Director of Commercial Operations
University of Glasgow, School of Veterinary Medicine
United Kingdom

Job Purpose

If you haven’t already heard, the University of Glasgow is changing…we have launched a Strategic Transformation Programme to support the delivery of our “Inspiring People Changing the World” and World Class Glasgow strategies.
Are you an experienced Commercial and Operations Director with great leadership skills, who will provide strategic support to help us identify and develop new commercial opportunities in a highly competitive market? In this exciting role of Director of Commercial Operations, you will lead and provide direction on all the commercial activities within an internationally acclaimed Veterinary School, voted number 1 in the UK for Veterinary Science in the 2016 National Student Survey and ranked first in the UK for Veterinary Medicine in the 2019 Complete University Guide.

Reporting to the Head of School, you will hold a leadership role and be a full member of the School Executive. You will support the Heads of Division in maximising the contributions of staff engaged in clinical activity and will be a member of the Clinical Service Management Board. With responsibility for significant income flows, you will also report to the University’s Director of Finance and the College Head of Finance. You will lead the commercial operations and contribute to the strategic development of the business.

You will provide strategic direction and leadership in supporting clinicians to develop and maximise clinical and diagnostic services. During a period of wider transformation within the University, you will cultivate a culture of high employee engagement through visible leadership, and clear direction. You will be responsible for effective governance in maximising the potential of high quality clinical and diagnostic services, which provide an excellent standard of animal care, a high quality teaching environment and enhance the national and international reputation of the School and College.
You will have a qualification in business administration and experience in commercial management in a relevant sector; a veterinary qualification and sector background is desirable, but not essential. You will have the ability to provide expert commercial advice to professional practitioners, scientists and organisations. You will possess experience in directing and managing clinics or clinical service provisions with turnovers in excess of £5M p.a.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. Provide leadership, strategic direction and line management to ensure efficient clinical and diagnostic services, ensuring optimal coverage across all disciplines. Oversee the smooth running of clinical and support disciplines in order to consolidate and strengthen general clinical activities through the efficient utilisation of assets and patient flow.
2. In partnership with BVMS programme leader and relevant Heads of Divisions, efficiently manage staff activity to maximise the benefits to clinical service and clinical teaching. 

3. Take responsibility for the development, implementation and delivery of strategic and operational business plans for clinical and commercial activities to drive results by maximising revenue generation, developing new services, cost control and income generation through the effective use of people, processes and systems.

4. Lead the implementation of business change and improvement strategies agreed by School and College management, and propose on-going strategies that will support and achieve delivery of the School’s strategic, operational and financial targets.

5. Optimise the service to clients and patients in order to develop the business by maximising turnover and productivity through the highest standards of patient and customer care and through representing the University in engagement with external partner organisations. 

6. Lead the operational management of clinical services as senior line manager of clinical support staff, and through the Heads of Division, management of academic staff in all matters impacting on service delivery and commercial activity. To support the Heads of Division in managing staff activity and time allocation to deliver clinical service, teaching and scholarship. 

7. Lead the development and implementation of business models, plans and budgets for the hospitals and diagnostic services as part of the annual planning and budget cycle, which improve the commercial performance of these income generating units against set targets, acting promptly and effectively to address any variances.

8. In partnership with University and College Finance and other specialists as appropriate, develop and set robust targets and KPIs and ensure appropriate reporting and monitoring of the financial performance of all activities and specialisms. This includes the use of reporting systems for economic targets and financial performance, data analysis, costing and setting charges. reporting on all operational budgets associated, and benchmarking with other similar organisations.

9. Identify and capitalise on new income generating business opportunities, including external partnerships and acquisition of new businesses and to lead on these initiatives.
10. Provide strategic market information, assess risk and advise on opportunities for enhancing market share and margins, appropriate for a first class commercial veterinary service provision.
11. Develop and implement polices to retain and efficiently recruit key staff and to protect against external competition.

12. Develop, oversee and contribute to marketing and communication plans that raise the external profile of professional commercial services. To implement systems and processes focussed on customer care, client satisfaction and reputation.

13. Take responsibility for and lead reviews, streamlining of systems and procedures including the patient records system.

14. Responsible for all aspects of Health and Safety associated with the management of the hospitals and diagnostic laboratories. 

15. In partnership with the Clinical Director, undertake clinical audit clinical audit and implement systems to ensure standards of clinical care are maintained at the highest possible level.

