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Continuous Improvement Manager

What’s it all about then?

In this specialised position within a food company you’ll be responsible for overseeing and implementing improvements to process and procedures ensuring that optimal levels of performance are achieved.
As well as this, you’ll be expected to review processes and procedures with a view to refining and improving them.

What might I be doing?

As usual these will vary but are likely to include the following:

  • Introducing and supporting the notion of continuous improvement within your company
  • Developing and measuring standards for business process and identifying improvement opportunities
  • Delivering improvements to the business, sometimes over more than one site
  • Managing the implementation of improvement initiatives possibly across more than one site
  • Collaborating with internal and external partners in order to make sustainable improvements along the entire supply chain
  • Utilising a variety of business improvement techniques in order to successfully carry out your role
  • Monitoring and reporting on the progress of projects
  • Managing changes as these occur during the delivery of business improvement projects
  • Recommending and developing improvements
  • Ensuring that progress is maintained on an ongoing basis
  • Training and development of staff on new processes

What will be expected of me?

  • You’ll have to have up to date knowledge of business improvement techniques such as lean and six sigma, and be able to implement and develop these to best effect within a food manufacturing environment
  • You’ll need to have a high degree of knowledge of the food industry and the legal issues with which it is associated – this will ensure that your improvements are safe as well as effective!
  • You’ll need to be someone who enjoys working with people as the role will mean getting people onside with your ideas.
  • You’ll have to be someone with experience of project management and be able to make sure that your work is aligned to the needs of the business
  • You’ll very likely be expected to demonstrate a successful track record in this specialised area
  • The nature of the job means you are going to have to be able to work in highly pressurised and stressful situations, especially as you solve unforeseen problems and make decisions
  • You may be running a number of projects at any one time so you are going to someone who is very well organising and knows how to prioritise their time

What can I expect?

You may have to travel in this role, both to implement continuous improvements within different sites and also to investigate best practice examples elsewhere that you can then implement these within your own place of work.

Your hours won’t be entirely fixed either as your improvements will undoubtedly be rolled out across different shifts, meaning your presence will be required in a trouble shooting capacity.

What about the pay?

This is not normally a role for someone who has recently graduated but rather an experienced professional

For this reason the role is well paid with a salary of around £40,000.

The salary paid is likely to vary with the number of specific business improvement qualifications that you have.

What about further training?

Many universities offer postgraduate degrees in Business Improvement and this is increasingly recognised by employers in the food manufacturing sector as being of use for the role of continuous improvement manager.

There are too many different specialisms to list separately but some of the more common qualifications are as follows:

  • Total Productive Maintenance
  • Training in Lean Techniques
  • Six Sigma Training courses
  • Level 2 and 3 NVQ Diploma in Business Improvement Techniques

These are either offered through a college environment or more likely through an approved private trainer, who will deliver a completely bespoke onsite package

Anything else I might need to know?

Yes, the role of Continuous Improvement Manager has come about specifically to maintain and develop various improvement projects – prior to the existence of this role, process improvements tended to fall away after a period of time because no particular person was employed to ensure that impetus was maintained.

That makes this job extremely important to all companies!