JOB DESCRIPTION

ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR

Company description

Ethical Apparel Africa is a sourcing company that provides international apparel brands with ethical, cost competitive and quality manufacturing solutions in West Africa. Our vision is to demonstrate that ethical manufacturing can and should be done at scale, not just associated with luxury or expensive product. Based in Ghana and Benin, EAA has a dynamic team bringing decades of experience from around the world in product development, quality assurance, account management, social impact, operations and finance. 

EAA is working to unlock the tremendous potential of the West Africa apparel industry, supporting African-owned factories to grow exports to the US, UK, and Europe. EAA focuses on developing factories in a lean, sustainable, and ethical way that sets the standard for garment manufacturing in a West African context. We work closely with government and development agencies to develop an ecosystem for industrial growth -- including the launch of a Center of Excellence for local skill development and efforts to catalyze investment in an integrated cotton value chain. By 2023 we aim to create 2,500 worthwhile jobs in the apparel sector in West Africa. This is an exciting time to join EAA.

 

Position overview

 

The Accounts team is responsible for leading the EAA Accounts team, managing the Critical Path to achieve on-time sampling and exports and developing client relationships to form strong, communicative and mutually beneficial commercial relationships. The Accounts Director will be based in Accra (Ghana) with occasional travel to Benin.

The Accounts Director will lead strategic growth and partnership development across EAA’s growing client base in the US and EU. EAA’s clients are predominantly in the uniform and accessory space and are motivated by the opportunity to diversify their supply chains, take advantage of duty-free benefits out of West Africa, and build long-term partnerships with reliable, cost competitive suppliers. This person will report directly to the EAA COO, directly oversee the work of EAA’s Account / Brand Partnerships team in West Africa, and liaise directly with our partner factories to build their capacity on an ongoing basis. 

They will be accountable for the following areas:
 

Team and Industry Leadership

  • Engage across the team as a dynamic leader bringing the EAA departments together and promoting inter-team collaboration (across technical, accounts, impact / compliance, and operations)

  • Model the EAA values and connect across the team to find creative ways to develop a working culture that embodies these values

  • Alongside EAA’s Technical Director and other senior staff based in Ghana, represent EAA within the West Africa apparel community at networking events and meetings with government, development agencies, and other stakeholders

  • Support the rest of the Leadership team to keep the broader team engaged and aligned to the EAA vision, mission and KPIs

 

Client and Factory Relationships

  • Be responsible for leading on annual and quarterly strategies for each account identifying areas for sustainable growth in sales and improved relationships

  • Lead the team to strengthen relationships with our brand partners through timely, proactive, and strategic communication, providing excellent service for ongoing production and finding / converting opportunities to grow our accounts

  • Work to continuously improve our relationships with factory partners through ensuring our communications are clear and proactive

  • Work closely with the EAA Impact team to find creative ways to engage EAA brand partners

  • Work with the Raw Materials Manager to secure long term mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers 

  • Be a model for the team in leaning into difficult conversations and adapting our communications across cultures

 

Critical Path Management & Capacity Planning

  • Take full accountability for ensuring proactive management of all Critical Path dates for sampling and orders, escalating early for potential problems and proposing mitigations

  • Set and ensure continuous improvement against standards for Critical Path communication internally and externally

  • Use the Critical Path to analyze root causes of delays and propose / lead implementation of improvements to our systems

  • Lead analysis of capacity planning for future orders / sales across our factory network, working closely with the Sales & Partnerships Director

 

Product Development

  • Oversee sample planning and prioritization and ensure effective collaboration with the Technical team to meet sampling deadlines, promote our ‘right first time’ attitude

  • Proactively work with the technical team to develop products that promote the factories specific strengths and capabilities, creating commercial and competitive product suggestions within our field

  • Oversee strategy for sampling raw material procurement to optimize stock / courier cost with speed of sampling response

  • Sign off on all product costings across EAA’s existing Accounts -- ensuring accuracy of all raw material, logistics, testing, finance, CMT, and other inputs

 

Materials, Inventory and Logistics

  • Oversee the work of the EAA Raw Materials Manager in continuously improving our raw material supplier partnerships

  • Work with the Accounts team to improve our systems for tracking stock, including possibly through implementation of a new ERP system

  • Lead the team to build the capacity of factory merchandisers in inventory methods

  • Oversee logistics strategy, ensuring relationships optimized for cost, speed and reliability

  • Ensure that we are providing full service and support to our clients to enable them to take advantage of AGOA and other duty-free agreements


 

Qualifications & Attributes

  • A proven track record of similar position in the industry; 7+ years experience with experience leading a team

  • Preferred background working at a factory, sourcing agent, or offshore brand office in a merchandising / accounts / client facing role

  • Strong knowledge of fabrics, trims and garments (woven prefered)

  • In depth understanding of the Apparel Industry, critical paths, sourcing and product development

  • Strong skills in excel, experience in garment costing, and attention to detail

  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills across cultures

  • Dynamic energy with a passion for working in an enterprise with a social mission

  • Ambitious big picture thinker who is solution driven, wants to work hard, learn and progress

  • Evidence of the following characteristics: Pro-activity, self awareness; resilient and adaptable; persistent and resourceful; able to work under pressure and respect deadlines, apt at both strengthening relationships and resolving problems, poised, active listener; fun to work with; full of integrity; ability to multi-task and thrive in a fast-paced environment 

  • Fluent in English

 

 

Benefits

  • Salary level dependent on candidate experience and profile

  • Annual flight allowance

  • Accommodation and transportation

  • Health and repatriation insurance

  • 25 days of annual leave in addition to Ghana national holidays

  • Opportunity to join a key department of an award-winning, dynamic, and mission driven organization that welcomes strategic input from all members

How to apply

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis

  • Please send a resume and specific cover letter for the position to talent@ethicalapparelafrica.com with the reference in the subject line “Accounts Director 2019”

  • Only completed applications with accurate reference will be considered and only the most qualified candidates shortlisted for interview

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