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Continuous Improvement Manager

Date: Feb 27, 2023

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. As a leading global water technology company, A. O. Smith Corporation (NYSE: AOS) is at the center of the trend. We are a $3 billion company with over 140 years of history and 15,000+ employees. Our emphasis is on hot water and clean water; we are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment as well as a supplier of water purification products in a number of emerging countries. With manufacturing operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, India, and Europe, we have the reach to serve customers worldwide. 

A.O. Smith is committed to continuous improvement and maintaining a culture that values and respects our employees.  Recognized by The Tennessean as one of the top Nashville area Workplaces, we have programs in place to help our team members achieve their potential. When you join our team, you will receive rewards and recognition for your contributions, training and professional development opportunities, as well as a variety of benefits to support you and your family's health, well-being, and financial future. If you are inspired to learn, take risks, and succeed as a team, you can build an amazing career at A. O. Smith.

This position is located in our Ashland City, TN NAWH Corporate Headquarters.  This role is eligible for a remote work schedule of up to two days remote work per week. New employees are eligible to apply after successfully completing their initial 90 days of employment and training.

Primary Function

Incumbent 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 continuous improvement activities occurring within customer service / customer experience functions and integrating with corporate and cross-divisional Operating System activities.  The incumbent will primarily be the Lean teacher, coach, and mentor for the Customer Experience leadership team and a developmental resource for other key leaders within the business.   In addition, the incumbent will have responsibility for the coordination of the transformation of the Customer Experience team to fully utilize the A. O. Smith Operating System as the critical driver behind the vision of reducing customer effort.

Scope of Responsibility

  1. May supervise a team of up to 3 direct reports
  2. Complexity: High.  Requires the successful execution of business plans by leading through influence instead of direct authority.  Requires high level of emotional intelligence in addition to quickly assimilating information from multiple sources along complex operational and administrative processes.  Must be able to clearly articulate complex ideas to teach and guide others.
  3. Travel: 10-15%.   
  4. Other: Cross-functional responsibility for ensuring improvement activities are undertaken with an A. O. Smith Operating System approach, considering the process integration, people systems, and technical issues that may be impacted.



  1. Lean Teacher, Coach, & Mentor 
    1. 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. 
  2. Coordinate execution of A. O. Smith Operating System Adoption  
    1. Work with the Enterprise Excellence Office to tweak the A. O. Smith Operating System implementation roadmap as needed based on the culture and knowledge of the organization.
    2. Lead the conducting of “Lean Maturity” Assessments and development of improvement paths based on results and business needs.
  3. Application of Lean Tools
    1. Ability to document complex business processes in real time with cross functional groups through the creation of process maps. Strong Visio skills preferred. 
    2. Experience in the evaluation, analysis, and optimization of operational processes with emphasis on transactional processes.
  4. Training curriculum and content
    1. Be intimately familiar with available Lean Training Resources (Online tools, established presentations, videos, and simulations) to be able to recommend or facilitate, as needed.
    2. Identify areas that require outside expertise to develop onsite skills that are currently missing.   Participate in the selection of those outside resources with the Enterprise Excellence Office and Corporate Training Group.
  5. Strategic planning
    1. Facilitate strategic planning sessions for the supporting Customer Experience functions.  Provide guidance on how lean tools can be used effectively to support business objectives.
  6. A. O. Smith Operating System/ Enterprise Excellence Office Interaction
    1. Actively participate in the Enterprise Excellence Community of Practice including CI Summits and monthly learning activities (calls, webinars, book club, etc.).


  • Bachelor’s degree required, engineering degree preferred
  • Minimum 8 years’ experience implementing lean tools and thinking in customer service or call center environments or other 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




  • Lean/Six-sigma certifications are a plus, but not required
  • Coaching certification is a plus, but not required

We Offer

Competitive base salary and comprehensive benefits plans which include medical and dental insurance, company-sponsored life insurance, retirement security savings plan, short- and long-term disability programs and tuition assistance.

*This role is eligible for a remote work schedule of up to two days remote work per week. New employees are eligible to apply after successfully completing their initial 90 days of employment and training.

*This role also qualifies for relocation assistance. 

Nearest Major Market: Nashville

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