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29 Jun 2020

Full-Time SDA Key Supplier Manager

Defence Equipment and Support – Posted by Defence Equipment and Support Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Job Description


£33,150 – £39,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Job description

The Royal Navy’s Submarine Service has operated the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent every hour of every day for nearly 50 years, protecting our nation from the most extreme threats. The Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) are now recruiting for extraordinary people to help deliver the UK’s next generation of ballistic missile submarines – The Dreadnought Class.

This role offers the opportunity to work within a diverse and multi-disciplined team within the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA). The SDA is responsible for the United Kingdom’s submarine maintenance and build programme; a top priority of the UK’s defence programme and one of the largest UK programmes in existence. Working with their key industrial partners, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Babcock Marine, they are striving towards delivering submarine capability in a more cost efficient, effective and safe way.

Would you love to have the opportunity to work on the UK’s leading, most exciting Defence project?

In this role you will strategically support delivery of goods and services in accordance with customer agreements by using demand, supply and project management skills and techniques. You will engage stakeholders and create consensual solutions to drive and deliver outcomes in a way that identifies risks and recommend clear, viable mitigating actions. Your approach will be to listen, understand and to respect the value of different views, ideas and ways of working to make ongoing improvements to delivery while bringing your stakeholders on the journey with you.

To succeed, you will need to be highly proactive with a continuous improvement mindset. Working with suppliers, you will encourage a culture of imaginative thinking, learning from experience and expanding mindsets to challenge the status quo to continually drive for improved quality of information and delivery.

Your key role will be to work within an agreed Industry/The Submarine Delivery Agency group (the enterprise) to initiate, develop and manage supplier improvement plans for sub-tier suppliers which have been identified as requiring intervention. Reasons may include fragility, poor performance, quality, or because they are of strategic importance to the enterprise/programme outputs.

To do this you will need to understand and articulate their interests and risks associated with the sub-tier supply chain whilst engaging collaboratively with enterprise stakeholders to develop and deliver agreed sub-tier improvement plans. To achieve your outputs, you must be confident in asking questions of sub-tier and prime suppliers both internally and externally that will generate discomfort and defensiveness. You will navigate evidence-based discussions to support the SDA’s point of view or interests in difficult or challenging situations.

You will translate aims into clear manageable plans and determine resource requirements to support implementation, facilitating flexible use of resources across the organisation through innovative structuring of resources within your own area. Regularly interpret management information to provide valuable business insights and work alongside senior colleagues to help share strategy and policy within your role area.

In cases where supplier performance is not being delivered to the required quality, cost or timescales you will need to undertake a root cause analysis to identify the contributing issues and create a plan alongside the enterprise to put corrective actions in place to mitigate risk and deliver agreed improvements and benefits. This will require you having great supplier management skills along with the ability to manage teams made up of many disciplines, making sure everyone is working and communicating with each other to deliver your clear plan of action.

On a regular basis you will be communicating on a regular basis with a range of stakeholders including but not exclusively: Managing Directors/Board members of sub-tier suppliers; Senior Executives, Managers and SME’s within the Primes; Engage with and present to 2* Directors, 1* Delivery Team Leaders; Work closely with Supply Chain Leads and Senior Commercial Officers. You will be required to participate within and lead Enterprise (i.e. multi-party, cross-functional) teams, and confer the requisite gravitas to command respect from the above stakeholders.

The Key Supplier Manager role carries no Commercial delegation directly, however the role is empowered to investigate all elements attributable to affecting a sub-tier supplier’s apparent poor performance, and should facilitate situations where the appropriate Commercial Authority can make an informed decision, cognisant of the impacts and consequences any decisions made will have on other Programmes, Primes or interdependent suppliers/customers.

The post-holder will be part of a wider team of KSM’s who meet frequently to review progress of individually owned plans, share best-practice and offer insight into one-another’s work but the ability to be able to work independently and remotely is essential. The role may require 1-2 days travel per week some of which may potentially be international.


To be successful, it is essential that you can demonstrate:

• Effective management of manufacturing or supply chain disciplines at an operational level within large and complex organisations;
• Strong analytical skills and experience of positive customer service; understanding the complexity and diversity of customer needs to make clear, pragmatic and manageable delivery and improvement plans with under performing.
• Performance management of supply chain risk to manage delivery of agreed benefits within collaborative commercial relationships;
• Demonstrated understanding in delivery of supply chain improvement across complex customer\supplier accountabilities and boundaries.
• Practiced in corporate recovery activity including detailed analysis of supplier financial data; income statements, order books, corporate structure and ownership to generate solutions across industry collaborations, multiple organisations, and/or Programmes.

It would be desirable if you had experience of:

• Leading and supporting industrial enterprises developed as a result of a continuous improvement activity, maintaining and encouraging levels of performance in challenging circumstances;
• Effective communications of delivery plans at multiple levels within your organisation, including Subject Matter Experts such as Commercial, Finance and Engineering up to and including board level;
• Leveraging market information, capabilities and innovation from strategic suppliers to harness expertise within the supply chain and exploit technological advances across the Enterprise.
• Ability to consistently share best practice and balance challenge vs compromise when beneficial to the overall good of the programme;
• Demonstrated capacity to understand varying needs of a collaborative team to ensure they are supported, and their experiences utilised to best effect;
• Establishment of an inclusive working environment where all opinions and challenges are considered and bullying, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable.
• Prince 2 or APM qualification or equivalent experience.

If you can say yes to the above, we would welcome an application from you.

Please note these roles are reserved for Sole UK Nationals.

Please note that you may be considered for similar positions at the level below the advertised role.

What’s in it for you?

You will receive a generous benefits package including market leading employer pension contributions of around 21% of your salary (not including any personal contribution), annual bonuses, a flexible working pattern to fit you, 25 days holiday +1 additional day every year you work up to 30 days with plenty of opportunity for movement and promotion. Some of our sites include an onsite gym, onsite restaurants, cafes and much more.

Find out more about what we offer by clicking here

Applicants should be aware that any move across the Civil Service on or after 5 October 2018 may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

About SDA and your team

The Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) is an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence responsible for the procurement, in service support and disposal of the UK’s nuclear submarines. Our work is of unparalleled strategic importance nationally and internationally, ensuring the security of the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent, and delivering the most technically complex programmes in Defence. We employ over 1400 people and have an annual spend of c. £3.5 billion.

The Integrated Logistics (iLog) Function is the integrating Function for Support within DE&S, responsible for the development, management and delivery of in-service support for our front-line command customers. The iLog Function consists of around 2,900 personnel, both civil servants and military, and with a wide range of disciplines ranging from operations management and supply chain management, technical through-life support and logistics delivery, to modelling and analysis and internal continuous improvement consultancy services.


Please find ‘The Little Book of Big Benefits’ attached or click here

This post is not eligible for relocation allowances.

How to Apply

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Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Abbey Wood, Bristol, DE&S, Defence, Key supplier, manager, and SDA. Salaries: 20,000 - 40,000.

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