Director of Logistics

Zola Electric Arusha Tanzania Supply Chain

Company Description

Uncover hidden opportunities to make a global impact. Zola Electric (former Off Grid Electric) is a growth-stage start up that’s on track to light a million homes in Africa over the next couple of years with clean, affordable solar energyAt the heart of our business is innovative solutions that delight our customers. We are looking for a Director Logistics and Manufacturing to support our growth strategy in Africa, changing the lives of millions with our innovative products.

This may be your dream job if you’re someone who dreams of combining your knowledge and skills enabling Zola Electric to change the renewable energy landscape. You’ll also need to be passionate about bringing solar energy to off-grid and other underserved markets (billions of people around the world) with the unique social, technical, and business challenges that come along with it. You are inspired by the opportunity to unleash whole continents of human potential, and motivated to help build a truly epic business.

Zola Electric, through its consumer brand Zola, combines Silicon Valley technology with local expertise to offer African homes and businesses a long-term solar solution to an unreliable grid. Adaptable to both energy needs and income, Zola Electric’s solution can be bought over time through a leasing structure. The first few watts starts a chain reaction that enables people to achieve commonly held aspirations: security, education, access to information, and a longer and more efficient day.

Today, Zola Electric powers more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Tanzania, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire. Zola Electric’s investors include: Tesla, Vulcan Capital, DBL Partners, The Packard Foundation, Helios Investment Partners, and responsibility. Zola Electric is the recipient of the 2016 UN Momentum for Change Award, Zayed Future Energy Prize, and the 2015 Global Cleantech 100. For more information, visit


The Director of Logistics reports to the Vice President of Supply Chain and threads the needle among our Country Operations, Engineering and Manufacturing teams.  ensuring a healthy and successful partnership among manufacturing, logistics, sales and service. With a strong focus on the intricacies of logistics and distribution, designing for excellence will ensure that our energy systems and accessories serve our customers’ needs every day.

This position is a key member of the Logistics and Country Operations team and will work closely with our Logistics and Supply Chain teams during the development phase of our products to define the logistics and last mile requirements while maintaining a clear focus on preparing these products for low rate and high volume production into our manufacturing facilities and internal operations.  Some of the day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Create and manage policies, procedures, systems and controls for effective logistics operations.
  • Create and guide kitting and manufacturing processes in large warehouses across Africa with a keen eye on tight inventory management, 5S, continuous improvement and Lean principles.
  • Manage the global repair operations network in Africa.
  • Support continuous improvement by developing and deploying balanced scorecards used to optimize repair quality, service levels and warranty cost.
  • Implement formal root cause and correction action programs as required.
  • Develop financial models to drive lower costs. Must be able to understand the cost drivers and develop strategies to minimize the true cost of service and repair.
  • Oversee and manage logistics operations including distributors, transportation and distribution systems and procedures to ensure efficient and economical delivery of products
  • Oversee inventory controls and material accuracy; create sound security policies and procedures consistent with good accounting and distribution practice.
  • Establish and measures KPIs, apply statistical methods and drive performance for on-time delivery, shipping, warehouse inventory management and product quality.
  • Plan and oversee development of staff through appropriate training, education and coaching.
  • Manage the creation and maintenance of production level documents such as test procedures, work instructions and quality requirements.
  • Define data collection points, data collection methods and reporting of results.
  • Plan production floor and manufacturing layout for new products.
  • Develop and maintain processes and documents structure required for compliance in African specific countries and international customs agencies, laws and regulations.
  • Participate in proposals and program design reviews ensuring product is designed for manufacturability.
  • Applying knowledge of incoterms, international trade, and logistic requirements to ensure proper clearing of products at international ports.
  • Optimize transportation mode usage and resultant costs.
  • Network layout and management – determination of the optimal number, size and location(s) of facilities such as distribution centers, cross docks, etc.
  • Evaluate, select, and negotiate logistics providers.
  • Partner with IT and Ops as we deploy a new ERP across regions.
  • Assist in development of an annual budget and ensure that departmental expenses are within budget.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate performance metrics and utilize them for managing performance, safety, quality and cost.


Ideally, the candidate will have solar industry experience with the ability to make quick decisions based on quantitative and qualitative analysis.

  • Bsc/Msc in Industrial, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering or equivalent
  • A minimum of 10 years related logistics, inventory management, quality and manufacturing experience.
  • Experience defining and driving a logistics and distribution strategy – including metric definition, alternative testing methodologies are extremely important.
  • Demonstrating a sense of urgency is essential. This position requires a hands-on, problem-solving, multitasking team member who has a strong understanding of logistics, quality and supply chain management.
  • Ability to clearly communicate and present status, action, recommendations, and other technical information at all levels. 
  • Ability to build strong relationships with, and influence supplier, logistics and sales personnel.
  • Hold a high level of proficiency in managing a last mile logistics in regions with poor infrastructure, with particular expertise in African geographies.
  • Knowledge of electrical / electronic testing and electro-mechanical assembly.
  • Technical knowledge of solar modules, batteries, energy storage and LEDs a plus.
  • Knowledge of lean manufacturing techniques.
  • Strong analytical skills with ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
  • Experience in implementing Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality systems.
  • High integrity, a strong work ethic and be a self-starter as well as have the ability to juggle multiple projects.

Other information

Let’s Connect

Are you interested in this position and join our team in Arusha, Tanzania, let’s connect and send your resume via our career page. Applications that include a resume / curriculum vitae have preference.


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Data Privacy Notice
Zola Electric believes strongly in protecting the privacy of the personal data you provide to us. We also believe it is important to inform you about how we will use your personal data. This document explains how we may process your personal data and the rights you have in this respect. Therefore, we encourage you to read this Privacy Notice carefully.

Scope of this Privacy Notice
This Privacy Notice applies to all personal data of applicants processed by Zola Electric in connection with our recruitment process.

About Zola Electric’s recruitment process
You may apply for a position within Zola Electric anywhere in the world via our online recruitment application system. By means of this recruitment system you may create a profile and apply for a specific vacancy. Via the use of this application and submission of related information, you may provide personal data to Zola Electric in connection with the recruiting process. We may process personal data for recruitment purposes including organizing selection procedures and manage applications.

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  • As well, in some countries, including US, we may ask for information such as gender, race and ethnicity for the purposes of monitoring equal opportunity.

Third parties
Your personal data will be processed and stored by a Zola Electric trusted third party partner, Cezanne HR. Cezanne HR is involved in providing and facilitating the recruitment process, such as website hosting, data analysis, information technology and related infrastructure provision, customer service, email delivery, auditing and other services. Any other disclosures to third parties will only be made when required by law. Cezanne HR is a configurable, cost-effective and GDPR-compliant human resource software system.

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Gert Jan van Sluis

Director Human Capital
Zola Electric

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