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Dir, Automation Deployment in Atlanta GA

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AmeriCold Logistics logo
AmeriCold Logistics
Dir, Automation Deployment
Job ID: 
Atlanta GA
Not Specified
Not Specified
Job Types:
Director/VP Engineering, Supply Chain Analyst/Mgr.


Americold provides temperature-controlled warehousing and transportation to food producers, restaurants, schools and retail outlets such as grocery stores. We&##39;re proud to provide an essential link in the food and beverage industry supply chain, and to play our part in ensuring families across the US and overseas can sitdown together to eat.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Americold owns and operates 155+ temperature-controlled warehouses in the United States, Australia, NewZealand, China, Argentina, and Canada. In North America we have over 11,000 associates and offer a wide variety of employment opportunities - from warehouse forklift operators and supervisors to accounting, customer support, engineering, transportation, and technology solutions positions.


Primary Responsibility:
Responsible for leading multiple work streams through the deployment of highly-automated material handling systems globally for Americold. Responsible for taking fully-engineered systems designs and managing the selected Automation Contractor (AC) in the development and execution of a detailed implementation plan which meets all contractual requirements including throughput, delivery schedule, and cost. Manage the development of detailed execution and testing schedules and align these timelines across all resources inclusive of key vendors. Ensure each project is executed on time with adherence to the intent of the original design processes and customer requirements. Keep Americold leadership and executive teams apprised of the project status on an established cadence. Must have a broad view of delivering projects and ensure the key deliverables have the end in mind perspective which is inclusive of testing, operationalized, systems delivery and interfacing between internal Americold stakeholders (PMO, Operations, Maintenance, Safety, IT, IE/BPO, etc.) and the external AC inclusive of their subcontractors and suppliers. Bridge the phase between implementation and operational readiness by maneuvering through the company&##39;s departments and inputs required to move a project through successful implementation and into operational ramp-up. Serve as the Americold lead, supported by a team of internal and contract resources, during the automated systems deployment process and enable successful transition to the operations and maintenance teams; lead the Deployment team in ensuring the correct and complete installation of the automated systems according to the contract. Must be able to drive internal and external teams and develop status updates across work streams, developing a cadence which will support implementation best practice. Must be able to document business requirements and implications of a requirements change and how it impacts the operational and systems. Must be able to evaluate and make decisions on system changes throughout the project as issues are identified during the integration process. Must be able to understand and review WES software deployment to include controls/PLC rollouts; support troubleshooting code with extensive testing, identifying any device adjustments or physical changes that need to occur to improve flow or throughput.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead the definition and development of methodology, launch team composition, tools and templates appropriate for deployment of material handling systems and each project type, taking the system from design finalization to full deployment
  • Engage customer key resources that will be involved in systems start-up; customize sessions for those that are customer-friendly vs. further detailed discussion. Lead customers through workshops, requiring input and assigning follow-ups as needed.
  • Update the program charter document with relevant information from both the AC and GC which is the roadmap on how the deployment will be managed.
  • Develop and integrate project work plans; create an integrated project plan in Microsoft Project or similar that contains all the major work streams that affect critical path (land, construction, automation, systems testing) and handover to the PMO; incorporate the AC major items along with key Americold hardware or software milestones that are interconnected
  • Participate in detail design sessions with PMO, Engineering, Operations, IT, AC and GC. Incorporate lessons learned and previous implementation opportunities into successive programs.
  • Manage automation leads through integrated engineering, scheduling, installation oversight, commissioning, and acceptance testing.
  • Partner closely with Americold Operations and Maintenance teams to ensure they are involved in key workshops and have provided input where expected.
  • Document all rationale for design changes and decisions in a PowerPoint follow-up to design sessions to hold a repository for challenges that will come later in the implementation phase of the program.
  • Review the DOO for completeness and ensuring that people, process systems and assets are accounted for and are integrated together; provide detailed deep content around workstation design, exception handling, flow paths, asset management, and WES decisions/functionality. Provide updates and summaries for key cost components (Material Handling, systems (WMS & WES), building, professional services, ancillary equipment, IT/networking, etc.).
  • Review controls and WES documentation to ensure proper routing, flow control, buffer/accumulation and exception handling occurs in line with best practices.
  • Ensure adherence to budgeted costs and overall business case including revenue and profitability. Review forecast/budget adjustments after each session with leadership to agree on how/where to use funds and protect contingency going into implementation. Closely review change orders and produce justification if they should be paid, working with the AC provider (includes weather delays, scope modifications and gaps).
  • Communicate progress against the plan to team members, stakeholders, and executives; develop executive summaries and weekly status/progress documents that provide a view across timelines, facilities and customers.
  • Partner with process owners and General Managers to fully understand impact of customer requirements or requests and the affect they would have on overall project execution and/or specific projects.
  • Coordinate activities to minimize interruptions of impacts to any existing operations. Publish plans and update cadence for weekend work that may disrupt or throttle operations.
  • Help Maintenance team build staff of talent that is technically capable of owning the equipment, post go-live. Support interviews, staffing models and vendor/OEM training as needed.
  • Work with Maintenance team to ensure spare parts cage is set up, and that recommended spare parts are ordered, tracked, received, and entered into SAP.
  • Work with AC to define and communicate warranty processes including defective parts handling
  • At the conclusion of each project, ensure that all As-Built drawings and owner&##39;s manuals are received in accordance with the AC contract.
  • Continuously assess and manage risk to minimize and exposure on projects through contingency planning and risk mitigation.
  • Manage indirect reports who will be participants on the project in specific workstreams while still performing their day-to-day responsibilities in their home department.
  • Work with PMO group to actively manage adherence to the AC&##39;s contract, budget and timeline.
  • May need to travel on short notice (same week) to support project initiatives and occasionally for extended periods of time.
  • Ensure AC, their subcontractors, and any related suppliers deliver in accordance with their contracts
  • Other duties and special projects as requested.


