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Continuous Improvement Manager

Gibson Brands, Inc. (“Gibson” or the “company”), the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Gibson has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivalled among musical instrument companies. Our portfolio of brands includes Gibson as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, and others; we also own Gibson Pro Audio with brands such as KRK and Cerwin-Vega. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible since Gibson was at the forefront of innovation for many genres of music including big band, rock-n-roll, and blues. Gibson operates via a central headquarters based in Nashville, TN, supporting five manufacturing facilities as well as four regionally-based support centres that enable the sales, marketing, and distribution activities in each of four different worldwide regions.

Gibson Brands, Inc. (“Gibson” or the “company”), the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Gibson has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivalled among musical instrument companies. Our portfolio of brands includes Gibson as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, and others; we also own Gibson Pro Audio with brands such as KRK and Cerwin-Vega. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible since Gibson was at the forefront of innovation for many genres of music including big band, rock-n-roll, and blues. Gibson operates via a central headquarters based in Nashville, TN, supporting five manufacturing facilities as well as four regionally-based support centres that enable the sales, marketing, and distribution activities in each of four different worldwide regions.
 

OVERALL JOB PURPOSE

The Continuous Improvement Manager is responsible for creating and maintaining a production work environment characterized by a commitment to continuous improvement. The Continuous Improvement Manager also must develop, implement, and maintain all processes, procedures, and system improvements in the production facilities; these processes and procedures should generate long-term benefits that involve the entire workforce.  The continuous improvement methods implemented should include programs such as Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen, Six Sigma, 8-D, Problem Solving and Value Stream Analysis to drive out waste and improve productivity.
 
This role is a key position within a newly created team responsible for the delivery of process innovation and continuous improvement initiatives across multi-jurisdictions. It will play an important role in helping to foster a culture of sustainable change through the creation and embedding of LEAN methodology, and the supporting framework, to deliver business transformation.
 

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Continuous Improvement Program:

  • Manages efforts to identify root causes of issues negatively impacting production objectives
    • Performs time studies and work flow analysis for production
    • Provides work content data support to senior leadership for labor ROI
    • Implements and maintains process that sustains continuous improvement gains (i.e. Kamishibai)
    • Reviews and assists with routing and/or other process flows created by production
    • Lead or conduct studies in cost, quality, productivity, flow, value stream mapping
  • Lead and coordinate a wide variety of identified and approved initiatives and projects designed to improve processes and performance in all production facilities
    • Establish, lead, and maintain a Continuous Improvement Steering Committee
    • Facilitate the selection, scope, and planning of specific improvement projects
    • Identify goals for CI events and potential quantifiable savings
    • Identify resource requirements and ROI estimates for improvement projects
    • Lead Kaizen events and maintain reporting on events, event outcomes and action plans, and follow-up measurement results
    • Participate actively to prove process concepts as well as implementation of improvement activities
    • Monitor and maintain event schedules
    • Follow up and audit event progress to ensure results are achieved and sustained
    • Resolve implementation issues / create and manage implementation communication process
  • Participate in new product development and/or product change initiatives
    • Analyze manufacturing processes to identify and realize efficiency gains during new product introduction and/or product changes

 Reporting:

  • Establish appropriate measurement systems to identify opportunities and to quantify implemented improvements
  • Lead teams to develop appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for their products, process, or function
  • Specify and coordinate best practices between locations and ensure the transfer of such practices to each location
 
Provides guidance to the global engineering team on changes to and evolution of the Gibson Production System.
  • Leads and executes all Visual Factory (VF) related objectives. Drives continuous progression in VF.
  • Creates project proposals for Manufacturing Engineering using GEMBA data.
  • Verifies leadership standard work is up-to-date, executed and best practices are used.
  • Works with EHS Specialist on ergonomic considerations. 

Training:

  • Train production employees on lean methodology and other continuous improvement tools and processes
  • Train “change agent” employees, in all aspects of lean manufacturing, waste reduction, team effectiveness and continuous improvement
  • Develop training materials and effectively deliver those materials in a team environment to ensure employees throughout the facilities are trained in CI concepts and philosophy
  • Facilitate and mentor CI events and teams 

Other:

While the Continuous Improvement Manager must be technically proficient in executing the responsibilities noted above, tasks of equal value are required in this role:
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with executives locally and globally so as to identify their needs and seek full range of business solutions
  • Providing leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization; create and promote a positive and supportive work environment 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Required Experience and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering required, IE or MFGE a plus; or 5+ years related experience in a manufacturing environment; or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum 5 years proven continuous improvement analytical experience from a similar role, including project management and business analysis
  • Lean certification strongly desired, six-sigma certification a plus
  • Must have a high level of self-motivation
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Advanced Computer Skills (Excel, SQL, Minitab)
  • Consulting experience, in addition to industry experience, a plus
  • Highly results oriented and focused on business priorities, with a successful record of accomplishments
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple assignments concurrently, including ability to assess and manage priorities
  • Self-starter with analytical skills, able to identify problems and/or opportunities for improvement, assesses viable solutions, and develops and executes complex projects and comprehensive action plans 

Travel

Periodic domestic and international travel to and between the company’s manufacturing and distribution locations will be required (approximately 20-30%).
 

Nota Bene:

The company’s job descriptions are not intended to be a complete detailed account of all expected/anticipated activities. We operate in a fast-moving and competitive global environment and therefore need employees to be flexible.

 

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