Manager, Ops - Africa & Pacific

Job Number: R10008752
Brand: National Geographic
Job Type: Customer Service & Support, Operations, Sales
Location: Evanston, Illinois, United States of America
Job Posting Date: July 1, 2019
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OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY

We are a collection of enduring brands and iconic, unforgettable characters. We create content for audiences big and small, reaching billions of people every day. Most of all, we are many individuals, each uniquely talented, each a critical piece to our puzzle, who collectively become a power. Desire to thrill and engage? Join us as we engage and inspire.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Operations Manager for Africa at National Geographic Expeditions will successfully lead, manage and hold accountable a regional Operations team responsible for arranging, confirming and running luxury international travel programs . The Manager is responsible for the profitability and operational excellence of the team’s trips as well as the trip finances which includes owning the budgets, reconciliations, and program re-costing.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead, manage and hold accountable a regionally focused Operations team consisting of one or more Specialists and one or more Coordinators. Conducts weekly meetings with staff to ensure that they are on task, producing accurate work, meeting deadlines and working toward goals. Counsel on difficult work situations. Develop and train on new procedures when needed. Write and deliver performance reviews for direct reports and recommend professional growth opportunities. Make hiring recommendations and decisions, and train new Operations staff as needed. Support and enforce company systems, policies, procedures and productivity standards. Manage staff time-off requests to minimize impact on team operation. Support and enforce company policies and values at all times. Responsible for team’s execution of operational agreements with global suppliers for recurring programs as well as execution of trip staff agreements. Own, review, and hold team accountable for correct and complete trip budgets for all trip types which budgets are used to price trips for maximization of profit margins; responsible for profitability on all team trips.
  • Well-run team that ensures brand standards are met or exceeded and profit is maximized.
  • Coordinate with local in-country operators regarding bookings, logistics coordination, extra arrangements, special considerations, trip details, etc. Independently manage bookings for trip departures by monitoring room counts, release dates, attrition clauses and deposit and payment dates for each trip. Communicate clearly and accurately all trip logistics and needs via email, Zoom and phone. Conduct briefing calls with operators and hold them accountable for implementation of on-the-ground logistics. Request, negotiate and finalize next-season operational agreements with each operator. Maintain strict adherence to internal and program deadlines. Insure that each departure meets or exceeds brand standards.
  • Ensuring ground logistics meet or exceed brand standards.
  • Request invoices for new bookings, extra arrangements and trip cancellations.  Review invoices for operational and financial accuracy. Request payments to suppliers, vendors and contractors. Reconcile trip invoices and all tour staff salary payments to budget.  Responsible for final trip reconciliation and keeping budgets updated and accurately reflecting program costs. Request, negotiate and finalize next-season pricing and itinerary for repeat departures series. Accountable for group-series profitability. Insure that each departure maximizes profitability by operating at or above budgeted projected profit.
  • Maximize profitability by operating at or above budgeted projected profit.
  • Contribute to the creation of departmental processes and procedures for the seamless operation of trips; oversee the creation of documents that implement same. Work cross-functionally to determine, create and implement processes and procedures that enhance the seamless transition of products from one department to another.
  • Maintaining or increasing brand standards and customer retention; maintain smooth workflow.
  • Contributes to the development of CRM for department, determining departmental priorities and working with developer to build out needed procedures and implement changes.
  • Increased departmental efficiencies and reduction in errors.
  • Participate in after-hours emergency phone coverage service.
  • Provides superior customer service and minimizes corporate liability.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of 5 years related experience. Extensive international destination experience required, experience in Africa preferred. Experience managing direct reports and a demonstrated ability to successfully manage and motivate a team.
  • Impeccable professional communication skills; foreign language skills a plus. Must be able to communicate complicated information in a clear and simple manner to people around the world for whom English is not their native language.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate problems and find creative solutions for challenging situations. Strong math skills; ability to create and maintain budgets.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office; strong Excel skills. A background using QuickBase or other databases or CRM software is a plus.
  • Highly organized, able to multi-task and manage several programs and/or departures at the same time and across multiple destinations. Unwavering accuracy, excellent and systematic organizational skills and flawless attention to detail are necessary. A positive attitude is essential and a key to success in the position. Enjoy working in a fast-paced professional office environment. Experience traveling overseas and extensive destination knowledge is required. Experience working with luxury-oriented clients is a plus.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with applicable law.

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