Director, Operational Excellence (Black Belt) - Pharmaceuticals/Biotech

United States, Portsmouth (New Hampshire)

Today, Lonza is a global leader in life sciences operating across three continents. While we work in science, there’s no magic formula to how we do it. Our greatest scientific solution is talented people working together, devising ideas that help businesses to help people. In exchange, we let our people own their careers. Their ideas, big and small, genuinely improve the world. And that’s the kind of work we want to be part of.

The Director of Operational Excellence drives overall strategy relating to operating excellence and delivering the overall corporate approach to continuous improvement at Lonza Biologics. Lead and deploy the program management and problem solving approach to improve process and performance while influencing partners in the business to drive top and bottom line impact for the organizational effectiveness. This role is reporting to the Global Operational Excellence team's Senior Director & Group Lead for the Biologics Business Unit, and this role does not have any direct reports.

  • Potential sites where this role can be based are Portsmouth, NH (USA); Visp, Switzerland; Slough, United Kingdom; or Porrino, Spain biologics sites.

  • This role will require domestic and international travel to Lonza Biologics sites. Expected travel 30%-50%.

  • This will be a Hybrid role, with 3 days a week onsite presence required.

  • External candidates being considered for this role will need to complete and pass a Lonza Operational Excellence exam during the interview process which takes approximately 3 hours. Internal Lonza applicants who have not completed this exam will be required to as well.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lonza Business Management System support

    • Driving and improving results by leveraging lean tools, consulting skills, and change management process and take primary responsibility for implementation of lean initiatives within manufacturing plants and its associated value streams.

    • Extensive facilitation of lean transformation activities across sites and functions (eg. mini-Ts, Lean Lab or similar)

    • Challenging and supporting site and divisional management to drive a culture of high performance and continuous improvement.

    • Responsibility for support and development of Lean Experts, Continuous Improvement Specialists, Supervisors, Operators and Managers.

    • Creating long term activity roadmaps and lean transformation projects for the business including Kaizen and step change projects.

    • Creating common/standard library of systems, tools and visual factory creating a single OE look and feel in every business unit.

    • Coaching leaders in servant Leadership to support roll-out of the system.

  • Govern throughput assessments of LBPN network assets:

    • