Operational Excellence Expert,

Netherlands, Gelderland, Arnhem

Business unit: Corporate Integrated Supply Chain

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.


Drive the implementation of important efficiency and standardization programs for our sites worldwide

AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business area encompasses a spectrum of chemicals expertise that is integral to a number of industries and high profile customers. Our rigorous approach to quality and our innovative and sustainable technologies have enabled us to achieve a leadership position in many markets worldwide. The chemicals and process aids we produce improve the properties of countless everyday items including foods, paints, detergents, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paper, and electronics.

AkzoNobel is currently implementing ALPS (AkzoNobel Leading Performance Systems), ensuring company-wide standardized processes, a culture of continuous improvement, process-centric behaviors, AkzoNobel values and required capabilities. Within our Business Area Specialty Chemicals this is with particular focus on the Variable Manufacturing Cost area, as we design and deploy methods and (IM) tools to support reduction in raw materials and energy consumption.
Within this context, your mission in this role is to drive the implementation of ALPS across the business area. (In-depth knowledge of ALPS processes and methodologies will be part of your training). As such, this is an exciting opportunity for someone with a change and improvement mindset and a real passion for excellence. The position also offers considerable possibilities for further development in terms of education and career advancement.

Is this a challenge that matches your ambitions as results focused leader, able to challenge and influence others and get things done independently of line management? Do you have the skills necessary to derive information from real life observations? Can you communicate with everyone, from plant managers to shop floor line operators and act as a credible and trustworthy expert? Above all, can you make a real difference within our dynamic, multinational and multicultural business environment?
If you offer all this and more, we invite you to apply for the position of

Operational Excellence Expert

The role and its responsibilities
This role can be based at one of our sites in the Netherlands, but it is also possible to be based at home as you will travel for approximately 75-80% of your time to our manufacturing sites. This includes intercontinental travel, in that case you will be away from home for 2,5 weeks in a row.

Your core focus is to support our manufacturing sites as we aim to reduce raw materials and energy consumption. This requires you to assess the current state at sites, then develop and agree with the site a deployment plan for the ALPS work processes, methods and tools.

You are then responsible for supporting the deployment of the relevant work processes, tools and methods on the site according to the plan. You bring in the knowledge and you use your influencing and motivational skills to create acceptance and enthusiasm for the new way of working. You train and coach the people on site in their roles in the process and on the methods and tools. You support the site team with your change leadership skills to bring about the change and make it sustainable.

This is a role with long-term impact and influence in which you will gain broad operational excellence and change leadership experience in different countries and cultures. You will also get to know many of the AkzoNobel sites and processes. Thus, depending on performance, you will be ideally positioned for future (senior) technology roles, production/plant management or continuous improvement positions.

Vacancy data


Job characteristics

Closing date

April 30, 2017

Vacancy number










Business unit

Corporate Integrated Supply Chain

Sub business unit

BA Specialty Chemicals Operations

Job family


Hierarchy level


Full time/part time


Contract type


Job requirements/Candidate profile

Candidate profile
To apply for this position you must possess all the following attributes:
• Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Technology, Engineering or a similar discipline and at least three years of experience as a process engineer in the process industry;
• Ideally you have experience in continuous improvement tools such as Lean, Six Sigma or other Continuous Improvement methodologies and tools;
• Able to lead workshops and working groups;
• Able to see the bigger picture yet dive into the details where appropriate;
• Powerful problem-solving skills and the ability to identify and structure issues, run accurate analyses and synthesize recommendations;
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including good written and spoken English.
Application details
For further information, please contact CoE Talent Resourcing, tel. +31 (0)88-010 6789, option 2. Only online applications will be accepted, please go to, reference 170001K6 or use the ‘apply’ link.
A pre-employment screening may form part of the application process.
Agency or sales calls are not appreciated