Schwan's Company Sr Director of Operational Excellence - Manufacturing in Bloomington, Minnesota


The foods we make reach customers in many ways. We deliver directly to our customer's homes through our popular food-delivery business, offer well-known retail brands such as Red Baron, Freschetta, and Tony's pizzas, Pagodasnacks and appetizers, and Mrs. Smith's and Edwards desserts, and bring innovative food solutions to our customers in the food-service industry. To learn more, visit us at

As a Sr. Director of Operational Excellence, you will be responsible for coordinating and strategically leading performance improvement initiatives in manufacturing facilities, and different parts of the supply chain, through effective leadership and working relationships with business leaders, functional change agents, and all applicable functional department personnel. You will also be responsible for advising senior executives on the nature and progress of assigned improvement activities that are targeted towards, but not limited to, the elimination of waste and efficiency improvements across Schwan’s Global Supply Chain.

  • Develop plant CI functions to execute strategies and plans designed to reduce waste within the facilities. Responsibilities include staffing and developing talent for up to 20 CI managers and facilitators.

  • Utilize performance management, problem solving, and lean/sigma tools as well as training, coaching, and influence skills to achieve specific organizational change and financial objectives.

  • Identify process improvement opportunities, execute against those opportunities, and successfully realize quantifiable benefits.

  • Develop & maintain strong positive business relationships with key internal clients to clearly understand their business processes and the development/articulation of short & long term business objectives.

  • Define the business case for the projects that have been proposed and validate the opportunity scope and importance of a project.

  • Ensure identified projects align with business goals and that highest priority projects are worked on first.

  • Build, mobilize, and lead cross departmental project teams to meet the project objectives within the given time frame and within budget.

  • Update and maintain the status of projects in the project database and establish key measures of success for projects by implementing tracking plans.

  • Facilitate meetings, kaizen events, and workshops to solve urgent business needs.

  • Use Lean methodologies to understand current processes, identify impacts to current processes of proposed defect fixes, or system enhancements and work with the various stakeholders to propose and develop process and/or technology modifications.

  • Gather, collect, organize, prioritize, conduct statistical analysis, and present data concerning business and/or project opportunities.

  • Teach, mentor, and coach Green Belts on how to apply the appropriate Lean/Six Sigma roadmaps and tools to a range of improvement projects.


Education: Bachelor’s degree required (preferably in a relevant business discipline).

Years of Related Experience: 10-12 years of related experience; certified Black Belt with at least 4 years of commercial/supply chain/continuous improvement experience. Master Black Belt preferred.


  • Lean knowledge/experience to apply lean concepts and principles across an entire value stream

  • Ability to effectively influence and motivate others and work effectively with all levels of people inside and outside of the organization

  • Must possess strong project management, quantitative and analytical skills.

  • Software applications such as Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc.

  • Excellent training and presentation skills with solid oral and written communication capabilities.

  • Consistently demonstrate the ability to act independently and prioritize work.

Business Unit: SFC Global Supply Chain, Inc.

Req #: 18004699