Continuous Improvement Manager

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Date: Nov 25, 2022

Location: High Point, NC, US

Company: AkzoNobel

We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.

Job Purpose

Your role as the Continuous Improvement Manager (CIM) is responsible for championing, developing and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement (CI) and Subject Matter Expert in methodologies/activities (Lean, Six Sigma, ALPS) across all areas of multiple sites with a strong focus on manufacturing and operations. 
You will work to define, prepare waste and loss analysis to coach and execute projects, in line with business needs and project (DMAIC/PDCA) and team management methods and techniques, in order to deliver projects according to objectives. Train, coach, support, Lead Practitioners, Advanced Practitioners, Practitioners and Sponsors. 
Also, as the CIM, you train and develop Site Leaders in the CI Curriculum and in use/execution of Lean Tools, Process Confirmation, Gemba Walks, Coaching the coach, and Root Cause Analysis.

Key Responsibilities

• Delivers projects (DMAIC) and products within the appropriate timeframe, budget, and defined project standards and objectives
• Measured on project team engagement, development, and enablement
• Handles all monthly T4 Reports (ALPS, CI Project status, etc.)
• Ensures high quality and easy accessibility of CIM network (relations management)
• Measured on number of trained Lead Practitioners, Advanced Practitioners, Practitioners, and Sponsors
• Manages the CI Specialist
• Measured on internal customer satisfaction

Key Activities

• Project Initiation (Improvement Projects) : Identify and analyze movement needs in a strong relation with the Site Director, stakeholders, and linkages to other project scope and objectives with Sponsor.
• Project scope and objectives must be clear, attainable, and approved by the Sponsor.
• Project Plan : Formulate the project plan, determine the budget and required resources, clarify role and involvement level of team members and acquire approval from Sponsor.
• Project plan, budget and required resources must be approved, clearly understood and direct project activities.
• Project Execution : Coach and coordinate with project leads to monitor and drive project activities, toll gate reviews, manage project risks, issues, changes and resources and take corrective actions 
when necessary.
• Timely delivery of milestones.
• Project Delivery & Closure : Evaluate and close project, identify and analyze lessons learned, archive project documents and hand over project to process owner and/or line manager.
• Completion of project objectives, realization of deliverables, continuous improvement of project management skills and acceptance of end product by Sponsor/process owner.
• Build Organizational Capabilities : Develop and expand local capabilities in applying continuous improvement tools and methods and promote a structure problem solving approach. Train and coach 
Lead/Advanced Practitioners, Sponsors. Train and develop Site Leaders in the CI curriculum and in use/exécution of Lean Tools, Process Confirmation, Gemba Walks, Coaching the coach, and Root 
Cause Analysis.
• Measured by capable and engaged project teams and process owners. Capable Site Leaders in coaching and developing employees.
• Site Performance : Support and challenge the workforce and local MT in direction setting, prioritization (timing, resources, and sequence of actions) and implementation of improvement 
• Improving KPI’s.
• Improvement Portfolio Management : Identify, validate, initiate, and drive new improvement opportunities, manage the improvement project funnel. Run own improvement projects delivering 
value to the organization.
• Project scope and objectives are clear, attainable, and approved by the Sponsor.
• ALPS Deployment : Lead/support the local ALPS implementation and maintenance Network within the AkzoNobel CI Community.
• Sustainable framework for improvements transferring insights and best practices.

Job Requirements

• 8-10 years of relevant work experience (operations, production, maintenance, logistics, (process) engineering, continuous improvement, etc.) 
• Bachelor degree required (technical, business, engineering, or chemistry preferred)  
• CI Expert with 6+ years of experience in continuous improvement methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma, TPM
• Excellent communication, interpersonal and coaching skills, influencing, entrepreneurship, result oriented, negotiation, content experience
• Project management capabilities (DMAIC/Lean)
• Very good and relevant language skills
• Experience in different business units/disciplines/region preferred
• Strong change agent at both management and shop floor levels
• Broad and/or specialized knowledge of the own functional discipline, strategy, policies, and standards

Level of Autonomy

• High degree of autonomy for executing projects from start to finish and will decide which information and/or decisions needs to be brought to the attention of the site management team. 
• Makes decisions based on budget and financial spend / assist in Capital expenditures and process work.


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AkzoNobel is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with applicable laws, we prohibit discrimination against any applicant or employee based on any legally-recognized basis, including, but not limited to: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, lactation, childbirth or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, genetic information (including testing and characteristics), veteran status, uniformed servicemember status or any other status protected by federal, state or local law.

Requisition ID: 25267