Operations Director

Wunderman Thompson

Department: Operations

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Who we are:

At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.

We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world; our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production, and technology.

The Operations Director oversees the business management of day-to-day operations within the business. This position helps define processes and standards and plays a governance role to ensure that day-to-day project, brand or vendor/supplier administration, and management processes are adhered to.

You support the Client Service/ Traffic leadership team in ensuring that teams get their work done, and getting it done within healthy parameters for the business as much as possible. To do so you need to have an understanding of the various company processes. The ideal candidate must be competent and able to plan many kinds of operational activities. You must be an excellent leader who can discover the most efficient ways to run the business while growing and mentoring the people within the business. 

The ideal candidate must have the ability to be serious when the need arises, but not be afraid to have a good laugh with the team, invent new words and to have fun. 

Main Areas of Responsibility    
The Operations Director has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below):

1.    Operational - Planning, Analysing, Evaluating

•    Actively research, develop and maintain best-in-class operational practices (for large multi-disciplinary technology teams), including:
•    Assist with roles and responsibilities defined together with HR
•    Support the process of budgeting for the business, and financial management against that budget
•    Support in driving the approval and recruitment process of new staff
•    Processes and procedures for planning through development and production
•    Operational tools and training
•    Operational performance measurement and reporting
o    Staff/team performance
o    Analyse data and compile monthly operations report
•    Maintain and grow strong relationships with all internal departments including finance, HR, Technology 
•    Collaborate with the Business Leadership to implement appropriate operational financial models for the organization
•    Develop, implement, and maintain consistent time-tracking procedures for all team members
•    Establish and maintain a system for tracking detailed information about all projects and internal initiatives, including data on:
o    types of work performed by all sub-teams
o    volume of work (projects)
o    tier of work - as defined by level of strategic impact and level of complexity to develop and execute
o    estimated and actual time spent on projects (at task level)
o    estimated and actual cost to develop and execute projects
•    Maintain, monitor and report on specific operational metrics including:
o    staff utilization/productivity, 
o    accuracy against estimates, 
o    project production costs.

2.    Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing

•    Provides leadership within the business for daily operations
•    Monitors department budgets and staffing resources
•    Promote communication and information flow within all levels of business operations. Act as a guiding force for internal operations
•    Promote communication and information flow within all levels of the business. Act as a guiding force for internal business managers and staff
•    Develops operational procedures and establishes business processes with business partners. Establishes broad policies and objectives and insures they are being executed
•    Ensure executive-level and financial support for any necessary additional change management resources required to improve and grow the team (i.e. additional or changes to head count/contractors, technology and training)
•    (Work with business talent leadership to Oversee the development and delivery of training to staff on internal processes and standard operations procedures (SOPs))
•    Appraises and evaluates overall operations on a regular and systematic basis and reports results to the business partners.
•    Establishes workflow and policies that enhance communication and productivity in the business
•    Works with business talent partner to establish and monitors staff and manager development and to provide adequate development plans for employees
•    Maintains communications with appropriate business and client personnel to ensure positive workflow. Escalating exceptions and issues to Leadership level as required
•    Advocate for master business plan, workflow procedures and internal systems
•    Supports HR in creating an excellent staff onboarding process
•    Support team leads in doing staff development planning 

3.    Operational Excellence

•    Act as leader to ensure all business work is up to the standards of the business from an operational and financial responsibility governance standpoint
•    Work with leadership, talent development and with HR to ensure job roles, titles, job requirements, salaries and performance measurements reflect the needs of the team, and are consistent with corporate and industry standards
•    Establish business resource management processes and tools to; Regularly evaluate the teams planned project volume, then analyse the information and compare it to standards from data collected in project tracking system to forecast staffing levels and skill requirements
•    Run operational management of business including (Staffing management, client service with Director of Client Service, office management, administrative, IT, and Technical Teams) 
•    Promotes and provides proactive business communication
•    Partner with business management team to execute goals and objectives
•    Motivate teams to deliver
•    Develop new business partner relationships
•    Initiates and leads all appropriate departmental meetings
•    Implement policies and procedures

4.    Financial & Administrative

•    Check point for business project financials
•    Monitors business resources and financial objectives
•    Works with business leadership to meet financial goals
•    Reviews business contracts and estimates together with performance on jobs and makes recommendations to improve costing process
•    Reviews all business billing, driving budget targets with client service, managing exceptions, escalating
•    Supports HR in defining HR procedures and helps monitor issues and performance
•    Works with account management to ensure proper billing and invoicing
•    Reviews WIPs and final billing reports
•    Strong business and personal ethics
•    Responsible for approving all business vendors & approval of invoices per the workflow approval process
•    Develop standard procedures for outside services (production) vendors:
o    vetting and selection
o    on-boarding and set-up, including legal and accounting requirements

•    Bachelor’s Degree in technology, Marketing, Advertising, Digital or similar
•    Knowledge of technology business delivery operations
•    Minimum of ten years’ experience with business environments that deliver large complex integrated advertising campaigns with extensive production requirements across ATL, Digital and technology is a plus
•    Knowledge and understanding of a wide range of interactive technologies, social platforms and is an expert in the integrated and interactive development process
•    Goal oriented, success in managing through ambiguity and change in a fast paced, complex environment
•    Strong people management, and organisational development acumen
•    Strong analytical, strategic thinking and communication skills – have the ability to synthesize, develop and present clear and concise recommendations
•    Client-facing experience
•    Experience working with clients to develop and negotiate contracts, project scopes and budgets
•    Ability to lead the day-to-day operations of advertising related businesses
•    Has a background in operations, business finances and/or client services
•    Experience in recruiting, hiring, managing, developing and motivating talent

At Wunderman Thompson, we are committed to actively building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcomed, valued and heard, and is treated with dignity and respect.  As leaders and creative partners across industries, it is our responsibility to cultivate an environment reflective of our greatest asset; our people. We believe that this commitment inspires growth and delivers equitable outcomes for everyone as well as the clients and communities we serve.

Wunderman Thompson is a WPP agency.  For more informationplease visit our website and follow Wunderman Thompson on our social channels via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  

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When you click the "Submit Application" button below, this will send any information you add below to Wunderman Thompson. Before you do this, we think it's a good idea to read through our Recruitment Privacy Policy. California residents should read our California Recruitment Privacy Notice. This explains what we do with your personal data when you apply for a role with us, and, how you can update the information you have provided us with or how to remove it.

When you click the "Submit Application" button above, this will send any information you add below to Wunderman Thompson. Before you do this, we think it's a good idea to read through our Recruitment Privacy Policy. California residents should read our California Recruitment Privacy Notice. This explains what we do with your personal data when you apply for a role with us, and, how you can update the information you have provided us with or how to remove it.