Livingston James partnered with ALS, a portfolio business of Ansor LLP, to appoint Director of Manufacturing

*Please note this opportunity is now closed to further applications. Should you be interested in similar roles and wish to have an exploratory discussion, please contact Sophie Randles at [email protected].


ALS is building the UK’s leading dental manufacturing business. Dental manufacturing is undergoing a rapid transformation from fragmented industry of small laboratories staffed by experienced dental technicians making crowns, bridges, and other dental products by hand, to a world of digital workflows and large-scale automated production involving intra-oral scanning, 3D printing and robotics.

ALS’ goal is to become the nation’s biggest and best dental laboratory group, growing in size and reputation every year. They have big ambitions to deliver over £135m in sales and £27m EBITDA p.a by the end of 2026, positively disrupting the industry and advancing its capability through the integration of progressive businesses, advanced technologies and skilled people.

The company is expanding to have nationwide UK coverage and will also enter the international laboratory market by developing an ALS International BU via acquisition and/or organic growth. With private equity backing from Ansor LLP, ALS has grown from start up at the end of 2019 to a £10m revenue business with £1.5m EBITDA at the start of 2021, with strong pipeline of future bolt on acquisitions likely to take them to over £20m by close of year.

Currently, ALS has 3 crown and bridge laboratories located in Glasgow, Perth and Dorchester, and the UK’s leading orthodontic laboratory located in Sunderland. ALS aim to add a further 6 labs this year in multiple UK locations. The Ansor partners are based in London.


The Role:

ALS is highly motivated to appoint a Manufacturing Director to design and implement the business’s manufacturing strategy including automation and technology adoption, across the group. The role will report directly to the CEO and can be located anywhere in the UK, regular travel across the UK.

Desired Impact:

  • Development and implementation of the Group’s manufacturing strategy
  • Set with board and deliver annual manufacturing goals
  • Building of capacity through automation and technology
  • Development of a manufacturing technology roadmap and implementation across network
  • Development and build out of greenfield sites for the Group / redesign of infrastructure
  • Development and implementation of GP improvement programs
  • Creation of ALS’s centre of excellence
  • Define and implement of ALS manufacturing KPI’s for all products and sites
  • Greater efficiencies in the way products are made and distributed
  • Forward integrate these efficiencies to provide better solutions for customers
  • Deliver capital investment programs
  • Support with change of culture, upskilling staff and attraction of talent


Key responsibilities include:

  • Design, implement and executive the Group’s manufacturing strategy
  • Create manufacturing partnerships overseas either via acquisition or through a new ALS partnership
  • Create a digital only central manufacturing facility to support ALS’s lab network and facilitate lab to lab revenue from competitor labs
  • Strategically drive the build out of all greenfield facilities or build out/redesign of our existing infrastructure
  • Implement technology and process across our lab network which improves efficiency, builds capacity and drives an ALS manufacturing standard
  • Create an ALS design centre to do treatment planning for crown and bridge and Orthodontics to drive continuous improvement and lab to lab revenue
  • Optimise product mix to ensure capacity is directed to the biggest revenue and profit opportunities
  • Develop profitable best practice and manufacturing techniques for ALS facilities and revenue streams
  • Co-ordinate management, work plans and methods to ensure they are compliant with all QHSE policies, practices and procedures
  • Management of all manufacturing capacities, manpower and best machinery utilisation
  • Monitor and coordinate the procurement of materials and external resources required to execute work plans and projects when required
  • Liaise and review schedules with line managers to assure cost effective completion of all relevant work orders is being maintained and monitored to include relevant projects for all customers
  • P&L account management to achieve continued growth and agreed budgetary forecasts
  • Accurate monitoring of company and group KPI objectives to facilitate the capturing of work history for critical path analysis
  • Prepare performance reports that quantify statistical trends to facilitate credible analysis of data
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of practices/ procedures / productivity and QHSE
  • Commercial responsibility for all engineering development, machinery, customer relations, revenue streams, CAPEX approvals, cash flow, production hours, manpower and monthly operational reports


Person Specification

  • Experienced in advanced manufacturing with experience in large scale automated production, robotics and 3D printing. Likely to have worked in large corporate companies, in sectors such as automotive, aeronautical, medical devices and or specialised R&D innovations hubs, and looking to move or moved into fast growth businesses
  • Will have had responsibility for successfully designing, implementing and executing a manufacturing strategy within a high-growth, technology focused organisation
  • A track record of decisively managing business issues against challenging timescales and successfully delivering against business plans and financial targets
  • The ability to look at the bigger picture in terms of strategy and implementing actions in the interest of maximising efficiencies for the business
  • The ability to challenge conventional thinking; must have demonstrable experience of either step-changing mature propositions or introduction of new concepts and working practices
  • A track record of effectively negotiating and communicating with key stakeholders internally and externally, and both in the UK and overseas
  • Target driven and results focused individual, with a strong analytical approach
  • Enjoys working in a fast paced, rapidly changing environment with high levels of autonomy
  • A strong leader who excels at building high performing, motivated teams, building a high-performance culture and maintaining positive and productive working relationships


Attributes and Behaviours

  • Strong leadership qualities. Must balance driving for results with the ability to coach and mentor direct team, supporting development of capability levels
  • Skilled in ability to influence and effect change by achieving buy-in both internal and external to organisation
  • An executer, someone who gets things done and takes accountability for the outcome
  • Consultative, collaborative leadership style and strong aptitude for teamwork across the organisation
  • Facility to challenge others to think differently and the courage to test the status quo and, as appropriate, try unconventional things if they will deliver exceptional results
  • Tolerance for ambiguity and flexibility; ability to shift gears when necessary to address opportunities and issues as they arise
  • First class relationship management skills, with a clear ability to forge strong partnerships across a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • High emotional intelligence; will balance results orientation with empathy for his / her environment
  • Resourceful, creative, and proactive. Must be adept at handling ambiguity
  • Able to demonstrate a high level of personal and professional integrity with a non-egotistical approach and not a political individual
  • Persistence and resourcefulness – willing to work through obstacles to achieve ambitious goals. Proactive, self-starter, self-directed; takes ownership and initiative
  • Executive presence – must have gravitas and the ability to influence with credibility, facts, and judgment. Inspires confidence internally, externally and at board level
  • Exceptional oral and written presentation skills; effective negotiating ability


ALS is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status or pregnancy and maternity.

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