Associate Director, Operational Excellence (Lean Manufacturing)

West Point, PA, US
February 13 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: BUS002542

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. 


Merck Production Systems (MPS) is an integrated production system for how we design, manage, and continuously improve our operations and supporting business processes, enabled through the development of our people. The MMD (Merck Manufacturing Division) MPS Team is responsible for driving MPS throughout the organization to enable change in the operating systems, management systems, and mindsets, behaviors and capabilities of our people to produce product at the highest quality, for the lowest cost, and in the shortest lead time.

Under the direction of the MPS Director, the Associate Director will work with leaders and sites to continue embedding MPS into the business with focus on the Global Quality organization and the External Manufacturing organization.   Approximately 50% of the time will be spent on the floor providing direct, hands on support of activities, while 25% will be spent coaching leaders within assigned area of responsibility. Due to the nature of the work and diversity of sites, expected travel will be about 50%.

Description of Duties:

  • Partner with and consult functional leaders, quality managers and their teams to develop plans and execute performance improvement activities
  • Influence and link improvement objectives to the highest division priorities
  • Develop Lean management and people development processes and plans
  • Manage end-to-end processes and projects to drive results and realize intended business benefit
  • Utilize various Lean and Six Sigma tools and techniques in conjunction with the House of MPS to diagnose, analyze and improve Quality Control testing processes, Quality Assurance processes, manufacturing processes and  business processes
  • Provide teaching and coaching to effectively transfer Lean skills into the organization for the development of Lean Leaders

Responsibilities & Capabilities:

  • Provide guidance for Merck’s structure and operations and identify key business opportunities through utilizing financial data and industry knowledge and trends
  • Proactively recognize and mitigate barriers to cross-functional initiatives and can act as an intermediary across divisional, geographical, and cultural boundaries
  • Promote a culture of continuous improvement and challenging the status quo, while driving departmental/regional strategies that align with Merck’s long term strategy
  • Manage teams to mitigate risk, allocate resources, and drive on time completion of initiatives
  • Mentor others on effective communication and active listening techniques to fuller understand client/customer needs and expectations
  • Lead value deep process analysis through value stream mapping to measure stagnation of inventory and information and can lead kaizen to increase capacity and improve process performance
  • Develop visual controls and framework to make problems visible and responds with urgency to effectively break down complex problems, lead root cause analysis, and develop effective countermeasures
  • Lead and coach kaizen with a team to achieve multiple target conditions to achieve an overall challenge
  • Lead kaizen to improve standardized work
  • Design balanced work to take time, with smooth flow and leads kaizen to reduce lead time, inventory, and change-over time
  • Apply DMAIC methodology and statistical analysis to solve complex problems with multiple independent variables
  • Able to engage sponsor s and clients, lead major changes, and effectively coach senior leaders and value stream Managers
  • Build trust and develop new relationships with internal and external clients to effectively collaborate and achieve successful outcomes at a regional/global



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Supply Chain, Engineering, or related field
  • Minimum of eight (8) years’ experience with hands-on application of Lean tools and techniques: standardized work, scientific problem solving, value stream mapping, mistake proofing, SMED, 5S-Visual Factory
  • Minimum of five (5) years related experience leading advanced lean deployments in a highly complex environment
  • Experience analyzing complex end-to-end supply chains and driving process improvement
  • Experience applying consultative skills: ability to influence decision making, ability to interact with all levels of the business (senior leaders to shop floor working teams), project management skills (demonstrated experience in managing large teams), solid business acumen, proven team building skills, exceptionally good listening skills, results oriented, strong analytical skills, and prior process improvement experience
  • Coaching, Teaching, and driving a High Performance Organization.
  • Proven experience in coaching and teaching others to think, behave and apply lean methods and tools.
  • Experience enabling and leveraging diverse perspectives, talents, etc. to achieve business outcomes


  • Extensive Lean application experience, deep understanding and successful application of Toyota Production Systems (TPS) 
  • Excellent skills using IT applications to organize and analyze data (MS-Access, MS-Excel, Minitab)
  • Experience in operations management, manufacturing, or related disciplines
  • Experience managing QC and/or QA processes
  • Secondary degree in supply chain or business administration

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 assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to


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

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Job: Business Consulting
Other Locations: NJ, US; Whitehouse Station West, NJ, US; PA, US
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 75 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 2
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck

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