Author Archives: Elena Martynenko

Quality Assurance Associate, The Royal Group

Quality Assurance Associate

The Royal Group

Job Description

Job Title: Quality Assurance Associate

Department: Quality

Reports To: Process Improvement Manager

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Prepared By: Phil Nuger

Prepared Date: 1/6/17

Approved By:

Approved Date:

Shift: 1

Summary: Can perform all the job duties within the department related to continuous improvement and maintaining the Quality Management System.  A Quality Associate examines the materials, procedures, and processes involved in the production of a corrugated product using the available data and resources and enforcing quality standards; testing materials and product.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Maintain and conduct in-process product inspections, studies manufacturing methods; monitors testing methods and procedures.

Maintain standards for the disposition of finished product by evaluating tests, methods, and procedures.

Maintain rework standards by monitoring inspection and physical testing methods and procedures.

Maintain product quality documentation system by writing and updating quality management system procedures.

Maintain product quality by enforcing quality policies and procedures and government requirements; collaborating with other members of a team to update new product and designs and manufacturing and training methods.

Prepare product and process quality reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends.

Complete quality management system operational requirements as assigned.

Manage or complete corrective actions (CAR) focusing on the systematic investigation of the root causes of identified problems or identified risks in an attempt to prevent their recurrence or to prevent occurrence.

Acquire and maintain a working knowledge of the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System requirements.

Acquire and maintain a working knowledge of the BRC Global Standards Management System requirements

Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; participating in professional societies.

Achieve financial objectives by conforming to the quality budget; scheduled expenditures; and analyzing variances

Physical Demands The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is occasionally required to stand 25% of shift

Walk 10% of shift.

Use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.

Must occasionally twist and/or use upper body.

The employee is required to talk and hear.

The employee must be able to lift and /or move up to 25 pounds.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, distance vision, depth perception, and peripheral vision.


To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem solving situations; uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.

Technical Skills – Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others.

Customer Service – Responds promptly to customer needs; responds to requests for service and assistance; meets commitments.

Interpersonal Skills – Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; maintains confidentiality; listens to others without interrupting; keeps emotions under control; remains open to others’ ideas and tries new things.

Oral Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions; participates in meetings.

Written Communication – Varies writing style to meet needs; presents numerical data effectively; able to read and interpret written information.

Teamwork – Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit; puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; supports everyone’s efforts to succeed.

Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.

Diversity – Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; builds a diverse workforce.

Ethics – Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.

Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization’s goals and values; benefits organization through outside activities; supports affirmative action and respects diversity.

Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process; makes timely decisions.

Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; develops realistic action plans.

Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.

Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; looks for ways to improve and promote quality; applies feedback to improve performance; monitors own work to ensure quality.

Safety and Security – Observes safety and security procedures; determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; reports potentially unsafe conditions; uses equipment and materials properly.

Adaptability – Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.

Attendance/Punctuality – Is consistently at work and on time; ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; arrives at meetings and appointments on time. If absent, notifies well in advance.

Dependability – Follows instructions, responds to management direction; takes responsibility for own actions; keeps commitments; commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals.; completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.

Initiative – Volunteers readily; undertakes self-development activities; seeks increased responsibilities; takes independent actions and calculated risks; looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; asks for and offers help when needed.

Innovation – Generates suggestions for improving and expediting work.

Qualifications: 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 with disabilities to perfom1 the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience

College diploma; or equivalent combination of education and experience desirable.

Language Skills

Ability to read and comprehend complex instructions, correspondence, and memos in English. Ability to write correspondence, memo, work instructions and short papers. Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to customers and employees of the organization.

Mathematical Skills

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs. Ability to use tape measure. Ability to create, understand and explain statistical methods and concepts.

Computer Skills

Ability to use computer including a proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and Access).  Understanding of to how to navigate, establish and maintain an efficient file structure in a computer network using multiple servers and drive locations.

Reasoning Ability

Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

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.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly exposed to moving mechanical parts. The employee is occasionally exposed to heat, fumes or airborne particles; toxic or caustic chemicals and vibration.

