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  • QA Category Technical Manager

  • Business: Wickes
  • Sector: Sales & Operations
  • Location: Watford, Hertfordshire
  • Salary: Excellent + bonus + benefits
  • Hours of work: 37.5
  • Position type: Permanent
  • Job type: Full Time
  • Date posted: 15-Oct-2019
  • Job reference: 24117

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Job Description

Wickes is an exciting, fast paced, changing environment. We have plenty going on in 2019 and a lot planned for 2020! We strongly believe our culture is one of the many reasons people join us as well as the opportunity to excel and get involved in different initiatives, we’re a great bunch.


We are currently recruiting for a QA Category Technical Manager to join our Head Office team in Watford, and if this sounds like an opportunity for you read on below to find out more...

Main purpose of role:

  • Ensure that Products & Suppliers within the assigned product categories comply with the Wickes Quality, Safety and Environmental requirements. Ensure that UK/European legislation, product information and communication is technically correct and complies with legal requirements.

  • Support the Wickes commercial strategy to ensure we have the right products that are fit for purpose for our customers, including new product development.

  • Work with and manage stakeholders across different operational companies to ensure best practice and ways of working are consistent where products or suppliers are shared.

  • Ensure all TP Group policies relating to both suppliers and products are upheld

  • Minimise any risks associated with both product and suppliers throughout the product life cycle

  • Provide technical support on product development and customer complaint resolution to Wickes Commercial teams 

Principal Accountabilities:

  • Responsible for product evaluation and approval within assigned categories, including risk assessment and benchmarking processes, to ensure that only compliant product (Safe, Legal, Reliable and Fit-for-Purpose) enter the business. 

  • Carry out supplier evaluation and approvals as appropriate, including associated manufacturing sites, and ensure all non-compliance issues are effectively dealt with and appropriate remedial action taken.  Ensure that the necessary improvements are identified and followed through ensuring all key stakeholders are informed. 

  • Support the Commercial teams through responsible sourcing practices ensuring risks associated with ethical and social responsibility, including Modern Slavery are identified and activity is implemented to eliminate such risks.

  • To ensure all non-compliance issues are effectively dealt with and appropriate remedial action taken through direct contact with appropriate Supplier prior to product approval.  Ensure that the necessary improvements are identified and followed through ensuring all key stakeholders are informed.

  • Ensure accuracy of product certification and specification data provided by Suppliers and maintain technical files to the required level of detail and content for Own Brand and Direct Import products as part of the evaluation and approval process..

  • Investigate and report on technical queries and quality concerns in relation to product returns, critical product failures and customer complaints identifying remedial actions, product changes and associated cost implications. Ensure any resulting actions are completed to a satisfactory level within agreed timescales.

  • To ensure all product and supplier data is available once approved through QA management system and any changes are kept updated 

  • To investigate and realise product improvements, capture & communicate resulting financial benefits.

  • Ensure that the team and Business is kept fully informed and up to date on all product related legislation and compliance requirements and that this information is readily available, understandable and forms part of the product evaluation/approval process.

  • Establish relationships with the technical/quality contacts at Suppliers and specialist service providers such as Legislative Bodies, Test Houses, Trade Associations and Factory auditing partners etc. associated to assigned product categories.

  • Ensure the Head of Quality is informed immediately where it is identified that a Supplier has failed to adhere to agreed requirements/specification resulting in an unacceptable level of risk to the Wickes brand or exposure to the overall business.

  • Develop a sustainability plan for assigned product categories and support identified stakeholders in the execution and delivery of agreed plan

  • Manage, mentor and develop direct reports ensuring there is a personal development plan. 

  • To utilise the Capability Framework for Category Technical Manager’s document for:

    • Being customer focused,

    • Leadership & business results,

    • People & organisation behaviours,

    • Commercial performance,

    • Product development,

    • Continual improvement,

    • Planning, delivery & execution,

    • Sourcing & supplier development.

Person Specification:

  • Professional/Technical Qualification in an appropriate field (Degree equivalent) i.e. Chartered Engineer. Chartered Quality Professional with the Chartered Quality Institute (MCQI).

  • In-depth knowledge of QA Practices and Methodology and able to demonstrate practical experience of Supplier, Factory, CSR (Ethical) and ISO9001 audits and respective International standards/Audit criteria. 

  • In-depth detailed knowledge of British & European product safety, legal & technical standards and associated compliance certification/conformance.

  • In-depth detailed knowledge of product legislation and Environmental impact.

  • Detailed knowledge and experience of CE Directives.

  • Detailed practical experience of factory manufacturing processes and best practice.

  • Resilience in following through business critical issues.

  • Persuasive approach to problem solving at all levels.

  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal.

  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to relate to a broad spectrum of individuals

  • Well organised with the ability to plan workload to achieve deadlines.

  • Good numeracy skills and conversant in Google and Microsoft platforms,

  • Full UK drivers licence and flexibility to travel. Some overseas travel may be required, depending on categories managed.

What can we offer you?

Wickes is more than just the nation’s favourite DIY store. We’re part of the Travis Perkins Group, one of the UK’s top employers. That’s why the first thing you’ll notice at Wickes is the way everyone pulls together.  It’s a place where we’ll ask for your ideas, listen to your opinions and value the contributions you make. Chances are you’ve never experienced anything quite like our culture. All our colleagues come from different backgrounds, but what we all have in common is a determination to succeed and a passion for being the best we can be. If that sounds like you, we’ll make you feel right at home

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