Operations Associate

Instrumental is looking for an Operations Associate to help support our rapidly growing global operations team in Palo Alto, CA and Shenzhen, China.  Operations is the customer facing, action-oriented backbone of Instrumental, handling everything from overseeing our logistics and global supply chain to implementation of our systems in factories across the globe and interfacing with executives and key stakeholders at our client companies and their manufacturing partners. You’ll contribute in several main ways: 

  • Prepare and execute system deployments, directly overseeing implementation of our system at our customers’ global factories, primarily in China, but also in the US, Mexico, and countries across Europe and Asia Pacific
  • Oversee the day-to-day operational status of our deployed systems in conjunction with our engineering team
  • Use our software, and its powerful machine learning tools, to analyze customer data, perform data analysis, and compile and curate this into actionable content for key stakeholders
  • Interface with executives from Fortune 50 companies and contract manufacturers in order to understand and resolve their critical issues
  • Help craft strategy on how to scale our global team in order to support rapid growth
  • Travel to cool places!


Let’s talk if...: 
  • You are proficient in Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) - spoken, written, and reading - this is a requirement for the role!
  • You’re a natural problem solver who enjoys a challenge
  • You are adept at evaluating and mitigating risk, particularly in the context of a rapidly iterated global supply chain and logistical process
  • You’re biased towards action - you know what needs to get done, how to prioritize tasks and you take initiative where appropriate 
  • You take pride in your work and you care about details
  • You communicate well with all types of people, especially key stakeholders and customers (bonus points if you have customer service experience)
  • You have a valid Passport with an eagerness to use it, as this role may require travel up to 30% of the time; must be Chinese visa-eligible, though you don’t need to possess one to apply


In the first month, success looks like:
  • Using the Instrumental software everyday to learn how to comb through inspection data for anomalies and quality issues
  • Maintaining close communication channels with key stakeholders at factories to make sure our system is running smoothly and inspections are of high quality
  • Learning how we deploy our stations to our customers from sales hand off through implementation
  • Taking over ownership of our supply chain, logistics and inventory system, tracking and replenishing inventory as we build units, owning customs and freight forwarding process, and finding ways to improve our current system
  • Learning how we manufacture our hardware and occasionally helping us to do so (this is mostly outsourced these days but sometimes we still need to do this ourselves)
  • Supporting the rest of the global operations team on system deployments to learn the ropes 

After that, we’ll let you take the reins. By months 3 to 6 you’ll be:
  • Owning the deployment process for your own portfolio of customers
  • Actively combing through customer data to identify and track anomalies - making a difference in their builds!
  • Crafting content and analysis in the form of powerpoints and excel spreadsheets to detail a range of metrics on customer’s manufacturing and build data
  • Providing product demonstrations and app tutorials, and creating new training materials for key stakeholders and their engineering teams
  • Working with the engineering team to help craft and implement new product features
  • Working directly with sales and engineering teams to help to scale operational functionality to support company growth
  • Owning supply chain, logistics and inventory system.  Scoping out and implementing new, better systems, if appropriate

Nice to haves:
  • Background in data analytics and content creation
  • Customer service experience, whether that’s from a job, volunteer work, etc.
  • Experience working with a global supply chain and managing a range of cross-functional logistical processes
  • Work and/or living experience in China
  • Interest in manufacturing or how things are made
  • Ability to speak Spanish or Japanese (in addition to Mandarin) 

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