Manager of Production Planning: Cradles to Crayons


Opportunity:                    Full-time Position at Cradles to Crayons

Department:                     Operations

Title:                                    Manager of Production Planning

FLSA Status:                      Exempt

Reports to:                        Associate Director of Operations

Location:                            Philadelphia, PA


About Cradles to Crayons:

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play. C2C is at the cutting edge of volunteer management, and through its “Giving Factory” provides unique, hands-on opportunities for people to help other people. Headquartered in Boston, MA, C2C opened in Philadelphia in 2007 and in Chicago in 2016.

How Our Model Works: Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children’s items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. C2C supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

Cradles to Crayons meets a critical need as many children 12 years old and younger live in low-income and/or homeless situations. These living conditions can have negative effects on self-esteem as poverty can lead to increased social and emotional behavioral challenges; it impacts early education since half of children living in poverty start 1st grade up to 2 years developmentally behind their peers; and safety may be compromised as children living in poverty have increased risk of injury.

While meeting the immediate needs of low-income children, Cradles to Crayons also sets a foundation for lasting change by providing meaningful, tangible volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals and families and hundreds of corporations each year by organizing clothing collections, hosting fundraisers, or working in the “Giving Factory” warehouse.

Cradles to Crayons earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator for several consecutive years. Only 2% of charities rated have received this distinction, differentiating C2C from its peers, exemplifying the high standard of service at C2C, and indicating that C2C outperforms most other charities in America.


Reporting to the Associate Director of Operations, the Manager of Production Planning (Manager) is a results-oriented leader who brings a balance of operational excellence, a strong management capability, superior communication skills and a can-do attitude. The Manager oversees the day to day activities in the “Giving Factory”, ensuring an efficient production schedule as well as cultivating a safe and engaging environment for volunteers. As volunteers and staff are the engine that power Cradles to Crayons, the Manager will make it a priority to ensure that projects and workflow are planned and executed in a manner that provides an exceptional volunteer and staff experience.

The ideal candidate will have to demonstrate the ability to work closely with all departments to create a daily and weekly volunteer and production schedule that matches production requirements to fulfill demand. This schedule will encompass planning to match production needs with available staff and inventory. In addition, the Manager is responsible for strategically engaging individual and group volunteers in appropriate volunteer activities within the Giving Factory and Giving Factory@Home and to recommend adjustments based on volunteer feedback.

This position is accountable for the planning, preparation and performance of the facility, its processes, team members and volunteers. The manager will ensure the Giving Factory always provides a safe and customer-focused appearance, while producing every day essential items in an efficient and quality driven manner. This also includes overseeing the logistical support of the organization including but not limited to inventory tracking, supply ordering and overall maintenance and safety of the workplace (both warehouse and office spaces).

Additionally, the Manager will support the Associate Director of Operations to oversee the master plan and schedule for the organization to ensure that all departments are working in conjunction and on schedule to support the seasonal initiatives. Exceptionally strong communication skills, drive, high energy level and problem-solving abilities will be critical for the success of this individual.


  • Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.
  • As directed by the Associate Director of Operations, monitor the overall day-to-day operations of the Giving Factory and maintain the Operations Calendar to ensure efficient scheduling of all cross-functional activity.
  • Manage the Volunteer Calendar to create a daily and weekly production plan that matches product requirements to fulfill partner demand and optimizes production.

·        Assess product demand, staffing and volunteer capacities to optimize production outputs.

  • Ensure the proper scheduling and output of volunteer leaders and volunteers to maximize operational efficiency, minimize waste and support the most efficient output of KidPacks and other essential items.
  • Manage and implement new policies and procedure changes that directly affect the Giving Factory and ensure functionality and standardization.

·        Optimize storage space, both within the Giving Factory and off-site, and coordinate replenishment of inventory, based on order demand profiles.

  • Collaborate with Development team to meet organizational goals and service levels.
  • Oversight of the maintenance and appearance of warehouse facilities, including Covid-19 cleaning protocols, supplies, trash removal, routine cleaning and movement and tracking of inventory.

