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Continuous Improvement Manager

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Date: Dec 28, 2018

Location: Johnson City, TN, US, 37601

Company: A. O. Smith Corporation

Company / Location Information


A. O. Smith Corporation, founded in 1874, is a $3 billion publicly-traded global water technology leader (NYSE: AOS) that has doubled in revenue within the past 5 years.  We are one of the world’s leading manufacturers and best-known brands of residential and commercial water heaters and boilers, as well as a global leader in the manufacturing of water treatment systems for household and light commercial applications.


Our Johnson City location in Eastern Tennessee is home to the Engineering and Manufacturing of our Residential Water Heaters, a category in which we have #1 market share.  As part of the Enterprise Excellence team, the Continuous Improvement Manager will use coaching and effective communication skills to support the implementation of lean tools and creation of a lean culture at this facility.

We Offer


We offer a competitive base salary and bonus plan along with a comprehensive benefits plans which include medical and dental insurance, company-sponsored life insurance, retirement security savings plan, short- and long-term disability programs, tuition assistance, paid certifications and skills training, and an onsite fitness center.


We also offer the opportunity to be part of something that has the potential to change lives.  Our Enterprise Excellence approach focuses on customer value while developing systems and structure to engage employees in problem solving every day.  In the effort to create win-win solutions, we strive to better the lives for every employee, every customer, and every shareholder.  We do this with integrity and a passion for growing better together.



  1. Lean Coach/ Mentor
    1. Serve as a teacher and coach of business leadership on how to effectively support CI activities.  Prepare functional area leaders for Lean transformation journey.
    2. Responsible for all plant CI employees’ development and training.  These are employees embedded in the business who are responsible for coaching and leading lean events within their functional areas.
    3. Work with area HR leadership to define training plans and development schedule for functional area leadership, high-potentials, and members of the local CI Organization. 
    4. Coach/Teach targeted employees though Kaizen and one-on-one coaching sessions.
    5. Facilitate improvement activities as part of teaching others lean tools and methodologies


  1. Coordinate improvement activities
    1. Coordinate improvement activities across locations, by engaging with other plant CI managers and the Enterprise Excellence office. Work with these groups to obtain support and resources as needed to supplement local teams and promote individual development.
    2. Work with the Enterprise Excellence Office members to advertise and communicate the improvement events and their results throughout the organization
    3. Work closely with project teams to ensure that they have all the training and support needed to be successful 


  1. Training curriculum and content development
    1. Assist in designing lean training curriculum, including experiences and kaizen participation, for multiple segments of the organization
    2. Provide input to develop content for Lean tools training that will be used across the company.  This includes presentation materials, trainer handbooks, and simulation/game creation, and leveraging Success Factors LMS for training content management.
    3. Identify areas that require outside expertise to develop onsite skills that are currently missing.   Participate in the selection of those outside resources.
    4. Assist in creating and managing company CI documentation governance and use standards 


  1. Strategic planning
    1. Participate and/or facilitate strategic planning sessions at the local and division level
    2. Provide input on AO Smith organizational strategies, implementation strategies, and process development in regards to Enterprise Excellence applications
    3. Actively participate in developing location annual plan and strategy deployment activities


  1. Personal development
    1. Actively participate in your own personal development opportunity identification and propose activities/events for skill improvement



  • Bachelor’s Degree required, preferably in Engineering or related field
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience implementing lean tools and thinking in manufacturing or transactional environments
  • Minimum 4 years of supervisory/leadership experience
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team, document improvement results, and effectively communicate those results
  • Documented experience with continuous improvement methodologies (Six Sigma DMAIC, DFSS, Lean)

Preferred Qualifications


  • MBA preferred
  • SAP experience preferred
  • Formal training or certifications in Coaching, Change Management, LEAN, or Six Sigma preferred

Nearest Major Market: Asheville
Nearest Secondary Market: Knoxville

Job Segment: Engineer, ERP, Lean Six Sigma, Manager, Strategic Planning, Engineering, Technology, Management, Strategy