Monthly Archives: November 2016

Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager, Simple Mills, Chicago, IL

Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager

Company Description

Simple Mills is a rapidly-growing Chicago-based food company that is transforming the supermarket shelves. We believe that when you eat better, you feel better. But sometimes making meals of real, whole-foods is far too complicated for everyday life. We are passionate about providing consumers with products made of simple, nutrient-rich ingredients that taste absolutely amazing. Today, we produce 8 varieties of almond flour baking mixes, and offer 4 grab-and-go crackers and 2 ready-to-spread cake frostings.

In our company’s short history, we’ve gained instant consumer acceptance and tremendous momentum in the marketplace. A few highlights include:

  • Our mixes are #1 in natural channels for dollar sales per point of distribution and unit sales per point of distribution, and our crackers are a top-seller on
  • We are the #3 largest natural baking mix brand and the #4 largest natural cracker brand
  • We have retail distribution in over 5,000 stores nationwide including Whole Foods, Mariano’s, Treasure Island, Sprouts and Target
  • We have been endorsed by top magazines, bloggers and associations in the natural food space

Role Description

This is a full-time, exempt, benefited position within the Simple Mills’ operations team. The Quality Assurance & Compliance Manager will be a critical role in helping to scale Simple Mills from a functional perspective, serving as the voice, eyes and ears of Simple Mills’ quality. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Owning documentation and spec management for all raw materials, including:

–      CoA review and management for each new shipment

–      Gathering certification updates as needed to keep raw material documentation database current

  • Establishing QA/QC controls, specs and quality/safety procedures for all new products
  • Overseeing ongoing shelf life and other testing across product lines
  • Managing quality-related issues across our product lines, which would include:

–      Documenting issues

–      Determining severity / level of impact and escalating as needed

–      Owning issue follow-ups and ensuring appropriate due diligence is conducted on each issue / trend

  • Leading continuous quality and process improvement efforts across our product lines
  • Holding our supply chain partners accountable for delivering to spec and helping Simple Mills achieve its quality goals
  • Auditing supply chain partners on a regular basis to ensure quality and compliance, and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Owning Food Safety Plan development and maintenance for all product lines
  • Working with the VP of Operations to structure and define a formal “Simple Mills Quality Assurance Program” based on competitor and industry best practices
  • Testing new ingredients and packaging to ensure Simple Mills quality standards are met, and supporting Operations team with ingredients ordering as needed

Position Requirements

·       Bachelor‘s Degree or equivalent experience in operations, supply chain management or a food-safety related field

·       At least 7 years‘ experience in the food manufacturing industry, with at least 5 of those years‘ worth of plant floor and/or quality lab experience, mixed with leadership/operations management roles at the corporate level

·       Experience with several companies’ quality management systems is a major plus

·       Experience with managing food product certifications such as Non-GMO, Kosher, Gluten-Free, Organic, Fair-Trade, etc., in addition to managing certifications of co-mans, raw material suppliers, etc.

·       FSMA PCQI qualification and a detailed understanding of FDA guidelines and regulations

·       Detailed understanding of GMP and HACCP programs, in addition to familiarity with all of the major quality certification programs, such as BRC, SQF, ISO, etc.

·       Ability to travel to co-mans and raw material suppliers to audit/inspect and troubleshoot as needed

·       Support defining and establishing of all specs for new products with our co-mans

·       Exceptional organizational and process-improvement skills, and excellent attention to detail

·       Strong multi-tasker with a proven ability to prioritize projects and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment

·       Ability to self-audit and audit others – this includes the ability to discern issues, know how to uncover those issues and be proactive in anticipating said issues

·       Ability to professionally hold others accountable and maintain excellent working relationships with suppliers, co-mans, employees and other business partners

·       Strong leadership, teaching and mentoring skills

·       Intermediate PowerPoint, and strong Excel skills (ability to structure and analyze data, manipulate pivot tables, create trackers, and utilize basic functions)

·       Ability to complete other projects as assigned and needed

Benefits of Working at Simple Mills:

  • Make a huge impact as a key member of an emerging brand that’s changing the way we eat and facing explosive growth
  • Our team is very small with everyone wearing many different hats. We’re all passionate about healthy, tasty food, and delivering Simple Mills products into everyone’s hands!
  • Delicious, healthy food everywhere you look!
  • Compensation will be competitive for the ideal candidate
  • Company-paid employee healthcare, dental, vision and disability premiums, and a 401-k Plan
  • Performance-based annual bonus structure

How to Apply:

The position is for an immediate start in Chicago, IL. Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to Jenna Laughter at In the cover letter, candidates should comment on why he/she wants to join Simple Mills, any relevant skills for the position and two food brands he/she admires most (and why). Also, candidates should address the question: “Why is quality important in the food industry?”

November General Meeting 🗓 🗺

Wednesday, November 9th


Effective Scoping and Execution of Business Process Efforts in Major System Implementations


White Eagle Banquets
6839 Milwaukee Ave
Niles IL 60714
(847) 647-0660


  • Pre-Dinner Session: ~ 6.00pm
  • Dinner: ~ 7.00pm
  • Post Dinner Session: ~ 8.00pm
  • Adjourn: ~ 9.00pm

Dinner menu:

Chicken breast limone
Broccoli, carrots & cauliflower
Roasted Red potatoes
Dessert – Dark Chocolate mousse

Effective Scoping and Execution of BPI Efforts in a Major System Implementation

Business process redesign and improvement in the context of implementing a packaged application / ERP Solution: How to leverage the Process Classification Framework to scope and estimate the relative effort of process redesign work.

Our client, a prominent voluntary benefits insurance provider was undertaking a major transformational initiative to replace their policy administration system which serves as the underpinning to many critical business processes across their enterprise.  When laying out the implementation plan it became clear that there was a gap in estimation and planning around required business process re-design work.  The executive leadership team was very concerned that the business was not simply “re-paving the cow-path” and porting potentially broken or non-optimized business processes onto their new technical platform.

Centric engaged the Client’s PMO team and leveraged APQC’s PCF to identify key process areas that would be impacted and the degree or level (e.g., level 4, and level 5) to which processes needed to be re-designed.  This initial process inventory served as the foundation for our estimation efforts in which we estimated the level of effort in hours for each level 4 and 5 process that needed to be redesigned and required future state documentation. One of the most significant outcomes of this estimation efforts was that we had rational, objective estimates tied to a defined inventory of level 4 and 5 process areas that needed work.  This was coupled with a rational bottom up estimate of the activities and work required to complete an average level 4 and 5 process redesign. Great objective justification to understand the scale of business process redesign work that was initially missed.

Finally, we would like to focus on the nuances of doing business process design in the context of system implementation work.  Most significantly, in this type of design work, we are starting with an understanding of the existing out-of-the box system interaction diagrams and work-flows and then doing current state analysis and more importantly, future state design within the constraints of technology solution.


25590c1Mark Buchynski leads Centric’s Business Consulting Practice in Chicago.  He is an energetic, results-driven, executive with 20+ years of professional experience working hands-on with fortune 500 corporations, growth organizations and start-ups in addressing their critical business priorities. Mark specializes in helping organizations build-out their process capabilities and transform their operations.

Mark has led many business consulting initiatives by focusing on critical drivers of initiative adoption: effective expectation setting, communication management, stakeholder engagement, organizational collaboration and consensus building.

Registration is Closed

Cost for Dinner is: $30.00

Remember, anyone can attend the meeting at no charge. There is a charge to have dinner.

James Persaud
Vice Chair Programs