Business Unit Manager  Aerospace & Defence

South Wales


Highly competitive basic salary + bonus + benefits


Relocation Assistance May Be Available


Our client, part of a highly successful and acquisitive international parent is at the forefront of design, manufacturing and technology for an innovative range of products to worldwide customers within the demanding Aerospace and Defence sectors.


As a result of rapid growth and contract wins, they are seeking an ambitious commercially orientated Business Manager who will ensure that the Business Unit is “sales led” and focused on new business generation whilst ensuring that existing engineered projects are delivered in accordance with annual planned bookings, sales, delivery & EBITDA targets.


Reporting to the Sales & Marketing Director and working within a project orientated matrix structure, the role encompasses the leadership of the Business Unit’s Management Team, involvement in the development of sales & marketing strategy, the delivery of the unit’s annual operating plan and in conjunction with functional departments the achievement of on-time performance, quality and overall customer satisfaction.


This is also a critical appointment for the business and is viewed by its parent as being a highly visible route for the identification of and acceleration of future leadership talent.


The Role


  • Personally, develop strong working relationship with key customers at all levels by understanding and influencing requirements across the whole capture lifecycle. Actively identify, investigate, report on lead generation including new product potential and new business opportunities
  • As the leader of the Business Unit Team, work through the team and the appropriate functional managers to address all unit issues including production, engineering, delivery, sales, and qualit
  • Work with the senior leadership team to support the development and execution of Business Unit strategy and alongside them to ensure that set objectives are tracked and managed
  •  Present weekly updates to the senior leadership team on Business Unit performance
  • Utilise detailed quantitative analysis of bookings and sales data in order to ensure accurate monthly forecasts and to support the development of the annual plan
  • Review and approve all bids for the business unit segment, in line with pricing and bid approval policy
  • Review and negotiate key contracts and agreements with customers within defined parameters and with input from Sales & Marketing Director and other members of the senior leadership team
  • Champion excellence to the customer (OTD, quality, reasonable lead times, responsiveness); act as the “voice of the customer” internally whilst protecting external commercial interests
  • Provide real value to customers by understanding their needs and work closely with the team to ensure customer problems are quickly resolved
  • Work with the senior leadership team to generate businesses cases; prioritise R&D activities that underpin market opportunities and ensure these new products are developed on time and on budget
  • Seek and understand competitor offerings and technologies in the marketplace, assess their strengths and weaknesses and define a competitive response
  • Complete all required reporting within established timeframe, present information in a concise manner to various audiences, present at quarterly reviews with the parent, answer related questions with a knowledgeable and forward-thinking approach



The Candidate


  • Degree or equivalent in Business Management, Commercial or Engineering discipline
  • Demonstrable commercial/sales and/or business management experience
  • Results-oriented, good judgement, decision making skills and a proven record of achievement
  • Minimum of 5+ years’ related experience in a highly visible business development, commercial or programme management role within a manufacturing business (ideally in aerospace/defence sector) including experience of preparation of bids,  proposals and contract negotiation
  • Ideally 5+ years of management experience, able to balance the requirement to work strategically as well as with the day to day demands involved within a matrix structure
  • Technical skills – credible across the business and in front of customers
  • Able to perform within a responsive team-based environment which specialises in low volume, highly engineered complex products with long lead times
  • Financial (P&L) experience, including forecasting/budgeting, gross margin and operating to KPIs
  • Credible leader, able to build trust, bring the team together & work cross-functionally
  • Strong business acumen, highly numerate and a good problem solver who is able to learn quickly, interpret and develop commercial business cases
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to develop and maintain diverse customer and business relationships
  • Strong moral compass, working in the best interests of both the customer and the business
  • Able to work within a non-political, open and honest culture that has an overarching commitment towards “value creation” and the on time delivery of consistently reliable products
  • A reliable, energetic, resilient, and pro-active individual who is willing to embrace change
  • Organised, able to manage multiple tasks and to see through projects to successful outcome
  • Confidence to challenge practices and the willingness to ask difficult questions
  • Solid communication skills, written correspondence, strong presentation and verbal skills
  • Willingness to develop and mentor direct reports in order to drive their development
  • Full UK Driving Licence, willingness and ability to travel within the UK and overseas at short notice
  • Hold or be able to hold UK Security Clearance


Please send your detailed CV quoting ref 19/1968 to our retained consultant David Smalley at Daniels Smalley Partnership, email


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