Lean Operational Excellence Team Expert,

United States, Illinois, Waukegan

Business unit: Wood Coatings

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, with leading market positions and brands in countries around the world. We operate in a number of important market segments ranging from buildings and infrastructure to transport, industrial and consumer goods. We’re also the sector leader in sustainability and are number one in the renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In practical terms, that means our sustainable solutions are in your lives, and those of your friends and family, every day. We’re the people that make it possible for you to do what you need to do.


Job Context
·         ISC will implement ALPS (AkzoNobel Leading Performance Systems), ensuring company-wide standardized processes, a culture of continuous improvement, process-centric behaviors, AkzoNobel values and required capabilities. ALPS will focus on Manufacturing (work streams: enablers, operations, maintenance, projects, training), Delivery, Procurement, HSE and Engineering
·         ALPS will be Designed by the ISC Center of Expertise, Deployed by the BA organizations and executed (Do) by the sites
·         The position is part of the BA Deployment organization, will focus on a specific ALPS Manufacturing (Delivery) work stream and will be responsible for deployment in a specific part/ BU/ segment of the BA (work stream owner or subject matter expert)
·         The position will be member of a team that visits sites for several weeks in a row to support the sites in implementing the standard processes and culture and in implementing the local continuous improvement program (from local management to shop floor). The position will participate in implementation waves, being on sites for longer periods. This position requires travelling.
·         Sites will have varying maturity levels of processes and desired culture
Key Objectives/Principal Accountabilities
·         Responsible for managing (monitoring, reporting, communication, progress and metrics) the deployment of a specific work stream on the sites in the part/BU/segment according to the plan;
·         Responsible for realizing and contributing to ISC metrics: cost productivity as % of total cost and engagement
·         Responsible for supporting, coaching and training the operational managers and employees on sites
·         Serve as  “owner” of the management of change process for their specific work stream in their team, is responsible for aligning with work stream owners in other teams and for feeding back valuable insights to the COE, coordinate on training of operators & managers in tools and standards
·         Responsible for aligning with experts for other work streams in their team and feeding back valuable insights to the Operational Excellence Team Lead
·         Responsible for participation in and contribution to the following activities: preparation, validation, implementation and monitoring & sustaining the deployment of enabling and manufacturing processes and desired culture on sites in a specific  part/ BU/segment
·         Identify key site personnel, understand site organizational model, prepare site leadership team for project execution and schedule required resources of own team and site team for site project preparation and solution implementation phases
·         Conduct site assessment on current maturity state
·         Conduct shop-floor activity analyses, interviews, data gathering and analysis and compile into improvement opportunities and impact
·         Define gaps and action plan and communicate site opportunities
·         Implement enabling processes, organization and systemic support (a.o. TRACC)
·         Train site ALPS team on manufacturing (delivery) processes
·         Review Site diagnostics using process flows, data etc
·         Identify gaps in required processes
·         Prioritize improvement processes and enablers
·         Build implementation plan
·         Develop plan for providing training to site personnel for improving required skills & knowledge
·         Conduct organization mind & behaviour workshop
·         Develop site critical organizational and behaviour change plan
·         Train site users on relevant processes
·         Implement standards and a continuous improvement program on site
·         Execute the training and behavior change plan
·         Coach and train site management and site team on leading and implementing change
·         Support the changes, coach and modify where applicable
·         Set- the example and go live
·         Hand-over the process to site team, observe and report use of new processes
Monitoring & sustaining:
·         Coach site work stream champions and employees
·         Monitor performance against key metrics and track progress
·         Continue support in optimization implementation, additional training and coaching when required
·         Conduct audits on effectiveness of work processes and leadership behaviours
Additional objectives will be tied to:
·         Delivering key projects in the region for significant performance improvements..
·         Coaching project teams and sites in the effective management of lean and/or green belt type of projects.

Vacancy data


Job characteristics

Closing date

December 31, 2099

Vacancy number



North America


United States





Business unit

Wood Coatings

Job family


Hierarchy level


Full time/part time


Contract type


Job requirements/Candidate profile

·         Sound basis in an operational role e.g. production manager, maintenance manager, site engineering (supply chain planning, logistics)
·         Multiple years of practical experience in some of the following areas: Industrial processes of Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Supply Chain, Program and project management, Organization design, leadership behaviour, and change management
·         Experience in cultural transformation and change
·         Experience in continuous improvement tools such as Lean, Six Sigma or other continuous Improvement methodologies and tools or willingness to be trained in Lean Six Sigma (minimum Brown Belt level)
·         Project management experience
·         BS degree in Technology, Engineering, Chemistry or related experience
·         (In-depth knowledge of ALPS processes and methodologies)
Profile/ competencies:
·         Change mind-set
·         Able to lead workshops and working groups
·         Taking information from real life observations, willing to spend time on the shop-floor
·         Good communication skills, from plant managers to line operators
·         Seen by others as credible, trustworthy, and expert
·         Focused on results
·         Good problem-solving skills, able to identify and structure issues, run accurate analyses and synthesize recommendations
·         Desire to improve existing status
For this role fluent in Spanish is preferred, albeit not required.
Employment at AkzoNobel is contingent upon the successful completion of both pre-employment background checks and drug screening. All candidates hired must be able to provide proper documentation of their eligibility to work in the US.

AkzoNobel is an E-Verify Employer.

AkzoNobel is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans (M/F/D/V).