Customer Quality Manager

Date: Sep 12, 2023

Location: Ashland City, TN, US, 37015

Company: A. O. Smith Corporation

Company / Location Information

We are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of water heating and water treatment technologies in the world. We are a $3.5 billion company with 140+ years history and we employ more than 12,000 individuals globally who pride themselves on providing the world with innovative water technology. We are committed to Continuous Improvement, not just in our factories or processes, but in our people.

Primary Function

Responsible for the development, coordination and sustainment of the global customer quality management (CQM) program, defining the strategy to lead CQM directives with a clear mission and vision, leading communications, standardizing global customer quality processes, and driving improvements with the customer base by applying fundamental concepts, practices and procedures of a general customer quality environment.


  • Develop and implement strategies to improve customer quality, whole goods / component reliability and customer product experience globally.  Establish a fundamental understanding of the customer experience vision, and customer life cycle management.  
  • Develop, implement and sustain all customer experience processes within the quality management system.  Exercising the ability to identify and evaluate a risk management strategy and initiate prevention strategy techniques with the customer base.
  • Gather and analyze customer experience trending data (Voice of the Customer) Surveys, 1st year warranty failures, call rates, etc.) to identify opportunities for product and process improvements and develop communication cadence for the opportunities.  
  • Define, establish, and drive customer quality year over year improvements in key performance metrics, such as reduction of complaints, customer call rate, 1st year failure rate, non-conformances, cost of poor quality and Voice of the Customer program.
  • Facilitate customer communication and collaboration with Field Service Engineering, Call Centers, Product Engineering, Sales and Plant Quality to gather information necessary to carry out investigations.  
  • Coordinate with Quality Managers to discuss and resolve product quality issues raised by customers.
  • Provide leadership, training and direction to the local site quality assurance, manufacturing and product engineering teams regarding quality techniques and communications with the customer base.
  • Provide leadership, training, and direction to utilize technology driven tools within SAP, Leading Enterprise Quality and other Q4.0 technologies / methodologies that support the overall corporate vision of the function.  Leading master users and local plant experts to usage and continuous improvement of these systems that improve our customer facing experiences.
  • Lead, guide and conduct regular communications with quality assurance and product engineering to diagnose potential issues prior to escalation.  Supporting manufacturing and product development on customer related performance issues.

Role Specific Responsibilities

  • Conduct, participate or otherwise delegate responsibility for customer experience site visits as necessary with the corresponding business unit.
  • Support various audit programs as stipulated by customer base and assure all necessary quality reporting to support the audits.
  • Provide quality review of customer agreements / contracts and communicate the deployment of strategy expectations of the company base by business globally. 
  • Participate in New Product Development protocols as necessary to assure customer quality assurance activities are adhered to.  
  • Act as liaison within the businesses to all other departments within the organization concerning major customer quality issues.  Provide clear, accurate, and concise instructions, information, and direction on all customer product quality matters.
  • Other duties may be assigned as needed.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, Business, or related.
  • 7+ years' experience in a progressive quality management leadership role responsible for supporting customers in a manufacturing environment with clearly demonstrated achievements.
  • 4-5 years of supervisor/leadership experience. 


Must have the following experience: 

  • Strong working knowledge and experience with quality assurance tools and methodology (include, but not limited to, control plans, gage R&R, FMEA, Process Flow, PPAP, process capability studies, 5S, standardized work, and CI methodologies).
  • Ability to work proficiently in a cross functional environment and matrix management organization leading and supporting multiple sites / businesses while exercising strong influence without formal authority.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, leadership skills, verbal and written communication skills, and organizational and planning skills.
  • Solid negotiation skills.


Additional Qualifications:

  • Minimum ASQ-CQE certification or equivalent.
  • Ability to use standard business software applications (MS Office), SAP, ETQ, and specialized data analysis tools.  Experience with Tableau, Celonis, and Minitab a plus.
  • Willingness for extensive travel- primarily domestic and international up to 25%.  Required for emergency travel when necessary.

Physical Requirements

    We Offer

    Competitive compensation package 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.

    Nearest Major Market: Nashville

    Job Segment: QA, Quality Assurance, Quality Manager, Wastewater, Water Treatment, Technology, Quality, Engineering