Continuous Improvement Manager – Paints & Coatings,

United States, Ohio, Columbus

Business unit: Metal 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.


AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more livable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Sikkens, International, Interpon, Eka and Chemcraft.
In North America, 4,500 employees work at more than 50 locations to support the Performance Coatings and Specialty Chemicals Business Areas. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do
We’re a leading supplier of performance coatings with strong product technologies and brands. Our high-quality products are used by customers across the world to protect and enhance everything from ships, cars, aircraft, yachts and architectural components (structural steel, building products, flooring) to consumer goods (mobile devices, appliances, beverage cans, furniture) and oil and gas facilities. Major brands include Awlgrip, International, Interpon and Sikkens.
Our Metal Coatings Business Unit is the leading supplier of coil and extrusion coatings used in metal construction, appliance and automotive components, and a major supplier of advanced packaging coatings and inks. Our Coil and Extrusion Coatings business occupies a number one global position and enjoys strong relationships with top tier customers. Our Packaging Coatings business also leads globally in coatings for the inside of beverage containers
The Continuous Improvement Manager (CIM) role is responsible for championing, developing and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement (CI) and knowledge about related methodologies/ activities (Lean, Six Sigma, ALPS) across all areas of the site with a strong focus on manufacturing and operations. The end-purpose is to improve the real result key performance indicators (Safety, OTIF, cost, material efficiency, quality, and inventories) of the site. The CIM is actively involved in setting up and establishing a support structure to develop CI capabilities and mindset with guidance from central ISC - thus acting as an agent for culture change. This role personifies the Lean Six Sigma (L6S) capabilities and way of solving problems, making decisions and setting standards. This is a position that reports into the Site/ Plant Manager and is part of the local MT. As such the role aligns with the specific local requirements and priorities and acts effectively and autonomously to support the operational performance in terms of quality, cost, delivery, HSE and people development. A multi-week training program (CI Expert capabilities) as well as continued coaching by and support from central ISC is provided.
Help site manager to:
1. Build organizational capabilities
2. Improve site performance
3. Drive and manage the improvement portfolio
4. Lead and support the LEAN (ALPS) deployment on site
  Build organizational capabilities
·         Champion, develop and sustain a culture of continuous improvement (CI) and knowledge about related methodologies/ activities (Lean, Six Sigma, ALPS) across all areas of the site with a strong focus on manufacturing and operations
·         Develop and expand local capabilities in applying continuous improvement tools and methods (Lean, Six Sigma) and promote a structured problem-solving approach. Inject passion for this activity by providing a vision and direction for the future development and performance of the site.
·         Deploy and sustain the ALPS capability and improvement program including a coaching support structure to drive CI initiatives and ensure sustainability of improvements
·         Champions deployment of change management processes and tools to realize the business strategic objectives.
·         Coach Advanced and Lead Practitioners and local staff/MT on site and give reinforcement training on selected topics
Improve Site Performance
·         Support and challenge the workforce and local MT in direction setting, prioritization (timing, resources, and sequence of actions) and implementation of improvement activities to best achieve the targets for the key performance indicators of the yearly site improvement plan. This includes the organizational and strategic deployment throughout the site.
·         Review the ALPS operating framework (goals & targets, KPIs, operating processes, people) to ensure compliance with corporate and BA requirements and highlight to the site management team areas of concern to agree corrective actions.
·         Contribute to improving the real result key performance indicators (a.o. Safety, OTIF, cost, material efficiency, quality, and inventories) of the site
  Drive and manage the Improvement Portfolio
·         Identify, validate, initiate and drive new improvement opportunities and promote the passion for excellence and delivering on commitments values
·         Manage the improvement project funnel including scoping, project assignment, resource planning, tracking of progress and benefits and controlling sustainability of outcomes
·         Run own improvement projects delivering value to the organization
Lead and support the ALPS deployment on site
·         Lead/ support the local ALPS implementation and build-up of required capabilities and ensure ALPS full and successful implementation and practical application on a daily basis
·         Network within the AkzoNobel CI community and share insights, problems and opportunities to promote improved performance and problem-solving across the company as well as encourage others to do the same

Vacancy data


Job characteristics

Closing date

December 31, 2099

Vacancy number



North America


United States





Business unit

Metal Coatings

Job family


Hierarchy level


Full time/part time


Contract type


Job requirements/Candidate profile

·         10+ years of relevant work experience (operations, production, maintenance, logistics, (process) engineering, continuous improvement, etc.)
·         Bachelor degree (degree related to technical, business or economics fields most applicable). If higher vocational training then longer work experience is required.
·         Strong analysis and problem-solving skills, able to identify and structure issues, run accurate (also statistical) analyses and synthesize recommendations
·         Experience in continuous improvement methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma, TPM
·         Must be willing to train as an AkzoNobel continuous improvement expert as a minimum, within 12 months after assignment
·         Confident and experienced in coaching others
·         Good team player, knows how to build his/her own network
·         Prior line management or team leader experience; knows how to use the skills and knowledge of the team to design and implement solutions
·         Experience with practical implementation of change programs a plus
·         Solid project and stakeholder management experience
·         Extensive experience in coaching and engaging others; able to impart knowledge to others
·         Able to multi-task in high-pressure environments
·         Excellent communication, presentation and conflict resolution skills on all organizational levels; ability to gain respect and trust through situational leadership and integrity and inspire others to follow and participate in the change process
·         Fluent in English, both verbal and written
·         Strong computer skills (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, SharePoint, JMP); able to prepare various formats of documentation associated with CI programs
·         May require some travel
Behavior and Personality Features
·         Risk-friendly and self-directed, able to take a decision quickly within uncertainty
·         Comfortable in quickly changing environments with steep learning curve
·         Passionate about change and striving for exceptional performance
·         Competent leader
·         High self-confidence and ability to deal with resistance
·         Active listener
·         Highly organized and can keep the “big picture” in mind
·         Reliable
·         Customer focused
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).