Director, Operations – Kenya at Bridge International

Bridge International Academies is the world’s largest education innovation company serving the 700 million families who live on less than $2 USD per day. We strive to provide the highest quality education product to the more than 100,000 students who attend Bridge’s more than 400 nursery and primary schools across emerging markets in Africa and (soon to open) in Asia The first Bridge International Academy opened in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009. Today there are hundreds and Bridge continues to expand across Africa and Asia. With a mission of Knowledge for all, Bridge plans to educate 10,000,000 children across a dozen countries by 2025.

Group

The Operations Team is responsible for the execution, and management of the entire sequence of processes required to service the activities of each school, and to provide that support at scale in the most cost efficient and effective way possible. It is the nerve center of the work that is done in any region, and is the interface that brings all school-level support functions together through it’s different departments – Customer Care, Revenue Assurance, Facilities and Supplies, Instructional Oversight, Quality Assurance, IT Operations, and Supply Chain. The Operations Leadership is responsible for providing overall leadership to the team, through the supervision of all routine tasks, coordination between all teams, oversight of all systems, processes, and data capturing, and ensuring that the work done by the team is done in the most efficient and cost effective way possible to enable us to better service our parents and government partners, provide a better experience for our employees, and a stable platform on which we continue to scale our work.

Department
The schools run by Bridge, have to operate in the most efficient and effective way possible to enable us to provide life changing education that is affordable to families living below the poverty line, and to governments with limited resources.  This means there is no room for waste and inefficiencies. The Operations Team is responsible for the design, execution and management of the entire sequence of processes required to service the activities of each school, and for providing that support at scale in the most cost efficient and effective way possible.  Operations is the nerve centre of the company and is the interface that brings all school-level support functions together. Our mission is to provide a better service for our parents and governments, a better experience for our employees, and a stable platform on which we continue to scale our work.

About the Role

  1. The Director, Operations is responsible for setting up the processes, systems and staff to ensure operational performance of the entire network of schools. This includes supply chain, quality assurance and customer care, revenue assurance, facilities and supplies,Instructional oversight and IT Operations.
  2. Programme Management – managing programme managers responsible for everything from preventative fraud management, facilities and repairs, instructional and academic delivery through systems compliance
  3. Supply Chain – overseeing our warehousing, inventory management, procurement and logistics, making sure every school has all the resources needed in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible, while negotiating with global suppliers;
  4. Quality Assurance (QA) – our internal data-driven, field-based audit and monitoring team. The QA team is the auditing arm of our academy operations (facilities, materials & supplies, personnel and processes) against set standards and policies to ensure total compliance.
  5. Customer Care Call Centre – provides telephonic and online issue resolution support to parents, school staff, community members and members of the general public. This department is the first line resolution center for any and all issues that may arise at the school, or community-level. The team manages multiple contact channels (such as phone, email, whatsapp, and the web) to handle inquiries, and provide resolution. The team also works closely with all departments to ensure that all issues not resolved by them are escalated to the appropriate department within the organization for prompt resolution.
  6. IT Operations – is responsible for last mile delivery of technology, ensuring that everyone from school staff to executives, all have the functioning technology they need to excel at their jobs. It also oversees the technical infrastructure that supports and connects all of our global offices, as well as the back-office systems that power our customer care centres, finance teams, warehouses, and more.
  7. You will be responsible for ensuring every school operates effectively; That school staff are supported by being provided with the correct tech assets, learning materials and teaching supplies; That an accurate count of all learning materials and supplies is maintained; That instructional delivery runs effectively by ensuring accurate forecast of learning material needs, proper maintenance of existing inventory and on time delivery of projected quantities; That the provision of service to ensure all issues are captured and resolved, is carried out in a prompt, professional and caring manner; and That continuous data collection and analyses is used to quality assure and drive process improvements
  8. This is a high-impact role for someone who loves standing up systems and processes from the ground up and taking on challenges on a large scale.

What You Will Do

  1. Manage a diverse support team including customer care, quality assurance, IT, programme managers, procurement, warehousing and logistics.
  2. Work with and leverage team support from the global teams to ensure operations are aligned to global processes and systems.
  3. Be responsible for all operational performance indicators of our academies, including but not limited to:
  4. Improving adherence and compliance to existing systems and processes
  5. Striving for operational excellence in a resource-constrained environment
  6. Continually iterating and improving systems
  7. Building a zero-tolerance environment for fraud and leakage
  8. Learn, reinvent, optimize and manage every aspect of the operations of a Bridge Academy and the necessary headquarters support, from supplies management to classroom instruction to cleaning to customer care.
  9. Create highly-structured, insightful processes, systems and recommendations with a data-driven approach; and, alongside senior executives, critique and modify the operational components of the Bridge model.
  10. Do or lead every job in the entire academy operations and support to some extent. No job is too big or too small.

What You Should Have

  1. At least 8+ years of post-undergraduate, full time work experience
  2. Work experience managing a multi-unit retail environment
  3. Work experience in emerging markets
  4. Work experience, preferably in operations, as an employee at any company that has rapidly grown in headcount and number of locations, e.g., large scale retail
  5. Work experience in a fast-paced environment with dynamic priorities and demands
  6. Work experience developing and managing a culture of total focus on customer satisfaction
  7. Work experience drastically improving the productivity and reducing cost of a product or service
  8. Work experience managing and coordinating several distributed teams to deliver on a tight schedule
  9. Record of building data-driven operational systems
  10. Record of engaging in and leading cross-functional teams and initiatives
  11. Record of strong academic performance from a leading undergraduate and, if attended, graduate institution
  12. Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  13. Excellent organizational, leadership, analytical, problem solving and strategic thinking skills
  14. High integrity with zero tolerance for any unethical business practices

You’re also

  1. A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
  2. A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand.
  3. A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.
  4. A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.
  5. A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely on your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.
  6. A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.

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