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 Amazon.com
  • 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 careers@simplemills.com. 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?”