Steve Wood

Steve Wood


Music, cricket, golf, photography, theatre, fine food, fine wine, history, reading and art.


  1. To acquire a new role at Managing Director level or above, earning in excess of £100k (basic).
  2. The new role to be either:
    1. A single site role, preferably within the automotive, aerospace, FMCG or precision engineering sectors, with a turnover in excess of £60m per annum.
    2. A multi-site role (in the same sectors), preferably with national and/or international responsibilities.


A DIVISIONAL MANAGING DIRECTOR, extremely effective in using Lean/Six Sigma methodology to create world-class manufacturing operations. Highly adept at developing teams focused on customer needs to achieve product and service excellence, thereby significantly enhancing shareholder value and company profitability. Extensive experience gained working in international, blue-chip companies and in leading multi-national, multi-disciplinary teams.

Work History

Work History
May 2007 - Nov 2008

Divisional Managing Director

Hampson Precision Automotive UK Ltd

Divisional Managing Director, UK and India

Headhunted to improve Group profitability and customer satisfaction

  • Turned £400k/month loss to equivalent profitability within 6 months, through Lean/Six Sigma-based operational improvements and aggressive commercial negotiations.
  • Using Six Sigma methodology, reduced customer rejects by 75%, scrap rates by 80% and improved on-time delivery performance from 40% to 80% within 6 months.
  • Successfully re-motivated a very dispirited team, through the introduction of regular communication events, ‘management by objectives’ and appraisal, setting KPIs, holding rigorous reviews and re-establishing a regime of structured management meetings.
  • Established a Group strategy to clearly define operations and manufacturing footprints and routes to market.
  • Secured £4.5m of investment in new equipment.
  • Secured long term supply agreements with all major customers to ensure the future viability of the Company.
  • Introduced Lean and 6 Sigma methodologies to drive continuous process improvements.
  • Championed the implementation of a full SAP MRP system in 5 months.
  • Led commercial negotiations with key customers to secure long-term agreements worth in excess of £22m.
Dec 2006 - May 2007

Interim Operations Director

Birkby's Plastics Ltd

Operations Director (Interim)

Hired to develop an Operations strategy for the business and to lead the consequent restructuring activities.

  • Conducted a full review of all BPL operations activities and presented an Operations strategy which was accepted in full by the BPL Board.
  • Identified hard cost savings equivalent to £1.2m in a full year through the adoption of an integrated strategy.
  • Operations strategy included roadmaps for quality, delivery, Continuous Improvement and health and safety progression.
  • Achieved new Business Unit structure within the required timeframe to support Ford/PAG, Honda and Toyota, including the hire of BU Leaders and immediate supervisory team.
Oct 2004 - Sep 2006

Managing Director

HP Chemie Pelzer UK Ltd

Managing Director

Headhunted to improve site profitability.

  • Turned £90k/month loss to profitability within 6 months.
  • Led the plant to successful assessment to TS16949 standard, VW Group Approved Supplier quality rating and ISO14000.
  • Successfully launched 4 new vehicle lines for 3 different customers, on time – on budget, meeting customer quality, cost and delivery requirements.
  • Implemented material cost reduction programme saving £170k pa with potential for further £230k in 2006.
  • Reduced customer rejects by 68% and improved on-time delivery performance from 83% to 95%.
  • Successfully re-established Kaizen principles, improving productivity by 23% allowing significant headcount reduction.
  • Significantly improved industrial relations in a militant unionised environment through positive communication and open dialogue.
  • Introduced ‘management by objectives’ and regular appraisals, setting KPIs and rigorous reviews.
Feb 2001 - Sep 2004

Vice President, Best Practice

CompAir UK Ltd

Vice President, Best Practice Headhunted to implement lean principles throughout the organisation
  • Successfully implemented Lean and Six Sigma tools and techniques, achieving £6.2m operational cost savings in 3 years.
  • Designed and implemented business improvement programmes reducing inventory by £24m in 12 months and increasing stock turns by 50%.
  • Improved manufacturing operations and logistics allowing closure of 2 sites and reducing headcount by 350.
  • Transformed product development and launch systems, meeting customer needs and reducing launch time from 36 to 11 months.
  • Introduced robust problem solving methodologies to the warranty investigation process reducing claims by £2.2m.
Aug 1999 - Feb 2001

UK and Sweden performance Improvement Director

Johnson Controls Automotive Ltd

UK Performance Improvement Director

Promoted to implement world-class manufacturing across 17 sites in UK and Sweden.

  • Established a team of dedicated in-plant facilitators, fully trained and developed, to lead the delivery of Lean and Six Sigma methodology across all sites.
  • Assisted Plant Management teams to establish their Lean/Six Sigma improvement roadmaps.
  • On time delivery performance at all plants improved from 91% to 94%, and PPM performance improved by 25%.
  • Achieved £2.1m of cost reductions in first year.
Jul 1995 - Aug 1999

Plant Manager

Johnson Controls Automotive Ltd

Plant Manager – Interiors Division

Promoted to take full P&L responsibility for the headliner plant in UK.

  • Increased turnover from £16m to £25m and doubled EBIT from 2% to 4% despite severe competition and price pressure.
  • Implemented extensive Lean manufacturing practices throughout the plant, chiefly 5S, TPM, QCO, Problem Solving and Kanban.
  • Moved the business from simple product supply to a complex ‘systems’ product, delivered JIT and synchronously.
  • Reduced internal scrap from 6% to < 1% and PPM rates from 2200 to 87.
  • Expanded the customer base, adding Jaguar, Rover, Landrover, Peugeot, Honda and Toyota and successfully launched 15 new vehicle programmes.
  • Increased production volume from 600k to 1.3m p.a., improving all key metrics.
Jan 1994 - Jul 1995

Human Resources Manager

Johnson Controls Automotive Ltd

Human Resources Manager – Interiors Division

Recruited to install HR systems and set policies and procedures from scratch.

  • Gained accreditation to Investors in People and ISO1400 standards.
  • Implemented NVQ standard shop floor training and development systems.
  • Reduced absenteeism from 8% to < 3%.
  • Devised, designed and implemented a management development programme enhancing skills and capabilities.
Apr 1990 - Dec 1993

Group Personnel Manager

GKN Sankey Ltd

Group Personnel Manager – Agritech Division.

Recruited to professionalise the HR function in a highly unionised environment.

  • Negotiated new pay deals securing increased productivity and acceptance of modern working practices and introduced a modern apprenticeship scheme.
  • Successfully managed 4 redundancy programmes and 2 plant closures, reducing headcount from 1,100 to 680.
  • Gained first exposure to Lean manufacturing principles through training programme jointly developed with Nissan/Tyneside College.
Nov 1977 - Apr 1990


Ministry of Defence

Various Civilian Roles – Ministry of Defence


Jan 2000 - May 2000

Black Belt Training

Six Sigma Academy
Apr 1999 - Apr 1999

World Class Manufacturing Programme

Cranfield School of Management
Sep 1989 - Jun 1991

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Wolverhampton University
Sep 1987 - Jun 1989

A Level English Literature

Telford College
Sep 1983 - Dec 1983

Work Study Practitioner Course

Royal Military College of Science
Sep 1971 - Jun 1977

8 GCE O Levels

Wellington Grammar School




Six Sigma Methodology


Jul 2008 - Present

Member Institute of Directors

Institute of Directors
Sep 1989 - Present

Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development

Institute of Personnel and Development
Jan 1984 - Present

Life Member of the Institute of Management Services

Institute of Management Services

Top Secret

Ministry of Defence