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Enterprise Excellence Manager - Business Unit

Date: Nov 9, 2021

Location: Ashland City, TN, US, 37015

Company: A. O. Smith Corporation

Company / Location Information

Water technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and, as a leading global water technology company, A. O. Smith Corporation is at the center of the trend. We are a $3 billion company with 147-year history and employ more than 15,000 men and women.  A.O. Smith has the global reach to serve customers worldwide with sales and distribution in more than 60 countries around the world. A. O. Smith is committed to continuous improvement, not just in its factories and its processes, but in its people.  Nearly 40% of homes and 50% of businesses in the United States use A. O. Smith water heaters and boilers for their hot water needs.

Role Overview

Located at A. O. Smith North American Water Heating (NAWH) Headquarters in Ashland City, Tennessee, the Enterprise Excellence Manager will report to the President of the A. O. Smith NAWH Business Unit.  The Enterprise Excellence Manager will use coaching skills, teaching skills, and effective communication to support the implementation of the A. O. Smith Operating System.  The A. O. Smith Operating System encompasses the philosophies, lean tools, and managerial behaviors to drive a highly engaged culture of people innovating or solving problems every day.  This position will specifically be responsible for implementation activities occurring within the NAWH business unit and integrating with corporate and cross-divisional Operating System activities by partnering with centralized Enterprise Excellence Resources.  The Enterprise Excellence Manager will primarily be the Lean teacher, coach, and mentor for the NAWH Business Unit Leadership and business resources.

Responsibility 1 - Lean Teacher, Coach, and Mentor

  • Serve as a teacher, coach, and mentor of business leadership on how to effectively participate in and emulate the behavior of the A.O. Smith Operating System.  Work with business leaders to drive the lean transformation.  Bridge gaps between knowledge and skills to support leaders in their learning activities.
  • Work with BU leadership to install lean tools and supporting managerial systems to support their business objectives.  
  • Responsible for CI employees’ development and training.  
  • Work with HR leadership to define training plans and development schedule for business unit leadership, members of the local CI Organization, targeted employees, and employees at-large.  
  • Coach/Teach targeted employees though Kaizen events and one-on-one coaching sessions, as required, to facilitate their development.  Coordinate improvement events across single site or multiple locations, as business needs dictate.

Responsibility 2 - Training Curriculum and Content

  • Assist in designing lean training curriculum, including experiences and kaizen participation, for multiple segments of the organization
  • Provide input to develop content for Lean tools training that will be used across the company.  
  • Be familiar with available Lean Training Resources (Online tools, established presentations, videos, and simulations) to be able to recommend or facilitate, as needed.
  • Identify areas that require outside expertise to develop onsite skills that are currently missing.   
  • Assist in creating and managing company CI documentation governance and use standards

Responsibility 3 - Coordinate Execution of A. O. Smith Operating System Adoption

  • Serve as the liaison and main point of contact between the BU and the corporate Enterprise Excellence Office- partnering to ensure consistency in approach, language, and application of the A.O.Smith Operating System.
  • Lead the conducting of “Lean Maturity” Assessments and development of improvement paths based on results and business needs
  • Audit and participate in events to ensure that the A.O. Smith Operating System protocols are understood, being followed, and standard methods are used.  Serve as conduit between the Enterprise Excellence Office and local leadership to continually improve those protocols based on real-world application experienced during implementation.
  • Utilize corporate social networking tools to engage in a “community of practice” for lean practitioners within A.O. Smith

Responsibility 4 - Strategic Planning and Project Management

  • Facilitate strategic planning sessions for business units or functions.  Provide guidance on how lean tools can be used effectively to support business objectives.
  • Provide input on A. O. Smith organizational strategies, implementation strategies, and process development regarding Enterprise Excellence applications
  • Teach and coach staff members on Project sponsor duties and assist in developing solid project management practices
  • Facilitate monthly portfolio management reviews.  Work with business owners to ensure the integrity of the process

Responsibility 5 - A. O. Smith Operating System / Enterprise Excellence Office Interaction

  • Actively participate in the Enterprise Excellence Community of Practice including CI Summits and monthly learning activities (calls, webinars, book club, etc.).
  • Provide input on A.O. Smith Operating System organizational strategies, implementation strategies, and process development
  • Actively participate in tweaking/ adjusting A. O. Smith Operating System implementation roadmap to create and continuously improve our implementation standards.
  • Actively participate in own personal development opportunity identification and propose activities/events for own skill improvement in collaboration with the organization’s continued development of Lean tools and philosophies.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 10 - 15% travel may be required at times
  • Minimum 8 years’ experience implementing lean tools and thinking in manufacturing or transactional environments
  • Increasing levels of responsibility over the course of career
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team, document improvement results, and effectively communicate those results
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a complex project to successful completion
  • Demonstrated ability to coach a client and provide a psychology safe space for them to develop

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree a plus
  • Lean/Six-sigma certifications are a plus
  • PMP certification a plus
  • Coaching certification is a plus

We Offer

This position offers the chance to be part of something truly exceptional. A. O. Smith is taking a people-centric approach to their Lean transformation and this position affords the opportunity to join a team whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people.


Great people make our organization great and because of that, we offer employee discounts on water filtration products, a competitive compensation package (base salary and bonus) and comprehensive benefits plans which include medical and dental insurance, company-sponsored life insurance, 401k with company match and company year-end contribution, short- and long-term disability programs, tuition assistance, and professional development assistance.

Nearest Major Market: Nashville

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