Operational Excellence Team Lead - Specialty Chemi,

United States, Illinois, Chicago

Business unit: Integrated Supply Chain

About AkzoNobel

Industries worldwide rely on our essential chemistry in the manufacture of everyday products such as paper, plastics, building materials, and personal care items. Building on the dedication of our employees and our shared commitment to safety, sustainability, and open innovation, we have established a world-class business and built strong partnerships with our customers. We operate in over 80 countries around the world and our portfolio of industry leading brands includes Eka, Dissolvine, Trigonox, and Berol.


Are you ready for the challenge to lead our operational excellence team in North America?
AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people’s lives more liveable and inspiring. We are a leading global producer of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, supplying essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide.
Our Specialty Chemicals (SC) business area provides products that are integral to a number of industries and high profile customers worldwide. Across SC we are committed to practicing Operational Excellence across all our operations. This includes work processes, tools, standards and capability building.
Within this context, your mission in this role is to act as a Operational Excellence Lead North America, leading a professional team working to design and implement Operational Excellence within ALPS (AkzoNobel Leading Performance System), a companywide program of Lean foundations and standardized work processes, driving continuous improvement.
Is this a challenge that matches your profile as highly engaged, service-minded and experienced professional with a passion for operational excellence? Are you excited by the challenge of improving operations and performance at our 60+ manufacturing sites? Can you work cross-functionally in order to build a global network and continuously develop our operational excellence strategies? 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 Lead North America
The role and its responsibilities
This role is located in the USA, preferably in the Houston, Chicago or Atlanta areas. From here you will spend an average of 75% of your time traveling to our 60+ manufacturing sites in the United States and worldwide. You will also be ideally located to experience and learn about the business area and to build and develop your network. In particular, it is essential that you build a close relationship with our North American manufacturing directors and production sites.
Your core purpose is to lead deployment at our manufacturing sites in North America of our operational excellence program ALPS. This requires you to liaise with US based manufacturing directors to target deployment and ensure operational excellence fully supports the strategies of our Business Units.
Your experts will be working at our manufacturing sites. They will assess process maturity, identify gaps and work with sites to close these gaps. Furthermore, they will implement newly developed processes, methods and tools.
They will gather information from real life observations, data studies and interviews with site personnel. They will train and coach site personnel in ALPS processes, tools and methods. They will support site leadership in the change process and in the process of changing behaviors as necessary for successful implementation of ALPS.
You as a team lead will ensure these activities are supporting business objectives. You will actively participate in these activities and you will be the direct support for the experts when they face obstacles. You will work closely with site directors to overcome obstacles. This includes actively supporting them in the change leadership process.
Finally, you will participate in further development of our operational excellence approach and materials and lead specific elements thereof.
All of this demands a strong drive to improve the business, along with an ability to influence others and focus on results without having a line management relation. It also calls for outstanding problem-solving skills and the ability to identify and structure issues, run accurate analyses and synthesize recommendations. In addition, you should be seen by others as credible and a trustworthy expert.
As such, this is an exciting role if you share our values and ambitions and seek a career in which your knowledge and ambitions will be recognized and rewarded. You will work in an international environment with multiple possibilities to develop, both personally and professionally. Further, you will be offered interesting and challenging projects that broaden your view, and you will work with people who share your attitude and enthusiasm. And by working for AkzoNobel you will also help us to achieve our ambition – to be the first choice by our customers, shareholders and employees, all over the world.
We see this role as an excellent stepping stone for future site managers or regional manufacturing directors. Two to three tears in this role will equip you with deep knowledge of operational excellence and very strong leadership and influencing skills; as well as a good knowledge of our company.

Vacancy data


Job characteristics

Closing date

December 31, 2099

Vacancy number



North America


United States





Business unit

Integrated Supply Chain

Job family


Hierarchy level


Full time/part time


Contract type


Job requirements/Candidate profile

- Bachelor’s degree in Technology/Engineering and at least 8 years of experience.
- Extensive experience in management positions in Chemical manufacturing sites; such as site manager, operations manager, production manager or technology manager;
- Affinity with Chemical process engineering;
- You have successfully brought about cultural change at manufacturing sites.
- Preferably you have experience with CI tools such as Lean, Six Sigma or other CI methodologies and tools.
- Flexible, pragmatic and able to drive changes and to take the overall ownership of the US ALPS deployment;
- Strong leadership skills and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
As a leading coatings and specialty chemical company AkzoNobel is proud to offer a competitive compensation package as well as a comprehensive benefits program designed to support the health, wellness and financial security of our employees and their families. Benefits include group medical, dental and vision coverage, group and supplemental life insurance, 401(k) with company match, tuition reimbursement and much more.

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).