The noise level in the manufacturing environment is usually very loud and it is required that you wear hearing protection. Safety glasses within the plant are also required. Employee must watch where he/she walks in order to remain safe.

Contact: Ray Woodworth


Quality Manager, Ironwood Industries Inc., Libertyville, IL

Quality Manager, Ironwood Industries Inc., Libertyville, IL

Due to an impending retirement, Ironwood Industries will soon have a need for a Quality Manager in their organization. Ironwood Industries, Inc. offers custom injection molding and manufacturing for the medical industry.  Services include Class 8 cleanroom molding, with insert and two-shot options.  Assembly processes include ultrasonic welding, thermal staking and insertion, RF welding, adhesive bonding, transfer printing, and packaging.  ISO 9001-2008 and 13485-2003 certified.


  • BS or BA from a 4-year college or university.
  • Minimum of 10 years (combined) experience working in the quality control / quality assurance / quality management fields pertaining to manufacturing.
  • Must have very good working knowledge of ISO 9001:2015, including details of managing risk.
  • Must have very good working knowledge of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing as it applies to mechanical systems.
  • Must have at least 5 years of supervisory, or preferably, management experience and responsibilities.
  • Must have training and experience in managing and conducting internal audits.
  • Must have experience in managing customer audits.
  • Must have experience in managing 3rd party (for ISO 9001) audits.
  • Must have experience with statistical techniques commonly utilized in the industry.
  • Must evaluate requirements for new jobs and plan for inspection needs as appropriate.
  • Must be capable of training not only departmental staff but also company-wide personnel on quality management topics and requirements of the quality management system.
  • Must be able to read, interpret, and disseminate customer documents, specifications, part drawings as well as industry standards and regulations.
  • Must be able to maintain a CAPA system for various aspects of company functions where corrective actions are generated.
  • Must be capable of assisting in lab metrology functions when extra assistance / help is needed on large pre-production qualification studies.
  • Must maintain responsive communication channels with internal and external customers and suppliers.
  • Must be responsible for annual budgeting for personnel and capital needs.
  • Must be a management team player in achieving company goals.


  • Experience in injection molding of plastics and related secondary operations with plastics.
  • Experience in the medical device industry and ISO 13485.
  • Experience with any of the following software: PC-DMIS, Measure-X, and QC Calc.
  • Experience participating on a company safety committee.
  • Bi-lingual in English / Spanish.

Interested candidates should email their resumes to:

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?”

Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Manager, Chicago, IL

Job Title: Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Manager

This is a high profile position within our Client’s Lean Center of Excellence (CoE), reporting to a Senior Manager or Director.

The CoE is responsible for designing and executing our Client’s efforts around continuous improvement. Getting direction from the President of Consumer Banking, as well as from the Lean Council led by the Chief Operating Officer.

The Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Manager is responsible for leading and executing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) initiatives by engaging with senior leaders across the enterprise to identify and scope Lean-related business challenges, conduct fact-based analyses and problem solving, and develop actionable recommendations to drive business impact through improvements in cost, customer experience, and demand management.

The manager concurrently leads 1-2 project teams of 2-5 colleagues from the Lean CoE and is responsible for managing their workload, work stream assignments, and overall engagement. In addition, the manager has 1-3 direct reports and responsible for their development.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the timely delivery of project results that meet or exceed agreed-upon metrics or goals
  • Structures identified business challenges logically
  • Mentor Project Managers on Lean Six Sigma and general project management skills
  • Act as a key driver for change within the business units aligned to supporting project execution and toll-gating and helping them to learn, understand, adjust and grow with the business Lean Six Sigma transformation
  • Conduct in-depth analyses (when required), including data collection, data analyses, and synthesis of data to generate key insights for projects or Lean deployment strategies
  • Develop presentations for senior management to facilitate discussions on project or program progress, results and assistance needed from them
  • Generate insights based on tools including (but not limited to) customer interviews, desk research, discussions with Lean experts, focus groups, and surveys
  • Ensure disciplined, data-driven, well-documented approaches to improving end-to-end operational performance led by voice of the customer
  • Quantify impact of projects on financials, productivity, customer experience and compliance
  • Promote a risk-aware culture; ensure efficient and effective risk and compliance management practices by adhering to required standards and processes
  • Provides hands-on leadership to Project Managers and Associates
  • Builds a strong team and develops them to their full potential
  • Recognize when there are obstacles preventing others from achieving their goals and readily intervenes and finds resourceful ways to remove them
  • Develop and maintain relationships with senior leadership