·        Understand the resources required to maintain federal, state and local OSHA requirements and other functions of the operation requiring formal certification.

·        Receive gently used donations as outlined in the Material Handling Policy.

·        Assist the Associate Director of Operations with the physical changes and upkeep needed to create and maintain a safe and socially distant Giving Factory.

Team management

  • Direct and manage the Group Volunteer Leaders, Production Assistants, and Warehouse Logistics Coordinator.
  • Attract, retain, and encourage individual professional development of team by leading appropriate training, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Manage weekly team meetings and one on one meetings with team members.
  • Represent the Operations team on cross-functional meetings and provide updates on logistics that will affect the team.

Volunteer engagement

  • Responsible for creating a positive and professional impression of the Giving Factory for visitors, partners, and volunteers, providing them with a meaningful and fun experience.
  • Develop and implement a volunteer recruitment and retention plan, including advancing the Giving Factory @Home program.
  • Provide and informative and compelling orientation at the start of every volunteer shift and lead volunteer engagement in every aspect of the Giving Factory.
  • Manage volunteer relations for signature events such as Ready for Learning and UnGala.
  • Customize volunteer experience to respond to group needs, C2C strategies, and to reflect the ages and abilities of volunteers.
  • Report on volunteer metrics against goals to National Impact Team.

Operations and production

  • Assist with the logistics of special events impacting the warehouse including but not limited to: Gear Up for Winter, Ready for Learning, and Un-Gala.

·        Coordinate with nationally selected vendors and negotiate local service-based contracts with outside businesses to support the warehouse functions.

·        Perform the duties needed to run the General Sort, Clothing Sort, Sizing, Outfits, Books, Shoes, SUP, Kitting and Toys stations.

·        Assist in loading vehicles designated for delivery of Everyday and Emergency requests.

·        Unload pallets of incoming donations and purchases from delivery trucks.

·        Perform cleaning and sanitizing duties as directed.

·        Perform other warehouse, inventory, receiving and distribution tasks.

·        Drive the truck and van as needed.

other responsibilities

·        Responsible for establishing and maintaining effective communication and coordination with other employees, distribution partners, volunteers, and visitors.

·        Always work in a safe manner and contribute to providing a safe and secure environment for other employees and volunteers.

·        Complete special projects and miscellaneous assignments as required.

·        Work evening and weekend hours, as necessary. Provide coverage for the Associate Director of Operations when necessary.

Performance measures:

·        Successful execution of above responsibilities.

·        Timely production schedules produced and met on a regular basis.

·        Orders are processed in full and on time.

·        Volunteers are utilized efficiently, and recruitment and retention goals are achieved.

·        Adhere to and understand budgetary requirements.

·        Successful completion of annual priority goals relative to C2C’s annual priorities as determined with supervisor in Performance Evaluation Process.

·        Good communication exists with co-workers and volunteers.

Required Experience/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

·        3-5 years of supervisory experience in a production, retail, or hospitality environment.

·        Bachelor’s degree in operations management, logistics, hospitality preferred.

·        Strong leadership and communication skills.

·        Excellent organizational skills, with strong attention to detail.

·        Proven track record of maintaining a production schedule.

·        Strong project management and analytical skills.

·        Retail, warehouse experience a plus.

·        Must speak fluent English.

·        Must have a clean, active driving license.

·        Ability to work “retail schedule” which include several weekends and occasional nights.

  • Ability to walk up and down stairs, bend down, reach, push and pull and lift up to 30 lbs.


Diversity and Inclusiveness are core values at Cradles to Crayons, and we continuously strive to be a team where everyone feels welcome and supported. It is the policy of Cradles to Crayons to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. Individuals from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Working Conditions:

This is a warehouse environment and normal changes in temperature are to be expected while working inside the warehouse or outside, on or around the loading dock. There are no hazardous or significantly unpleasant conditions.


In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made by Cradles to Crayons which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others, or which impose undue hardships on the organization.