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Supplier Quality Assurance Manager

Production and Supply Chain · Seattle, Washington

First Mode is a creative engineering company solving the toughest problems on and off the planet, with the goal of having an outsized impact on the world around us. We build the barely possible.  

From our state-of-the-art manufacturing and production facilities in Seattle and Perth, we design and deliver resilient, reliable solutions for the most demanding and constrained frontiers in existence. In the last year our engineers built a 2MW hydrogen fuel cell and battery powerplant to retrofit a three-story, 300-metric-ton-capacity diesel haul truck; designed the power source and refueling system for the world’s first endurance race vehicle to be powered by liquid hydrogen; and delivered spaceflight hardware headed 370 million kilometers from Earth to asteroid 16 Psyche. 

While each project is unique, we typically meld together robotics, automation, systems engineering, modeling and simulation, and advanced fabrication to create a new future across many industries. If you have exceptional talent and a vision for the future, we want to talk. 

First Mode is seeking to grow its skillset in supply chain and production. As a member of the team, with broad experience in supply chain qualification and acceptance sign off with a thorough knowledge of Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), the Supplier Quality Assurance Manager will be a pivotal role in the error proofing function of the hardware procurement group.

Position Responsibilities

  • Lead Supplier Audits developing approved supplier lists with active reflection of supplier core competencies directing internal down selection activities for supplier sub contracts 
  • Drive efficiency and cost downs utilizing Lean, Statistical Process Control, and Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) tools at supplier factories 
  • Lead vendors and in-house teams to systematic problem solving and closure for any failure or near failure anomaly board / problem control board 
  • Develop and execute Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) or Qualification Campaigns for documented approval of Supply Chain New Product Introductions  
  • Deliver results as measured by key metrics, such as supplier OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), OTD (On Time Delivery), SCAR (Supplier Corrective Action Request), and VA/VE (Value Added / Value Engineered) improvements 
  • Manage and track supplier/engineering design changes and impact closure on capacity studies and New Product Introductions, and transfers (when to re-Qualify or re-PPAP)

Basic Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in supplier quality assurance 
  • Bachelors in engineering, business, supply chain management, related discipline and/or equivalent experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • 7+ years experience in supplier quality assurance 
  • Experience in Design Engineering, Quality, and/or Manufacturing Engineering 
  • Experience developing supply chain business processes from first principles 
  • Experience developing integrated QMS/ERP systems 
  • Proven experience in developing suppliers or launching products in often ambiguous development cycles 
  • Knowledge of quality standards, certifications, and processes and when to standardize versus spin off 
  • Understanding and interpretation of engineering drawings 
  • Understanding of manufacturing, material flow, process change, and quality processes 
  • Strong problem-solving, communication and data analytics skills 

Additional Requirements

  • Must be willing to travel within the United States and internationally to represent First Mode to its customers, vendors and partners (up to 30%)


  • This position will be located at First Mode’s headquarters in Seattle, WA and will be required to work in office >60% of working hours


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here. 

Benefits & Perks

  • Competitive compensation and bonus structure
  • 100% employer-paid health insurance (medical, dental, vision)
  • Flexible PTO with 12 week supplementary paid parental leave
  • 401(k) retirement account with a discretionary employer match
  • Commuter benefits (parking and public transportation)
  • A culture that encourages professional growth with learning and development reimbursements
  • Open and collaborative workspaces with free office snacks and lunches
  • Hybrid work model


First Mode is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with First Mode is governed on the basis of merit, competence, and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.