Required Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Lean Six Sigma certification (e.g., green belt, black belt, master black belt, or other)
  • At least 7 years of experience in Lean Six Sigma or related continuous improvement areas
  • Experience in change management, stakeholder management, and influencing people without authority
  • Experience in managing Lean Six Sigma projects and driving results
  • Strong oral and written communication, interpersonal, presentation and organization skills;
  • Ability to communication with all levels of staff, management, and senior leadership
  • Proven ability to work in ambiguity
  • Highly motivated to take ownership and drive initiatives with minimal direction
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate teams of 3 or more high performing individuals
  • Capacity to think strategically and innovatively


Prabhu Jayapal

Director – Talent Acquisition

DivHN Integration Inc.

(847) 882-0585 x 251

(224) 704-1708 (Direct) / (312) 371-3553 (M)


Manager, Lean Transformation Change Agent, Chicago, IL

Job Title: Manager, Lean Transformation Change Agent

This is a High profile position, reporting to Lean Architect (Director). Based in Greater Chicago.

Key Responsibilities:

The Change Agent will help in implementing the management system across our organization. He/She will be responsible for:

  • Diagnosing the current state of the business with the help of business partners. Conducting interviews, gathering data, and analyzing current business performance
  • Supporting business leaders (Managers, Directors) in the design of the management system and process related solutions in their area
  • Developing the skillsets of 1-3 business leaders and their teams in lean management tools such as visual management, performance management, problem solving, and implementation of standard work
  • Coaching the leaders on how to shift the mindsets and behaviors of themselves and their teams to instill a culture of continuous improvement
  • Owning the implementation and maturity of the client’s tools and practices within a business area, and communicating progress to program leadership
  • Develop and enhance lean training material. Act as instructor for training sessions
  • Lead problem-solving activities to define problems, determine root causes, create and test options, implement and standardize solutions
  • The Change Agent will work closely with a team of 4-6 other change team members and will be jointly responsible for the development of the program
  • Be a thought partner to leadership on program-related matters
  • Help coach newer members of the change team to be effective change agents within 6 months of starting in team


  • 7 or more years of work experience in Lean, Six Sigma or related continuous improvement areas
  • Experienced in change management and influencing people without authority.
  • Open to change, persistent, can improve a process and drive impact
  • Demonstrated track record of building or improving a continuous improvement program
  • Strong communications (oral and written)
  • Interpersonal, presentation and organization skills
  • High ability to drive work with some direction
  • High comfort with ambiguity
  • Demonstrated comfort with MS Office tools including PowerPoint, Excel and Word
  • Team player: Ability to work well with others, to build credibility quickly, and to improve a team’s performance. Can listen carefully to others, and understand and respond appropriately to messages, explicit or implied (e.g., body language)
  • Strong problem solver: Able to structure, analyze, and synthesize findings, identify root causes, and develop pragmatic recommendations. Able to develop a solution and solve problems both creatively and independently
  • Able to identify and leverage team member’s unique skills to maximize team performance
  • Advanced degree (MBA or other Master’s degree) preferred
  • Experience in developing, coaching and mentoring employees and leaders
  • Prior experience in Lean transformations
  • Prior experience with Lean in Headquarter functions (i.e. not operations or support functions)
  • Green Belt or Black Belt certification preferred


Prabhu Jayapal

Director – Talent Acquisition

DivHN Integration Inc.

(847) 882-0585 x 251

(224) 704-1708 (Direct) / (312) 371-3553 (M)



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