Operational Excellence Team Lead,

United States, Illinois, Chicago

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.


Are you ready for the challenge to continuously develop our maintenance and reliability strategies?
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 Team Lead, leading a professional team working to design and implement Operational Excellence within ALPS (AkzoNobel Leading Performance System), a companywide program of standardized work processes and Continuous Improvement (CI).
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 Team lead
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 United States manufacturing directors and production sites..
Your core purpose is to lead deployment at our manufacturing sites in the USA 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.
At site, you are responsible for assessing the current state at the site and developing and agreeing with the site a deployment plan for the work processes, methods and tools. Such that they generate value for the business.
Thus it is essential that you’re able to gather information from real life observations – by spending time on the shop-floor and interacting with everyone from manufacturing directors and site managers to line operators.

A further core task is to support, coach and train the operational managers and employees on sites, leading workshops and working groups while embodying and instilling a change and CI mindset.
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.

Vacancy data


Job characteristics

Closing date

December 31, 2099

Vacancy number



North America


United States





Business unit

Corporate 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;
- Strong 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.
Profile/ competencies:
- Change mindset
- Strong desire to improve existing status
- Seen by others as credible and trustworthy
- Risk-friendly, able to take a decision quickly without mastering all parameters
- Taking information from real life observations, willing to spend time on the shop-floor
- Strong leadership skills, teambuilding , engagement and talent management
- Excellent interpersonal relationship skills, able to listen, able to handle team tensions
- Good presentation and communication skills, from regional directors to line operators
- Good team player, knows how to build his/her own network
- Focused on results
- Good problem-solving skills, able to identify and structure issues, run accurate analyses and synthesize recommendations.
- Data savvy; keen to explore data in ERP and other systems to identify improvement opportunities
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).