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Operational Excellence Leader - EV Assembly

Company: Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
Location: East Providence
Posted on: June 6, 2021

Job Description:

Aspen Aerogels is a rapidly growing aerogel technology company founded in 2001 to capitalize on patented advances in aerogel manufacturing. Aspen has developed a proprietary aerogel material manufactured at scale and sold worldwide in the Electric Vehicle / Automotive, Construction, and Power Generation industries. Aspen is both a Tier 1/2 Automotive supplier and has its product in several subsea projects worldwide. We're on a mission to build a world-class organization as we scale up our automotive business over the next 3-5 years and are looking for great talent to join our team.

Summary: Aspen is looking for an engaging, motivated, and inspirational Operational Excellence Leader to drive Aspen's continuous improvement culture forward in the automotive portion of the business. The Operational Excellence Leader is a key role in the Aspen's EV Assembly business in creating a world-class manufacturing organization. This role provides focused project leadership and execution for operational systems and continuous improvement, business innovation and technology projects in Aspen's East Providence manufacturing facility. The aim is to maximize profitability and business growth through operational improvements and process stability. Areas of advancement for the site are expected to come from project execution, standardization, continuous improvement, cost reduction, and strategy deployment. These efforts are driven in support of automotive customer requirements.

The Operational Excellence Leader is responsible for executing and coordinating a range of projects to deliver marginal cost saving. The right candidate will be capable of driving process improvement via project management, reducing manager time by implementation of standard work, improving flow and thereby delivering strategic goal expected cost savings from the goals of the business. The Operational Excellence Leader will be responsible for driving framework forward to support others in achieving their agreed upon projects, while also working on specific Projects themselves. They are expected to be a cross-functional conduit to ensure action items are completed accurately and on time to ensure project success. The OpEx Leader has essential functions on site: Project Management / Execution, Continuous Improvement training / Project Initiatives, identifying and sharing Best Practices where appropriate, kaizen activities, and developing a lean improvement culture via the Aspen's operational framework.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Drive a continuous improvement roadmap to support meeting strategic objectives for the EV Assembly site in support of achieving key targets on safety, quality, delivery, inventory, and cost as appropriate.
  • Work with site leadership to develop implementation plans for each project, identifying clear SMART objectives, key team members, path of action to achieve desired goals and objectives, financial benefits, and strategy for execution.
  • Develop and manage key performance metrics to achieve the project goal(s). The OpEx Leader is responsible for each project in his/her project deck, and for coaching other project managers to deliver their projects on time.
  • Be the conduit and main point of contact internally at the site for LeanDNA. This role is responsible for the sound execution of LeanDNA through the manufacturing organization at their site.
  • Leads & facilitates the identification of projects to achieve budgeted cost savings and to reduce cost burdens to the business, such as high material waste (Scrap, Yield) or excessive labor (Overtime).
  • Implements Aspen's standard continuous improvement procedures & trains operations staff as needed to support sustained execution of the procedures.
  • Facilitates workshops (Kaizen, Value Stream Mapping, etc) for rapid improvements, and those efforts are part of the site's broader continuous improvement roadmap in the organization.
  • Supports the implementation of the daily layered accountability structure for daily performance management as a coach and trainer
  • Participates in regular reviews regarding the chartered projects in the critical project deck in LeanDNA. The OpEx Leader will present progress updates to the leadership team at prescribed intervals.
  • Manages financial success of projects: works with other team members to utilise financial and monthly forecasting tools to reduce costs and drive profitability and growth, and acts as needed to capitalize on the potential improvements.
  • Drive the implementation of a consistent 6S program throughout the manufacturing site to support automotive expectations.
  • Submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports reflecting project financials, expenditures, new opportunities, savings updates, site maturity tracking & Best Practice sharing as needed.
  • Support the development and deployment of the Aspen Production System practices on site.
  • Initiate & deliver training initiatives to support Lean culture, including 6S, Wastes Identification and elimination, other key lean tools and manage local projects in support of the lean culture, in alignment with the goals set by the Leadership team.
  • Identify, develop and share Best Practice across Aspen as appropriate.
  • Build influential relationships with the operations personnel on site to identify waste in the factory, transactional processes, support improvements and execute new projects. Support operational needs of the business where project leadership expertise and guidance is required.
  • Through active participation and shop floor engagement, support proactive performance management and the daily monitoring of KPIs. Support weekly and monthly performance monitoring, analysis and reporting.
  • Create and execute a lean and continuous improvement roadmap that includes a comprehensive analysis and prioritization of key opportunities for the manufacturing site facility.
  • Manage by objectives and ensure clear communication of goals and expectations
  • Uphold the strategic goals for the business
  • Define and deliver on cost reduction / savings targets for the site
  • Measurable progress in developing Aspen continuous improvement methods on site


  • 5+ years of industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, or equivalent experience within a manufacturing company driving continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Strong lean manufacturing experience with a history of proven results in discrete manufacturing environments in OEM / Tier 1 / Tier 2 factories.
  • Has a history of implementing initiatives resulting in significant cost savings as well as driving production framework improvements at a site-wide level.
  • Degree in Operations Management, Business, Engineering, or other related field.
  • Expert level MS Office skills (excel/power point), Project management software.
  • Manufacturing systems and Continuous Improvement mindset essential.
  • Formal Lean Manufacturing and / or Six Sigma training preferable or a willingness to undergo suitable training.
  • Strategic business acumen, financial project management diversity, and planning ability.
  • Experience of influencing cross functional teams and motivating co-workers.
  • Excellent communication skills that focus on clarity and simplicity, both written and oral.

Aspen Aerogels is taking every measure to protect our employees and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, and other legally protected characteristics. The EEO is the Law poster is available here: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/pdf/eeopost.pdf.

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please send an e-mail to jlosordo@aerogel.com or call (508) 466-3111 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information.

For Our Rhode Island Applicants:

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, and other legally protected characteristics. The East Providence, RI facility of Aspen Aerogels is subject to Title 28, Chapter 29-6.2 of Rhode Island General Laws, which governs Worker's Compensation.

Keywords: Aspen Aerogels, Inc., East Providence , Operational Excellence Leader - EV Assembly, Other , East Providence, Rhode Island

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