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Operational Excellence Manager


Location: Waukesha, WI 

Exemption: Exempt 




Ventura Foods is a leading global manufacturer of branded and custom food products that proudly helps food providers in the U.S., Canada and more than 60 other countries earn a special place on consumers’ tables.  We do this by continually crafting custom dressings, sauces, mayonnaises, and other food solutions that exceed peoples’ expectations for great-tasting flavors and high-quality ingredients.

Headquartered in Brea, California, Ventura Foods operates 14 manufacturing facilities, 3 culinary centers, and numerous distribution centers across North America. When you work in our manufacturing and distribution facilities, you get a strong foundation of training, a manager who cares about you and celebrates your success, a safe environment, and challenging work.  As part of our team, your future is limited only by how much you’re willing to push yourself to get there. We invest in your growth, because you invest in ours.

Position Summary:

The Plant World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Manager will be responsible for accelerating the WCM change efforts at their assigned production plant by leading organizational/leadership development processes, promoting employee engagement and driving quality and productivity improvements. As part of the Plant Leadership Team the WCM Manager will provide necessary coaching to the team and other individuals regarding organizational effectiveness, operational improvements and execution of best practices. Monitor progress and advance the transformation to world class over time through continued coaching. Provide support to location personnel to make certain that progress meets location targets.   

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for implementing strategy and guiding advancement of WCM at assigned production location
  • Collaborate with the Production Manager(s), Quality Managers and others at the location to understand site business priorities/goals and use this knowledge to prioritize Continuous Improvement activity at the production location
  • Be a role model for the mindsets and behaviors necessary to create an environment of trust, participation and accountability
  • Consult with WCM methodology leaders to identify best practices and to simplify and standardize work to deliver improved performance
  • Actively review site practices to identify opportunities and advise on appropriate organizational interventions, i.e., training, coaching, etc. for improving site systems and practices to achieve desired outcomes. Build a coaching culture and provide individual coaching to site and above site leadership throughout the change and transformation process
  • Guide locations in determining the priorities for process improvements that impact production and business results and champion waste elimination and reduction. Responsible for the oversight and direct supervision of assigned plant continuous improvement resources
  • Monitor improvement progress and sustain transformational gains over time through continued metric review and consultation with key stakeholders
  • Lead improvement projects utilizing standardized Lean Six Sigma tools and methods to improve plant performance and achieve results for operations customers
  • Responsible for following all food safety policies, procedures and regulatory criteria including the current SQF code, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and associated preventive controls

Other duties as assigned; travel may be required

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Business, Operations Management or equivalent experience
  • 5-10 years of experience in Engineering, Business, Operations Management
  • Experience in a food manufacturing environment preferred

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Professional certifications and experience especially helpful in the field of  World Class Manufacturing, World Class Operations, IWS, TPM, Autonomous Maintenance, Training Development, Organizational Development, Coaching, Lean and Change Management
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, manage and implement organizational and cultural change and deliver results. Results oriented with the ability to gather, analyze, and interpret information from a variety of sources  
  • Be a recognized role model in key leadership development skills of feedback, coaching, listening, empowerment and difficult conversations. Demonstrated conflict resolution and solution focused problem solving skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills which include building rapport and maintaining strong relationships across all levels, sensitivity to individual and team needs, collaborating effectively to accomplish work, effective facilitation and teaching skills 
  • Project management capability with effective time management skills and ability to manage multiple conflicting priorities
  • Knowledge and strong working competence in Microsoft Office toolset


Physical Demands:

Regularly requires intermittent sitting, standing, walking, climbing, squatting, kneeling, pushing, and pulling.  Physical strength and dexterity sufficient to perform the required task(s). Must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds or more with assistance.  Additional demands may be required.


Work Environment:

In addition to normal business hours, work schedules may include after hours and weekends as needed.  May work outside and in adverse temperatures which include extreme hot, cold, and humidity.  May be exposed to fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals and vibration.  Must be willing and able to wear personal protective equipment as required by established Company Safety standards.  May require work in confined and dark spaces, and at heights in excess of 18 feet for prolonged periods of time.


Diversity & Inclusion:

Our commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment in which all employees are treated with respect is evident in our company culture and values. We believe that fostering an environment of inclusion and a focus on diversity across our organization is vital to attracting top talent, driving innovation, and meeting the high expectations of our customers in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.


Ventura Foods is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Nearest Major Market: Waukesha
Nearest Secondary Market: Milwaukee

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