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Director of Operations – MBNA Thames Clippers

Director of Operations – MBNA Thames Clippers

MBNA Thames Clippers are the fastest & most frequent fleet on the river with departures from major London piers every 20 minutes. Their services stretch from Putney to Royal Woolwich Arsenal, and they cater for all, from early morning commuters; tourists visiting London’s famous landmarks to families wanting a day out on the river and executive charter services for VIP’s.

After being founded in 1999 by the existing CEO, Sean Collins, the fleet and route span grew across the years with 2002 seeing the most significant expansion providing peak am and pm commuter services to Royal Woolwich Arsenal. In 2006 AEG Europe acquired a majority stake in the business, investing £20million in fleet which saw the delivery of 6 new 220 seater catamarans in 2007/8, providing a 134% increase in passengers over the year.

Today MBNA Thames Clippers has a fleet of 19 catamarans and one VIP executive lunch, carrying over 4 million passengers a year in a comfortable, relaxed environment. The business is recognised worldwide for its standard of service and professionalism within its sector and is very well positioned to support further business opportunities and expansion.

Purpose of Position

The Director of Operations is responsible for the overall operational management of MBNA Thames Clippers on a daily basis, including Fleet Operations, Customer Experience, on-board retail, and Engineering. Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer of MBNA Thames Clippers, you will be expected to lead the key operational teams and support the senior management team in delivery of the company growth plans.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Oversee the day to day operations; assuring good reliability, punctuality and the general smooth running of the service with focus on safety at all times.
  2. Implement strategic workforce planning measures / training measures to meet the current and future business headcount needs for all departments
  3. Working with the Head of departments, review and develop procedures, ensuring compliance, consistent and structured processes.
  4. Develop and maintain the passenger experience at every possible opportunity and promote the highest level of customer service throughout
  5. To ensure effective team and people management; giving clarity, leadership and continued motivation at all times
  6. Maximise commercial opportunities and support COO to implement new initiatives to meet business growth plans

Qualifications & Skills

  1. Excellent manager of people across all functional disciplines and levels of seniority
  2. Mentally resilient- demonstrates consistent decision-making skills in any circumstance
  3. Good interpersonal skills with a track record of successfully managing people and creating a performance orientated culture
  4. Preferred commercial track record in a customer facing operation.
  5. Ability to spot trends and act on commercial opportunities arising
  6. Results orientated / measures performance consistently
  7. Experience at delivering change within a growing company
  8. Development of resources efficiently / long range planner
  9. Solutions driven / focused on continued improvement

Main Activities

  • Ensure that the fleet and staffing levels are to the desired level
  • Instigate audits on operational performance, generate action plans for improvements identifying efficiencies where possible
  • Focus on the importance of check lists, planning, drills and preparedness
  • Instill consistent measures, management and processes across all departments

Customer Service

  • Maintain a focus on the customer journey with consistent delivery at every touch point
  • Develop, maintain and improve the passenger experience at every possible opportunity and promote the highest level of customer service throughout
  • Work with the HO Customer Experience to ensure the continued improvement based on tangible initiatives and KPI measures
  • Ensure the maintenance of systems to measure customer and promoter satisfaction and lead on actioning any improvement measures
  • Ensure we benchmark and remain ahead of the competition in terms of customer experience, both other river users and land-based alternatives
  • Ensure that staffing levels are to the desired level now and to meet future growth plans


  • Working with the Catering team, optimise the sales and profitability of each vessel underpinned by a structured approach, to focus on compliance with relevant company policies, standards and employment principles
  • Promote a culture of vessel cabin management ensuring close collaboration between customer service, catering and boat crew


  • To actively seek and maximise returns for commercial opportunities within the relevant departments within your
  • Be aware of market trends and competitive elements within the industry, including other transport services and potential clients and to utilise this knowledge to develop commercial return.
  • Identify contingency measures alongside HODs for financial shortfalls
  • To ensure regular measurement and review of all processes and initiatives
  • For all departments ensure timely, accurate and complete MI reports are provided monthly on all projects
  • Responsibility for ensuring relevant department budgets are met with a focus on cost control and revenue generation, as well as meeting key general financial targets
  • Assist the MBNA Thames Clippers executive team, when required, with the planning and execution of strategy, new
    business opportunities and special projects


  • Work with the HO Engineering to meet vessel availability targets. Continually develop maintenance standards both at TBW and dry dock along with a robust vessel maintenance strategy
  • Management of capital expenditure to ensure best value from contractors
  • Focus on technological innovation to ensure compliance with emerging regulation
  • Continued review of vessel through life management


  • Lead the engagement with all departments within their control and ensure liaison channels are available at all levels
  • Establish a team ethos within your departments to enhance collaboration, drive, delivery and ability to seize and capitalise on cross-departmental opportunities.
  • To lead and develop your direct reports, ensuring that full support is available at all levels and effective communication is maintained at all times in order to meet business priorities
  • Assist in developing and maintaining a strong and effective team, working collaboratively within all departments and offices of AEG worldwide


  • Lead by example in setting exemplary standards in daily activity.
  • Continuously seek ways to improve personal, team and business performance
  • Ensure that all relevant information is communicated speedily and accurately in a way that ensures that the information is received and easily understood
  • Ensure that all materials and resources are effectively and efficiently utilised to minimise waste and reduce costs
  • Undertake any other relevant duties or reasonable request as requested by the MBNA Thames Clippers Executive team
  • Understand the importance of Equality & Diversity in the workplace
  • Recognise and promote the importance of the team working on the front line and their views and idea.

What would success look like in 12 months?

  • Critical headcount requirement met for each operational department with a clear training / workforce plan to meet the business growth projections within the next 5 years
  • The introduction of new department specific KPIs that underpin the current primary measures within the corporate balance scorecard
  • Establish strong relationships with our key riparian stakeholders to ensure that our operational and pier capacity requirements are understood and are within their corporate strategies
  • Demonstrate measured improvements to the customer experience and the introduction of training to develop commercial awareness of the frontline team
  • Completion of the integration of the electronic safety management system, with a particular focus on engineering efficiency and compliance
  • Become a trusted leader and live the company core values

Applications must be submitted via SRI’s Apply Now button above.

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Tagged as: Director of Operations, London, Thames Clippers, United Kingdom

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