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Managing Director - Rail Services & Heavy Haul


Location: West Midlands

Job Type: Full time


Our commitment to you, once you join our team, is to foster growth and provide developmental opportunities to ensure you reach your utmost potential.

Role Profile

Job Title: MD – Rail Services & Heavy Haul - UK

Incumbent: Vacant

Reports to: CEO – UK/Europe

Role Jurisdiction: UK Only

Purpose of the Role:

To have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of the Rail Services function (covers provision of locos, wagons, drivers and engineering services to both the Heavy Haul and Intermodal Logistics businesses) as well as management of the Heavy Haul business (including full P&L responsibility) in the UK.

You will proactively contribute to the achievement of the Freightliner Heavy Haul business strategy and work collaboratively with the Executive and Rail teams to ensure the profitability and viability of the existing and future Heavy Haul product. Additionally, you will provide efficient and cost effective rail services to the IM Logistics (container) part of the business in the form of locos, wagons, drivers and engineering support.

The aim of the role is to deliver operational and safety excellence across both Rail platforms in the most cost effective and efficient manner.

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • In conjunction with the CCO and Strategy Transformation Director, actively contribute to the achievement of the Heavy Haul strategy, as informed by the ongoing strategy work, through a clear and robust implementation plan;
  • Ensure that budgets and objectives set for the Heavy Haul business are robust and achieved;
  • Ensure a robust Health and Safety system is in place within the Rail Services & Heavy Haul business which is line with UK Rail regulatory requirements. Ensure any H&S incidents are robustly reviewed and followed through to conclusion and that a culture and mindset of continual safety improvement is instilled within the teams;
  • Lead and manage the Heavy Haul entity in respect of people, core operational activities, commercial and safety input;
  • Work with the CCO and wider executive to review all current Heavy Haul commercial contracts to fully understand the profitability of each one and put in place remediation plans to rectify unprofitable or marginal commercial arrangements;
  • Look for opportunities to provide enhanced services to generate additional revenues from additional services within Heavy Haul;
  • Deliver a cost effective and reliable rail services product to the IM Logistics platform in the form of locos, wagons and drivers;
  • Ensure robust SLAs are in place and agreed with key management of the IM Logistics business and that these SLAs are monitored and reviewed weekly, with remediation plans for any areas of concern;
  • Work constructively with other Exec members, and specifically with the IML platform, to ensure optimum utilisation of key resources such as locos, wagons and drivers for the benefit of both Heavy Haul and IM rail services;
  • Prepare and submit budgets and plans for the Rail Services & Heavy Haul businesses and ensure these are consistently delivered year on year. Have overall responsibility for the Rail Services & Heavy Haul P&L;
  • Regularly review the operational efficiency of the Rail Services offering in terms of both Intermodal and Heavy Haul planning to ensure optimum efficiency of planning and diagrams, as well as ensuring efficient rostering of key resources (drivers and groundstaff) to minimise non-productive (‘pink’) hours, overtime and RDW;
  • In conjunction with the IM Logistics team, redefine the operational strategy for both Heavy Haul and Intermodal, challenging assumptions and decision making, as appropriate, and providing analysis and guidance on all activities, plans, targets and business drivers, as required;
  • Work with the operational rail managers to develop and implement strategies and measures that optimise roster, resource and staffing utilisation and reduce costs and improve inefficiencies accordingly always striving for operational excellence;
  • In conjunction with your local Head of HR and Head of IR/ER, develop strategies and plans to manage the various Rail unions (predominantly ASLEF, Unite and RMT) as they relate to drivers, maintenance and groundstaff;
  • Regularly measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Rail Services & Heavy Haul businesses, both internally and externally, focussing on the key cost drivers and any variances therein, always looking for ways to improve processes, asset utilisation and resource allocation;
  • Monitor external contracts and services provided by suppliers to the Rail Services & Heavy Haul businesses to ensure that these are operating effectively and provide the best value to the business;
  • Challenge existing business protocols with your own initiatives, pro-actively adding value to the business;
  • Actively promote engagement, communication and dialogue within the Rail Services & Heavy Haul teams for the benefit of information flow, to embed best practice and to solidify management control and commercial and operational direction of the business;
  • Ensure appropriate Designated Financial Authorities (‘DFAs’) are in place within your remit, and adhered to;
  • Support and drive good governance and control (including Sarbanes Oxley (‘SOx’)) principles within your remit, identifying any potential deficiencies in controls and immediately remediate;
  • Nurture and develop talent within Rail Services & Heavy Haul, promote apprenticeships and development of junior talent, ensure capable management succession and ensure the team is appropriately motivated and developed so that they carry out their responsibilities to the required standard;
  • In conjunction with your local Head of HR, ensure a robust recruitment, induction and ongoing development programme is in place for all Rail Services & Heavy Haul employees;
  • Get involved in any ad hoc projects, including M&A activity, as may be required, from time to time.

Key job requirements:

  • Ideally a management, industry, or related professional qualification;
  • A proven track record of success in a senior level general management role, preferably within Rail or a related industry;
  • Commercially astute, articulate, technically strong, dynamic, insightful and influential leader with the ability to operate at both a strategic and an operational level;
  • Commercial bias with an understanding of financial management (comfortable with balance sheets and cash flow management) including business planning and forecasting;
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills - able to analyse data to evaluate options, use facts and data to implement solutions;
  • Ability to initiate, sponsor and implement required organisational change to optimise business performance;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively with all levels of staff across the G & W UK/Europe region. Excellent communication skills both written and verbal;
  • Ability to multitask and work well under pressure, prioritising tasks and workload and managing conflicting demands;
  • Ability to navigate complex problems and ensure effective and sound decision making, systematically and under pressure;
  • Ability to build healthy working relationships with business stakeholders while exhibiting independence and objectivity in thought and action;
  • Effective management and delegation with the ability to build trust and motivate a team.

Behavioural Competencies:

  • Strong corporate affiliation and always puts the needs of the business and G&W first;
  • Attacks goals and objectives with drive, energy and enthusiasm with a passion for excellence;
  • Embraces new challenges, is hands on operationally and gets things done;
  • Sets high standards of work for self, and team, and consistently achieves these;
  • High level of integrity and openness, combined with commitment to good governance;
  • Leads by example and provides honest and clear leadership that helps drive results;
  • Listens attentively to others’ perspectives and provides constructive feedback and coaching;
  • Exhibits and lives the Group’s core values.

We are looking for the most committed and reliable individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and experience needed for their roles.

In return we can offer competitive pay, excellent benefits, a competitive pension scheme and a rewarding career in an award-winning team