16. In conjunction with Heads of Division to achieve and maintain accredited status (RCVS/AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS hospital status) and to manage the production, maintenance and quality assurance of clinical data required for annual returns to accrediting bodies.

17. Manage and market the CPD delivery on behalf of the School to promote the external profile of clinical services and as an additional source of revenue. 

18. Ensure strong levels of employee engagement providing visible leadership and direction.
19. An ability to scope further commercial opportunities.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


A1 Qualification in business administration or demonstrable equivalent training and experience in commercial management.
A2 Knowledge acquired through a track record in directing and managing clinical services, responsible for a turnover in excess of £5M p.a.
A3 Successful and demonstrable track record in dealing with Financial Metrics and KPIs.

B1 Veterinary professional background, as practitioner or academic.
B2 A strong network of contacts in veterinary practice and in the commercial sector.
B3 Direct knowledge of managing veterinary teaching hospitals in a complex academic environment.


C1 Entrepreneurial leadership, senior management abilities with necessary persistence and drive to bring projects to a conclusion.
C2 Effective interpersonal skills with the ability to build and sustain strong working relationships at every level across the organisation – diplomatic, persuasion and negotiating skills, with the ability to secure buy-in and cooperation.
C3 Strategic planning, policy development, business planning, marketing, project management, and financial and human resource management.
C4 Networking, contract negotiation, information management, critical appraisal and systematic review, analytical and well developed problem solving skills.
C5 Excellent oral and written communication skills including presentation skills.
C6 Ability to identify, define and communicate clear organisational values and goals and demonstrate how this aids achieving strategic success.
C7 Understanding of financial and management accounts.
C8 Decision making skills through consensus agreement and capable of unilateral decision making when appropriate.
C9 Ability to provide commercial expert advice to professional practitioners, scientists and organisations.


E1 Extensive experience in the management of a highly complex commercial environment from a people and financial perspective.
E2 Proven experience and track record of leadership and management of a multidisciplinary clinical team/service.
E3 Experience in leading and successfully implementing change.

F1 Evidence of working in an academic environment.

Job Features

• Commercial leader of a multidisciplinary team, to interact and collaborate with veterinary practitioners, clinicians, and commercial clients.
• Responsible for the effective management and growth of £8M commercial budgets against rolling business plans.
• To drive culture change, thus creating an enabling sustainable commercial environment compatible with our teaching and research philosophies and strategies.
• To provide leadership and management to facilitate the development of a high quality and efficient clinical service.
• To lead the development of expanded or new commercial activity.
• To create, agree and implement business and resource plans.
• To evaluate achievement against business plans and service strategies.
• To lead and input into performance development and management through, including through the University’s P&DR and ECDP processes.
• Membership of Clinical Services Board, appointment and review committees.
• To ensure compliance with University codes of practice and legal obligations, including Health and Safety.

Planning and Organising
• Lead the budget planning process to ensure delivery of agreed outputs.
• Review performance of clinical activity, compare to best practice in the sector and implement improvements in practices, policies and organisational management.
• Lead Clinical Services commercial strategic planning.
• Effective organisational skills: lead, project plan and manage a large number of separate initiatives, including business plan(s), performance reports, including either directly managing resources or ensuring others adhere to timescales and standards.

Decision Making
• Member of School Executive and Clinical Services Board.
• Providing leadership, guidance and advice for School and College management on strategic commercial matters within the remit.
• Prioritising according to importance, interest and deadline of all tasks.
• Providing overall commercial strategy for an expected expansion of service delivery.
• Responsible for budgetary decisions, in partnership with senior colleagues, and for the effective management of resources.

Internal/External Relationships

• Head of School, Head of College Finance, University Director of Finance and other senior staff for exchange of information and advice and input into strategy.
• BVMS programme leader to ensure coordinated management of staff delivering clinical service and clinical teaching.
• Cascaded line management of all support staff aligned to clinical service activity. 
• Heads of Division regarding clinical and management aspects of the service.
• Clinical staff and scholars to advise and motivate.
• All of the above stakeholders in order to influence and encourage involvement in the commercialisation process and to effect behavioural and cultural change in the academic community.

• Referring practices to ensure a pipeline of case material and income.
• Funding sources to maximise clinical research funding for the related clinical activity.
• External bodies to develop and maintain collaborative partnerships in clinical area.
• Corporate entities to maximise collaborative opportunities.

Standard Terms & Conditions

A competitive senior salary will be offered.
New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.
The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.

You should make your application by emailing your CV and covering letter, by 16 August 2019, to Ben Westcott, Senior Associate, Compass Associate

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