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Directly support the planning and analysis for new automation systems, lead solution sizing and design, provide leadership and oversight to project management and implementation, and be responsible for delivering operational sustainability of distribution automation solutions. The Sr. Manager will oversee automation projects from end to end and be responsible for delivering each project to ensure the objectives and KPI’s are met. This role will oversee $75M+ in Capital investment per project, providing oversight to 2-3 projects concurrently. The Sr. Manager will organize and direct work across multiple national, regional and local operational internal teams in addition to providing direction to new and established strategic third-party partners. The ability to influence across groups and leading large teams while building strong relationships will be key to delivering a world class automation experience. 



  • Oversee intake of new projects, and drive as a key stakeholder the development of the project justification, including cost analysis and savings identification.
  • Take primary responsibility for preliminary system sizing and design, vendor selection and proposal for the planned solution.
  • Manage all aspects of project implementation to deliver on-time and on-budget results. This will include third-party work such as construction, electrical and pneumatics, and fire suppression as well as automation vendor installation, and internal integration.
  • Provide project oversight and vendor management to automation vendors during project installation. This will include managing timelines and milestones, overseeing installation, functional and technical integration, commissioning and testing, and operational training and launch support, and run-state guidance to drive performance.
  • Ensure all project milestones and measured KPI’s are met, including safety and quality.
  • Effectively lead and organize other cross-functional teams in support of automation team needs, including IT, finance, solutions design, local site and regional operations, transportation and others as needed.
  • Create sustainable and repeatable automation solutions through the development of installation and quality standards, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documentation, user training and maintenance manuals, vendor KPIs and requirements, and other documents as needed.
  • Responsible for total life ownership for all automation and mechanization solutions, including planned life-cycle management, run-state performance and continuous improvement, and system optimization.



Education/ Certifications/or Equivalent combination of education training and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, supply chain or related field, or equivalent work experience
  • MBA preferred, but not required in lieu of years of relevant experience


  • 5+ years of experience in distribution operations including mechanization and/or automated environments.
  • 3+ year of experience with project management preferred.
  • Knowledge of PMP or standard project delivery methodology a plus.
  • Demonstrated success implementing warehouse automation and control systems and managing third party vendors.
  • Technical expertise related to mechanical engineering, automated material handling and equivalent controls and software knowledge.
  • Ownership of key account relationships, overseeing capital investments exceeding $25 million.

Knowledge/ Skills/ Abilities:

  • Knowledge of supply chain and controls systems, including but not limited to Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Warehouse Controls Systems (WCS), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), and other related technological systems.
  • Successful background with distribution operations processes including mechanization and automation technology.
  • Experience creating process flows outlining associate/automation interaction, writing SOP’s and technical training documentation.
  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge with the integration and installation of automated and mechanized technologies, including integration to WMS, WCS and other warehouse technologies.
  • Knowledge of building and facility maintenance practices including automation systems.
  • Background with building construction, codes, and compliance, including fire suppression, pneumatics, and electrical. 
  • Ability to understand drawings and communicate effectively with third-party providers regarding these topics.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage third-party relationships, driving accountability and delivering results. Experience with vendor selection, negotiation, and on-going management a plus.
  • Experience creating business case models, calculating return on investment, IRR and NPS; understanding of financial/accounting principles and operational budgeting.
  • Proficient computer skills including Microsoft Excel, Word, Project, PowerPoint, AutoCAD and BI software platforms.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills; ability to communicate at all levels of an organization.
  • Ability to lead, collaborate and influence others across multiple cross-functional teams with varied backgrounds and experiences.
  • Strong problem-solving skills; ability to analyze and draw conclusions from data and experience.
  • Proven competency utilizing innovative thinking, thought diversity, experience and problem-solving methodology to navigate change, obstacles, and achieve desired outcomes.
  • Relationship builder, able to establish strong partnerships, both internally as well as with third-party entities.
  • Ability to multi-task, manage priorities, adhere to timelines while delivering high-quality results that deliver on automation needs; takes initiative to set and achieve goals and objectives.
  • Strong drive and self-starter; well organized.



  • Travel within the US required 50-75%.
  • Occasional travel outside of the US if needed.
  • Work is performed in a variety of Distribution Center or industrial warehouse environments.
  • Some work will be performed in a temperature-controlled office environment.
  • Incumbent may sit for long periods of time at desk or computer terminal.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand and walk within a distribution center; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. 
  • While performing this work, Incumbent may sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The role requires the use calculators, keyboards, telephone, and other office equipment in the course of normal workday.
  • Exposed to temperatures ranging from -20 degrees below zero to 35 degrees Fahrenheit in perishable operation and 37 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in grocery operation.



All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. UNFI is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to creating an inclusive and respectful environment for all. – M/F/Veteran/Disability. VEVRAA Federal Contractor.