Qualifications & Experience:

  • Bachelor&##39;s Degree in Engineering, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, or related field
  • 10+ years of demonstrated Project Management and Implementation experience in the fields of complex warehouse automation, operations and/or logistics required.
  • Operations or Engineering management experience desired; proven experience inside a distribution center and leadership or other role through two or more go-lives
  • Successful track record managing multiple high priority capital investment ($20M+) and customer implementations using project/program management methods and tools
  • PMP/PMI certification highly desired or similar levels of program/project management education
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft applications to include Project, Excel, PowerPoint, Word and VISIO (and other process documentation tools)
  • Ability to use AutoCAD and/or Revit and read engineering drawings for buildings and systems
  • Experience using collaboration tools such as SharePoint and Box

Knowledge & Employment Standards:

  • Proven leadership and understanding of automation technologies, robotics, and application engineering, specifically around pallet, layer, and case handling in the retail grocery and temp-controlled environments
  • Strong Project Management acumen
  • Direct field experience implementing complex material handling systems
  • Strong transition/change management skills
  • Capacity to anticipate, comprehend and manage project dependencies across work streams
  • Ability to communicate professionally, both written and verbal with individuals at all levels of the organization, external contacts, customers and potential customers
  • Strong ability to work cross-functionally with a variety of stakeholders and develop a solution oriented approach
  • Demonstrates a results-based leadership style with strong impact and influencing skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively to direct and motivate team and others, maintaining a persuasive and credible presentation style at all levels of the organization
  • Strong financial skills and business savvy
  • Strong analytical skills and problem solving skills
  • Possess a proactive approach with strong customer service orientation
  • Demonstrates uncompromising level of integrity and code of ethics and maintain a high degree of confidentiality
  • Must be able to travel at an estimated 60-75% of the time, plus to support projects and staff both domestically and internationally
  • Extended travel including weekends may be required during critical times such as facility launches or key installation milestones for multiple weeks

Physical Requirements & Abilities:

The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Requires the ability to sit for long periods of time, with frequent interruptions
  • Requires several hours per day of sitting, getting up and down from chairs, and reaching, or bending
  • Requires manual dexterity with normal hand and finger movements for typical office work
  • Talking, hearing, and seeing are important elements of completing assigned tasks
  • Requires frequent travel by automobile and airplane up to 75% of the time
  • Requires visiting facility operations in temperatures at or below freezing
  • Frequently carries loads related to travel and occasionally lifts, carries, positions, or moves objects weighing up to 20 pounds
  • Requires the use of various electronic tools
  • Occasionally works evenings or weekends in order to complete objectives or to attend meetings
  • Requires the ability to relate to others beyond giving and receiving instructions: must partner with colleagues without exhibiting behavioral extremes
  • Requires the performance of work activities including reasoning, negotiating, instructing, persuading, or speaking with others; and respond appropriately to constructive feedback from executive management

Americold is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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By continuing you agree to's Terms of Service is here to offer support. To assist our employers and job seeker community, we have compiled a list of resources regarding COVID-19 and the agriculture industry. You will also find employment resources to help navigate through these difficult times.