Assistant Director, Plant Operations

Recruiter Contact
Nick Lazzara

Practice Director


About Carlstar


Franklin, TN

The Carlstar Group is a global manufacturer and supplier for specialty tires and wheels serving the agricultural, industrial, lawn & garden, and powersports markets. Products include bias-ply, steel-belted radial trailer tires, rubber tires for non-automotive use, as well as roll-formed and stamped steel wheels, and tire and wheel assemblies. The company’s 100+ years of success lies in their strong focus on quality, performance, durability, value and continuous improvement.

The company is a strategic supplier to leading OEMs such as John Deere, Polaris, Husqvarna, MTD, and BRP, and is sole sourced on a number of their leading platforms. Approximately 59% of Carlstar’s revenue is derived from higher margin aftermarket sales, leveraging the Company’s large installed base of OEM products. 

Through the implementation of efficient operational (enhanced SIOP, lean manufacturing, inventory planning, optimization of the distribution network, redesign and value engineering of compounds and products, improved process control, activity based costing, etc.) and intelligent commercial (dynamic pricing and material margin management, new product development, refined channel management, new account conquests, etc.) strategies, the company is targeting improving performance to over 12% EBITDA margins on substantially higher revenue over time. The company is on a very strong performance trajectory today.

The company operates 17 strategically located facilities throughout North America, Asia, and Europe enabling them to exceed customer and consumer demands. Carlstar is headquartered in Franklin, TN, has approximately 3,400 employees, and operates four manufacturing facilities in both North America and China and twelve distribution centers. Carlstar’s annual revenue is over $700M.


Assistant Director, Plant Operations


    The Assistant Director of Plant Operations will provide strategic operational oversight for all production operations with a team of 425+ employees in a high-volume manufacturing environment. This role operates at both the strategic and “hands-on” level, to oversee the day-to-day operations. Primary responsibilities will be centered on directly managing a portion of the plant (component assembly), increasing labor productivity plant-wide and improving First Time Yield plant-wide. Reporting to the Director of Plant Operations, the individual will serve as the “right-hand” to the Plant Director in the leadership of the facility.

    Specific duties include overseeing policies, procedures, and processes designed to minimize costs and maximize production. Assist in managing production control and methods, maintenance, cost accounting, supply/logistics, distribution, manufacturing, and other tasks associated with plant management. Ensures that plant operations comply with the appropriate safety standards and regulations. Assists with the preparation and monitoring of plant budgets. Drafts reports regarding plant operations and maintenance. Ensures that organizational production expectations are met.

    The Assistant Director of Plant Operations must demonstrate knowledge and expertise in their departmental discipline including Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six-sigma manufacturing principles, departmental strategy development and execution, and state-of-the-art departmental technology. The position requires excellent focus, high energy and enthusiasm, forward thinking, strong analytical capability, excellent problem solving, the ability to manage change, solid execution and a commitment to help the company meet financial objectives and exceed customer expectations.


    Carlstar is seeking an action-oriented, self-driven, proven operations leader, who has demonstrated the intellectual horsepower, energy and wherewithal to lead and transform a growing, dynamic business.

    The successful candidate will preferably bring foundational experience that includes tenure with an ‘academy’ company, known for professional process, systems and resources, pairing this early experience with transformational executive leadership in the context of an upper middle market organization.

    • Results-oriented leader, operating with a high sense of urgency and track record of transforming complex, high SKU count manufacturing organizations.
    • Strong change management orientation, influencing and relationship-building skills are a must.
    • Comfortable interacting with the C-suite, strengthening collaboration across functions, and levels and fostering open, transparent, pithy and effective communications with all stakeholders.
    • Experience in a dynamic, fast-moving and complex businesses is strongly preferred. S/he must be accustomed to operating in a flat organization where there is limited bureaucracy. While prior experience in the manufacturing of rubber products or in other process industries is desirable, it is not mandatory.
    • Strong understanding of financial data and proven ability to design and implement process improvements
    • An undergraduate degree, preferably in Business, Engineering or related field, is required. An MBA would be considered a plus.
    • 3-7 years of manufacturing with experience, which preferably, includes multi-functional leadership responsibility.

    • Unquestionable integrity, ethics and judgment. The courage and ability to take a strong position when required for the good of the Company.
    • Excellent communication and influencing skills. The ability to be collaborative and drive progress and the ability to translate complex business and operational issues in terms readily understandable to a broad audience.
    • Highly intelligent and analytical, possessing the intellectual curiosity to probe and understand how the dimensions within their area of responsibility work and influence the broader business.
    • A natural leader with executive presence.
    • Results-oriented approach to decision making. Proven ability to quickly assimilate and have impact.
    • Demonstrated business orientation. This individual must have commercial instincts and financial acumen and will be able to connect operational decisions to the broader business and investment thesis.
    • Self-awareness and the natural ability to build trust and confidence, especially with functional/P&L leaders, his or her peer group, and the executive leadership team.
    • Strong interpersonal skills. An ability to positively engage with people at all levels of the organization.
    • Model and develop a “learning-teaching” mindset at all levels of the supply chain organization.
    • Develop the acumen to zoom into the weaker points of situations through pointed questions and critical thinking, without seeking to embarrass or impress others, but to strengthen execution capabilities.
    • Embrace a philosophy of transparency, healthy debate and accountability; and will work to weave them into the organization’s Standard Operating Procedure.

    • An exciting, face-paced environment.
    • The speed in which a “Small-Large” company pushes and supports changes.
    • Frequent interaction and support from company leadership.
    • Direct access to C-Suite leadership to help guide you through your career and work-related challenges.
    • Autonomy to grow and shape the future of the company.
    • Grooming and development for next level opportunities.
    • Interactions with industry-leading OEM manufacturers.

    Jackson, TN


    • Competitive compensation and benefits package commensurate with experience.


Phil Hulbert

VP, Operations - NA

Phil Hulbert