Senior Specialist, Continuous Improvement – Merck Production System

Wilson, NC, US
October 12 2017
Organization Type
Requisition ID: OE/000486

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck Manufacturing Division, MMD, is a team of dedicated, energetic individuals who are committed to being the most trusted supplier of pharmaceuticals and health products worldwide. Our facilities, along with our external contractors, suppliers, and partners, comprise an interdependent global manufacturing network that’s committed to delivering a compliant, reliable supply to customers and patients on time, every time, across the globe. 


Under the direction of Merck Production System (MPS) Leader, the Senior Specialist will work on driving continuous improvement at the process and systems levels to ensure highest quality, shortest lead time and lowest cost through application of MPS principles utilizing the MPS Roadmap. As a member of the MPS team, the Senior Specialist will be responsible for but not limited to: 

  • Utilizing MPS skills, tools and techniques to analyze and improve business processes enabling behavioral change
  • Providing teaching and coaching to build self-sustaining Lean capabilities, realizing on-going improvement and cultural change in client organizations
  • Providing leadership and guidance on the integration of MPS and to achieve business objectives

Champion Lean Six Sigma/Merck Production Systems (LSS/MPS) Initiatives-Educate, communicate and excite the organization on LSS:

  • Generate interest for LSS across Wilson, promoting common LSS language across Wilson.
  • Leading others and supporting and implementing the MPS/Lean Six Sigma programs as necessary
  • Assist with development of visual workplace and proper execution of tier process
  • Encourage a culture of problem solving, continuous improvement, and customer focus
  • Providing expertise to teams/site including:
  • Continuous Improvement concepts such as Six Sigma (DMAIC, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)), Lean Manufacturing,
  • Change management and High Performing Organization
  • LSS principles of teamwork, methodology, business benefit, innovation and customer focus
  • Subject matter expertise in Packaging, Manufacturing or support functions (Quality, Technology, or Supply Chain)


Performance Monitoring and Data Analysis

  • Assess business process efficiency and performance
  • Identify LSS financial and non-financial goals
  • Realizing business process improvements and measuring/reporting initiative results
  • Provide consultation to various functions to establish and maintain meaningful metrics
  • Serve a resource for statistical data measurement and analysis
  • Manage and report site metrics as requested 

Strategy Development and Execution

  • Lead change management activities (create transition plans from current to future state and execute)
  • Facilitating and participating in the processes for identifying, sharing and deploying implementation plans
  • Facilitate Hoshin/Strategy Plan cascade throughout site
  • Establish MPS/LSS plan and ensure alignment with site strategic objectives
  • Assist with site portfolio management with responsibility for power steering reporting
  • Understand site current state value stream and facilitate future state planning. Develop and support plan to achieve future state performance.


Project Leader

  • Identify opportunities for improvement and lead projects through discovery, design and implementation
  • Identifying, leading and managing cross-functional MPS Lean projects
  • Serve as kaizen event facilitator



  • Coordinate benchmarking and external analysis (Subject Matter Experts, Workshops, company visits, etc.)
  • Identify and share best practices and external trends
  • Capturing and using external and internal benchmark information.
  • Share best practices from other Merck divisions and corporate-wide activities.
  • Teaching and people development
  • Teaching scientific problem solving and standardized work
  • Lead transformational change and work on identifying greatest LSS opportunities across the Wilson site
  • Provide leadership for Merck Sigma knowledge management and sharing (i.e. training)
  • Recommend and develop training curriculum on specific lean and six sigma tools as needed
  • Facilitate and/or coordinate belt training (yellow, green, black) to support site development plan


Work with MPS sponsors/team leader supporting continuous improvement projects through mentoring and coaching

  • Create the right sponsorship
  • Mentor Wilson Green/Black Belt community
  • Develop community of practice increasing leveraging of skills available
  • Provide one-on-one coaching to lean expert candidates
  • Serve as team member for critical site projects
  • Provide input to new product launch/transfer teams to ensure incorporation of FMEA, lean methodology, DFSS, and
  • QBD.


Perform other duties as assigned.



  • BA/BS


  • 5 or more years of hands on experience with application of Lean/Six Sigma or Continuous Improvement Equivalent 

  • Demonstrated application of culture and business change methodologies (CEM, Inclusion and BCCM)
  • Outstanding influencing, listening, coaching and project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to build, lead and be member of high performing teams
  • Excellent Analytical and Problem Solving Skills
  • Strong business acumen with the ability to develop business case scenarios and business benefits
  • Ability to communicate with and influence all levels of the organization
  • Functional experience in operations, technology/engineering, supply chain, or quality



  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or equivalent
  • Experience utilizing Continuous Improvement in a cross-functional environment is preferred
  • Advanced Degree (MS, MBA, Phd, etc.)


Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life.  If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at  Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:             EEOC Poster            EEOC GINA Supplement 


Job: OE/Six Sigma
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: No
Number of Openings:
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck

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