Continuous Improvement Manager


Indianapolis, IN

Industry: Manufacturing


5 - 7 years

Posted 151 days ago

  by    Joe Szlosek

This job is no longer available.

Our Client is seeking an Operational Excellence Process Manager to actively support their highly complex manufacturing operations. This position does not have direct reports but leads through teams and influence.

This role is located in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate, NY. Relocation assistance is available.

This position will support Value Based Lean Six Sigma (VBLSS) implementation within the value center as a dedicated hands-on expert for disseminating knowledge, project selection and training/coaching for all levels of the organization. They will take a leadership role in Lean initiatives or projects focused on elimination of waste across all centers of excellence.

The OPEX Process Manager is responsible for driving and developing the improvement plans with the other leaders in his/her value center around the applicable lean principles - including manufacturing and transactional processes - to meet or exceed the savings / cost avoidance targets established in the Goal Deployment Plan (GDP). Additionally, they will conduct Lean Leadership Boot Camps (identifying opportunities to reduce waste, inventory and cycle times for the value center) and successfully lead Kaizen events as identified by the individual sites and centers of excellence. Above all, the OPEX Process Manager must fulfill the needs of the company in a manner which is consistent with the company's vision and values.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (Duties are performed throughout every work day as necessary):

- Lead large scale and complex improvement projects within a Value Center, across Value Centers or across management companies and effectively coordinate these projects with the Value Center Champion and other improvement project teams.

- Project leadership includes: identifying opportunities; defining and financially justifying projects; negotiating resources; launching project teams; using good project management to manage team activities; training and coaching of Lean Leader and Black Belt resources assigned to the team; leading teams to execute projects with the problem solving methodology; tracking project status and results; anticipating and removing project barriers; and developing team members.

- Coordinate the Kaizen Schedule, identify projects and activities, validate benefits, recommend resources and team members. Manage the kaizen roadmap (3-6 month schedule of events)

- Identify organizational barriers and recommend solutions to the leadership team.

- Promote "Operational Excellence" through daily passion for continuous improvement and the constant elimination of waste.

- Provide consultation and direction as a subject matter expert on the application of Lean Six Sigma methods to the Champions and Black Belts.

- Participate in project reviews and consult on VBLSS project implementations and managing changes within the larger VBLSS organization.

- Identify potential Black Belts and Lean Leaders and recruit team members into the VBLSS infrastructure.

- Provide necessary training, coaching and consultation to team members to spread the base of Six Sigma Problem Solving tools and Lean principles and their application in project implementations.

- Train Lean Leaders using the company's curriculum and coach/mentor on projects.

- Assess the progress of Lean Leaders during project applications, verify/validate Black Belt-led projects and Kaizen savings, and assess the knowledge and skills of Lean Leaders for certification purposes. 

- Identify implications of Lean project implementation (synergies and breakdowns).

- Ensure two-way open communication throughout the organization for VBLSS. This includes keeping the Champion informed of program status and ensuring coordination of activities with other Black Belts, Lean Leaders, and key stakeholders. Ensure projects are integrated and aligned with other business activities, improvement projects, and business strategy. Communicate best practices and key learning's across the organization.

- Manage the development and maintenance of methods and systems for measuring the degree to which the project goals, objectives and metrics are being met. Provide value center Champion with the results and take corrective project action as required to improve on results below targets.

OTHER DUTIES (Duties are performed periodically, as necessary): 

- Ability to work extended hours as necessary to fulfill responsibilities.

- Must be willing to travel both domestically and internationally.  


- Bachelors Degree preferably in Engineering or Business, or equivalent work experience. 

- Minimum of 5 years of professional level experience in demonstrated process improvement success; proven accomplishments utilizing OPEX and Lean tools/methodologies; Expert in the following OPEX tools: Standard work/Visual Management, Transactional, Value Stream Mapping and Problem Solving. Demonstrated experience driving large scale manufacturing improvement projects with results showing significant evidence of increased productivity and cost savings. Capital improvements related to inventory reduction, waste elimination and cycle times.


- Solid background in manufacturing operations including industrial machinery and equipment, assembly processes and material handling

- Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office including Excel, Outlook, Word and PowerPoint and Access

- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with individuals at all levels within and outside of the company

- Commitment to professional growth and development

- Ability to lead and direct an improvement team

- Ability to demonstrate solid advanced project management and team leadership skills

- Group facilitation and trainer/instructor skills

- Ability to learn and perform statistical analysis

- Analyze and apply basic financial principles for planned activities.

- The candidate should have a desire to gain exposure and interest in learning about the other unit operating functions such as Product Development, Engineering, Quality, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, Human Resources, and Operations. 

*Minimum Education Requirements

Bachelor's degree