Director, Operational Excellence (Lean Manufacturing)

Whitehouse Station West, NJ, US
April 09 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: BUS002556

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) Global 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, lowest cost, and shortest lead time. 

Under the direction of the MPS Executive Director, the Regional MPS Leader will work with leaders and sites in the Americas region supporting both Human Health and Animal Health organizations. Approximately 75% of the time will be spent on the floor providing direct, hands on support of activities to ones own team team as well as the local site representatives, while another 25% will be spent coaching leaders within the Operating Unit. The Regional MPS Leader will also be tasked with developing mid to long term strategy and delivering on key, necessary objectives. Due to the nature of the work and diversity of sites, expected travel will be 50-75%.

MMD MPS Director Description of Duties:

  • Partner with and consult functional leaders, plant managers and their leadership teams to develop plans and execute performance improvement activities ensuring direct business value
  • Influence and link improvement objectives to the highest division priorities
  • Develop Lean management and people development plans and processes
  • Develop and manage complex, end-to-end OpU process improvements and projects to drive results
  • Utilize various tools, techniques, and way of thinking in conjunction with the House of MPS to diagnose, analyze and improve business processes
  • Provide teaching and coaching to effectively transfer Lean skills into the organization for the development of Lean Leaders
  • Provide support system for direct reports and continuously develop their technical, managerial, and leadership skills 
  • Partner with and foster collaboration with peers on the Global MPS Leadership Team to ensure a positive learning organization, alignment of strategy and sharing best practices
  • MMD MPS Director Responsibilities & Capabilities:
  • Lead team of 5-7 MPS Associate Directors and Senior Specialist to support manufacturing sites and functions within our Merck Manufacturing Division
  • Demonstrates the ability to use knowledge and experience to foresee global market and economic trends, and work with leaders to create industry-leading strategies to take advantage of these 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively scope, assign tasks and allocate resources for meeting goals within projected budget. Demonstrate the ability to create accountability among team members to drive on-time delivery of support services.
  • Mentor others on effective communication and active listening techniques to fully 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.
  • Able to engage sponsor and clients, lead major changes, and effectively coach senior leaders and E2E/IP 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 related field (Engineering/Technolgy, Supply Chain, Operations,)
  • Master’s Degree recommended
Required :
  • Greater than 10 years experience in deployment of Toyota Production System under the guidance of a highly qualified TPS expert coach (Lean Level 4 competency).
  • Experience analyzing complex end-to-end supply chains and driving process improvement
  • Hands-on application of Lean tools and techniques: standardized work, scientific problem solving, value stream mapping, mistake proofing, SMED, 5S-Visual Factory
  • 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.
  • Change Exzecution Management and Inclusion
  • Excellent skills using IT applications to organize and analyze date (MS-Access, MS-Excel, Minitab). 
  • Master Black Belt certification 
  • Experience in operations management, manufacturing, or related disciplines.
  • Experience in a Vaccines or Sterile pharmaceutical environment.

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. 


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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.


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Job: Business Consulting
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 75 % of the Time
Number of Openings:
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck

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