Position Title: Sr. Manager / Team Lead R&D Food Scientist
Position Reports To: Vice President, Marketing
FLSA Status: Exempt
The Sr. Manager / Team Lead R&D Food Scientist will lead the team of the R&D Food Scientists supporting the Marketing Team. This individual must have a deep knowledge of food processing and procedures (preferably with frozen foods, specifically ice cream) and accept accountability for driving product solutions from development all the way through marketplace availability including customer and consumer receptivity to quality, taste, and positioning.
This individual must possess a natural curiosity of consumer understanding and a deep knowledge in business acumen. They will develop and implement the New Product Development (NPD) process in alignment with the Stage Gate process, as well as partner with procurement in the implementation of the commodity, consumer packaging, and ingredient purchase processes for our client.
Essential Job Functions
- Work with the Senior Managers of the brand teams to prioritize Research and Development (R&D) projects and drive product innovation and renovation with retail availability at end state for projects.
- Responsible for leading contract activities and sourcing for co-packaging, commodities, dairy ingredients, packaged and bulk food ingredients, direct manufacturing materials, and consumer packaging.
- Work with R&D, Marketing, Quality Assurance (QA), Supply Chain, and Production to qualify all new items and vendors to identify the lowest total cost of ownership (price, service, quality) solution for the company.
- Ability to provide technical leadership, coaching, and execution of projects for ice cream and beverages business, which may include designs to add value as needed based on customer joint business planning.
- The candidate will be identifying, scoping and/or driving technical projects to meet business initiatives focused on profitability.
- Work with Vice President of Marketing to establish procedures for requesting R&D Scope of Work, Project Milestone/Gantt Charts, project checklists and other project management tools, and ensure that these tools are used.
- Expertise in stage gate process and how to move project through the development steps with rigor, efficiency, and accountability.
- This includes basic understanding of the business need, designing and executing tests, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, documenting, communicating results, and commercializing products.
- Lead or facilitate department and cross-functional teams through implementation of continuous improvement projects with enablers that do not impact product quality.
- Ensure that all new and reformulated product ingredient statements, nutritional statements, and packaging changeovers are completed accurately.
- Coordinate trial runs of ingredients in production to ensure successful start-up and provisional runs.
- Lead a team of 4 R&D technical experts and supporting contract partners driving organizational change and elevating role of function within organization.
- Perform all duties within established Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations, fleet safety and general safety guidelines; including the use of all personal protective equipment and devices as required.
- Provide guidance to assure programs, policies and practices are implemented and effective to produce safe quality foods that meet regulatory and company requirements.
- Support the development, implementation, maintenance, and ongoing improvement of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) 2000 System.
- Hold all employees accountable to our clients Food Safety and Quality Principles.
- Demonstrates knowledge of continuous improvement and lean methodology.
- Demonstrates the ability to engage and coach associates to effectively work in department and cross-functional teams to define and implement process improvements that provide value to the customer.
- Demonstrate the ability to lead or facilitate department and cross-functional teams through implementation of continuous improvement projects.
- Perform all other tasks as assigned by their supervisor.
Minimum Position Qualifications
- B.S. or M.S. in Food, Dairy, or Chemical Engineering
- 10+ years of experience in technical function (may include graduate and/or internship experience)
- Basic understanding of food chemistry (dairy, beverages, ice cream), analytical testing, formulations, and processing used in food manufacturing.
- Basic understanding of ingredient functionality, interrelationships, process, and packaging
- Strong understanding of Design of Experiments
- Excellent communication, influencing, project management and problem-solving skills to operate within a cross-functional environment with minimal guidance.
- Proven record of executing work plans and driving for results.
- Strong technical background: ability to apply prior learning and scientific principles to new situations.
Desired Skills & Experience
- Ability to lead cross-functional teams to scope and develop cost engineering opportunities, translate research findings into meaningful business opportunities, and in efforts related to formula/product commercialization.
- Demonstrates the willingness/ability to learn new product categories and/or processing/packaging areas.
- Ability to apply prior leaning or scientific principles to new situations.
- Ability and willingness to work effectively in a diverse, disciplined team environment and work with limited supervision.
- Project management skills – planning, analysis, resource deployment and control
- Strong written and oral communication skills; Strong problem analysis and resolution on both strategic and functional levels
- Effective time management and prioritization skills to execute tasks within tight timeframes and deadlines; Ability to manage multiple assignments/research projects concurrently and possess the ability to call out priority conflicts between a variety of business initiatives.
- Agility to shift and adapt to changing priorities, proactively anticipating obstacles and flexibility to seek alternative solutions in order to keep projects on track.
- Ability to navigate flat matrix organization and drive alignment cross functionally to move initiatives toward commercialization.
All applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. now and in the future without requiring sponsorship.