Smithfield Foods

Plant Continuous Improvement Manager

Job Locations
US-NE-Crete | US-IL-Monmouth
FLSA Status
Corporate - Day Shift


The position summary states the general nature and purpose of the job. Overall accountabilities are defined in this section.


The Continuous Improvement Manager will identify, lead, and develop continuous improvement initiatives and efforts across the business enterprise where deployed. This position is responsible for leading the manufacturing efforts for process and product improvement as well as identifying and implementing continuous improvement activities related to cost reduction and efficiency improvements.

EEO/AA Information

Smithfield, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA) Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with disability, or any other protected group status or non-job related characteristic as directed by law.


Responsibilities and tasks are written as follows:


Improvement Projects

  • Identifies, facilitates, and implements process improvement projects.
  • Identifies and leads projects related to cost reduction, quality improvement, line operations, training, and overall business process improvement.
  • Proactively works to prevent process failures by working with Business Managers and Operations to develop plans, process controls, and training to ensure least cost, highest quality production.
  • Conducts root cause analysis to trouble shoot manufacturing/business and operational issues.

Project Progress and Feedback

  • Communicates with members of management in Operations, Sales, Marketing, and Quality Assurance on a regular basis to report progress on projects and receives feedback from the various departments to develop process and manufacturing practices that meet internal and customer expectations.

Leadership and Change Management

  • Facilitates training and workshops to drive continuous improvement cultural changes.
  • Provides leadership and guidance to employees in the operations department in a way that ensures least cost and high quality production.
  • Develops and conducts compliance audits, program evaluations and reviews to drive results with the fortitude to ensure change in sustainable.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university in Industrial Engineering, or related field, and 7+ years of related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Knowledge of engineering principles and techniques related to food processing.
  • Continuous improvement/Lean/Six Sigma training/certifications preferred.
  • Previous processing equipment skills that correlate with system operation and maintenance, preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • High level of organizational planning, teamwork, mathematical and analytical reasoning skills.
  • Knowledge Microsoft Office Suite, including proficiency in Excel.
  • Strong attention to detail and desire to maintain integrity and quality of one’s work.
  • Decisive and able to respond to observations in a timely manner.
  • May be required to work long hours and weekends.

Supervisory Responsibilities

May have supervisory duties or act as a lead by providing training and guidance to plant employees.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those an employee should possess to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
  • Frequently required to stand, walk; use hands and/or fingers to grasp, handle, feel, reach and pull; and talk or hear. Occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The plant environment will include wet or humid conditions (non-weather related), extreme cold and heat (non-weather related), working near moving mechanical parts, exposure to fumes or airborne particles, and chemicals.
  • Noise level in the work environment is usually moderate but can be loud when in the production area.


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