Director Supply Chain Engineering


Merchants Distributors, LLC. (MDI) is a wholesale grocery distributor with annual sales of approximately $1.8 billion. The company, headquartered in Hickory, NC, provides wholesale services and distributes products to over 450 retail stores, including independent retailers and regional supermarket companies.

Merchants Distributors, LLC. is a subsidiary of Alex Lee, Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in North Carolina with annual revenues that exceed $2.2 billion.  In addition to MDI, Alex Lee also operates Lowes Foods, a 90+ store supermarket chain that operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.  For more information, please visit


The Director Supply Chain Engineering will report directly to the Sr. Vice President of Distribution.


The Director Supply Chain Engineering will be responsible for leading continuous improvement in all areas of distribution including warehousing and transportation, in addition to any and all processes or business changes to reduce operating costs and promulgate a lean mindset in every aspect of operations. This individual will oversee project tracking and project audits as well as coordinate with the Director of Loss Prevention and Food Safety and Director of Facilities Engineering to ensure compliance with FSMA and all Federal and state regulations plus SQF certification.

Other specific responsibilities include, but may not necessarily be limited to, the following:

  • Provide leadership and appropriate change management techniques to develop, evaluate, and implement process and operations projects to enhance the performance and effectiveness of MDI.
  • Work closely, and communicate clearly and effectively, with all stakeholders including employees, work teams, management, vendors, and customers to evaluate, plan, and ensure the implementation of “Best Practice” logistics and efficient and effective systems in warehouse and transportation operations in order to improve customer service and lower operating costs.
  • Identify solutions for distribution applications and assure appropriate use of industry specific technologies and automation to maximize performance in lowering production costs, optimizing throughput quality of service and KPI measures to meet corporate and customer requirements.
  • Optimize the use of warehouse processes, facility layout, materials, workforce, and equipment by identifying and eliminating waste and improving operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Experience using work study techniques to gauge and assess labor hours, cycle time, motion, methods, and speed involved in performance of maintenance, production, and other worker operations to establish standard production rate and to improve efficiency.
  • Observe workers operating equipment and performing tasks to determine time involved and fatigue rate, using sanctioned equipment and standards.
  • Recommend revision of methods of operation or material handling alterations in equipment layout or other changes to increase production and ergonomics, or improve standards through bottleneck and material flow analysis, sequence of operations, and process flow improvements.
  • Provide comprehensive data analysis and share findings via presentations, charts, graphs, and diagrams to illustrate workflow, routing, floor layouts, material handling, and machine utilization.
  • Provide guidance and recommendations to aid in employee training and training material content, in addition to planning work assignments in accordance with worker performance, machine capacity, production schedules, and anticipated delays.
  • Analyze and report the key QOS measures as well as KPIs and other operational metrics to ensure corporate goals are met or exceeded.
  • Develop industry relationships with vendors, suppliers, and service providers to ensure the best use of distribution, logistics, and system resources.
  • Coordinate with Directors of Loss Prevention/Food Safety and Facilities Engineering to ensure compliance with FSMA and all Federal and state regulations plus SQF certification requirements.
  • Ensure that all SOPs are in compliance with all employee training, safety, and security programs, policies, and practices.


  • Seven – ten years of related experience in industrial or mechanical engineering; minimum of three years of experience as industrial engineer.
  • Significant understanding and experience with lean manufacturing principles, change management, and driving cultural change within a complex organization.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex documents as well as apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations.
  • Able to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation of techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.
  • Ability to build customer and employee centric relationships and work in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of FSMA, food safety and security, HCAAP, and OSHA.
  • Bi-lingual in Spanish and English preferred.
  • Bachelors degree in Industrial or Mechanical Engineering.


Commensurate with experience and includes a competitive base salary, bonus, benefits, and relocation assistance.

For additional information contact