The RequirementsTo be a good fit for the Program Manager opportunity, you will need:
- A bachelor’s degree in a technical engineering field, preferably Mechanical or Industrial Engineering, Quality or similar; or a non-technical four-year degree, such as Business, with substantial manufacturing experience
- Proven success as a program manager including at least 5 years of experience:
- In an automotive manufacturing and/or engineering environment; you must have experience working with OEMs and/or Tier 1 or 2 suppliers to be able to perform this role
- Managing project teams
- Exposure to both product engineering and manufacturing operations preferred
- Computer literacy including fluency in PC applications for cost tracking, budgeting, and various spreadsheet analyses; MS Office Suite programs including Word, intermediate to advanced Excel (i.e. pivot tables, formulas, VLOOKUP, etc.) and MS Project
- Solid understanding of financial information and ability to interpret data
- Knowledge and understanding of ISO, TS and QS quality systems and AIAG standards
- Outstanding project management skills, including organization, prioritization, attention to detail and follow-through
- A history of program success demonstrating excellent problem-solving and business decision-making abilities
- Polished presentation skills
- A valid drivers' license
- Willingness to travel to other plants up to 50%, depending on project workflow
- A background working with overhead components is a plus
- Proven leadership skills; the ability to influence and motivate others
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to multi-task and handle high-stress situations in a fast-paced environment
- Skill providing constructive feedback in a positive way to influence optimal outcomes
- Ability to work independently and as a strong team member
- High ethical standards; the ability to work above the line even when others dip below
- A commitment to maintaining confidentiality
Qualified candidates will be required to pass a background check and skills assessments.
The RoleRole Overview
Reporting to the Director of Program Management, as Program Manager, you will drive assigned Tier 1 automotive programs by overseeing and guiding cross-functional teams and working directly with OEMs. You will be with your programs throughout the entire lifecycle from award to design, production and launch. When working on a large program, you may only have one, but depending on complexity and workflow at different stages of development, you could also be assigned several smaller projects. For each of your assignments, you will take cradle to grave ownership and deliver an outstanding program that is on time, on budget and meets customer (top automotive OEMs) expectations.
Your Daily Role
Upon joining us, you will be assigned to a high-profile headliner project slated for a 2020 model release. This is a large program in the early design phase and will draw your full attention. It will be your sole responsibility for an extended time, however, in later program phases, you could add additional programs(s).
You will guide every aspect of your program from people to process, and serve as a liaison between plant personnel, vendors and customers. On a large program, you will typically be responsible for approximately a 10-person, cross-functional team including a product engineer, a team member from Purchasing, APQP Quality, Supplier Quality, Account Management, Finance, and a manufacturing engineer. You will guide and manage the team and processes, including:
- Managing, guiding and motivating the team; holding team members accountable for their contributions
- Monitoring finances; tracking the budget
- Building positive internal and external relationships
- Establishing timing, milestones and events
- Monitoring tech performance and engineering changes
- Overseeing contract change
- Travel to Chicago (light travel initially with 50% travel in later program phases)
- Promote coordination and communication to and within the program team
- Participate with manufacturing and product engineering in group led design control activities
- Initiate Purchase Requisition process and approve PR’s for required contracted work
- Chair Change Authorization & Implementation Meetings
- Coordinate engineering change management responsibilities for new and current programs, driving quoting, costing, planning, implementation, and closure
- Coordinate and maintain communications with the customer and plant operations for all program activities
- Lead all program phase review activities for assigned programs
- Document all activities as required
- Adhere to all company guidelines for emergency evacuation to ensure employee safety
- Ensure identification of current and future, customer and internal, program requirements throughout the organization with respect to content, manufacturing requirements, cost, design compliance to process, tooling & equipment, material, program contracts, process, timing, program resource allocation, facilities
- Ensure program planning is consistent with established program objectives and company needs, and that they are maintained within established program targets for:
- Facilitate executive-level interaction with customer, plant, and internal management
- Lead cross-functional program team in execution of the business system, Product Delivery Process (PDP) guidelines, and Engineering Change Process
- Establish and communicate to the project team the corporate, division and program specific deliverable requirements with respect to timing, quality and completeness
- Monitor and track progress
- Lead monthly program reviews with executive management
- Ensure overall quality of design PDP deliverables to the Operating Divisions
- Elevate issues of concern, as appropriate, to remove barriers for the team
- Support and monitor customer launch / engineering build activities
- Advise Department Manager of those situations that may pose a significant risk to the program, product assurance, facilities, employee safety or customer satisfaction results
- Initiate actions to prevent the occurrence of any nonconformance relating to product, process & systems
- Identify and record any problems relating to the product, process or system.
- Initiate, recommend or provide solutions thought the appropriate channels and verify implementation
- Control further processing and delivery of nonconforming product until the deficiency is corrected
More Great ReasonsImpact role
At Dakkota, the role of Program Manager is a respected, high-level leadership role that has a great deal of responsibility and can make an impact over the long haul. Because this is an elevated role, we are very choosy when filling the position. Since we hire the best of the best for this role, we get people with a good deal of runway -- people who can pursue and be successful in other Dakkota roles. If you have the technical skills, interpersonal talent and desire to drive your career.
We're committed to helping team members build their careers here through training, mentorship, and a tuition assistance program that exceeds the offerings of most companies. Prove yourself and demonstrate your talent and this could be the first step in a long and successful career with Dakkota. You might set your sights on a leadership role or move into other areas within the organization. Some opportunities may require relocation.
Autonomy and support
With a company our size, you'll find that we are very close, and everyone helps each other. However, we'll still expect you to drive and manage your responsibilities as a self-starter and leader. That means you'll have the autonomy to thrive and excel while knowing there's strong support when you need it. In fact, we'll look to you to build strong partnerships with contacts throughout the organization including Finance, Quality Assurance, Purchasing, IT and more.
Dakkota CEO Andra Rush has created companies that do more than generate profit: they impact the local community and economy by providing training and putting Americans to work. Rush was honored by President Obama in his State of the Union address in January 2014, along with GM CEO Mary Barra, for demonstrating the "strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams."
Building community, creating jobs
At Dakkota, we strive to enhance the communities where we live and work by being environmentally and socially responsible and ensuring fair and equitable employment. We provide multiple opportunities for employees to make a positive impact on their community by devoting volunteer hours and resources to local charities, as you can see in the pictures here. We're always looking for new ways to make a difference. Our employees have supported organizations like the United Way, Salvation Army, and Autism Speaks, as well as local food banks and schools.
We enjoy working together toward common goals here at Dakkota. In fact, we have vision and culture committees to help clarify and communicate those values. We are also strongly committed to diversity and have been awarded the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Console (MMSDC) Supplier of the Year Award for the last three years. We are a close-knit team, and we celebrate with birth announcements, seasonal picnics and parties, employee service awards, and more. We don't just talk the talk. We walk the walk and actually live our vision statement. As a result, we enjoy an inclusive environment where everyone has the support of a team behind them.
In addition to a competitive salary and discretionary bonus, we offer comprehensive benefits. Our benefits include comprehensive and affordable medical, dental, prescription, and vision insurance programs; a 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; tuition assistance; in-house training; company-paid employee life insurance and short-term disability insurance; voluntary employee life insurance and long-term disability insurance; voluntary spousal/dependent life insurance; paid holidays; and paid vacations.
Keys to SuccessTo excel in this role, you will need a strong mix of hard and soft skills. Naturally, you'll leverage the full array of your technical automotive knowledge and talent, but you'll also need the attitude and disposition to gain buy-in, earn respect and confidence, and influence others.
Our project managers have certain traits in common. They:
- Are planners who enjoy new challenges and embrace change
- Are highly organized, goal oriented and passionate
- Inspire purpose on their team(s), which leads to top-quality work
- Work well under pressure
- Are comfortable in complex, dynamic environments
- Think and respond quickly when problems arise, then learn rather than repeat the same mistake
- Are flexible and able to shift gears multiple times every day
About DakkotaDakkota Integrated Systems was formed in 2001 to create a minority contract supplier that could thrive in a fast-paced, cost-competitive environment to support automotive original equipment manufacturers. We have excelled at delivering quality, process control and innovative solutions for warranty and sustainability concerns to address our customers’ needs.
Outstanding customer service and agility have propelled Dakkota from one facility with one customer to 13 facilities with GM, Ford, Chrysler, and many other customers in 13 years, earning launch and supplier partner awards along the way. Dakkota was among the first automotive suppliers to be awarded complete interior integration programs for General Motors. We dedicate resources to each new program and co-locate with our customers for a fully integrated approach.
Our in-house capabilities include:
- Extensive use of proven engineering disciplines: DFMEA, GD&T, FEA, VE/VA, and PFMEA
- Development of assembly tooling and fixtures
- Packaging development and validation for complete systems, including customer-directed components
Our vision and culture are firmly based on our high regard for our customers and solid respect for our employees. Dakkota strives to be considered to be one of the best places to work in North America, to maintain our reputation for best-in-class customer service, and to be known as a company that is "built to last."
Video: the May 2017 edition of Driving Dakkota, our video blog, provides an overview of our company's current activities including Business Updates, Great Ideas and Community Service.