knowledge of business and management principles (budgeting, strategic planning, resource allocation and human resources).
  • Knowledge of safety, quality, productivity, demand creation, inventory, and stewardship processes
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with proven negotiation skills.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Thorough understanding of materials and supplies used in the company.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software.
  • Excellent representative of the company and its Core Values.

Competencies (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) 

  • Dependability – Extent to which employee demonstrates a positive attitude and promotes cooperation with supervisors, peers and others.
  • Work Attitude and Stewardship – Extent to which employee demonstrates a positive attitude and promotes cooperation with supervisors, peers and others. They also focus on utilizing company resources as good stewards.
  • Job Knowledge – Understand duties, responsibilities and has ability to use materials as needs with the level of proficiency required to accomplish the work. 
  • Initiative – Ability to be self-directed, efficient, creative, and resourceful. Assumes extra work and adapts quickly to new responsibilities.
  • Quantity and Quality of Work – Amount of work completed in the work week with accuracy and care for customer. 
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making – Extent to which the employee can assess a problem and offer solutions for resolution.


Our benefit packages and salaries are among the best in our industry and include:

  • Tuition assistance
  • Employee Wellness Program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Paid vacations and holidays
  • 401(k) Retirement savings plan with company matching (% match)
  • Health insurance
  • Prescription drug benefits
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.


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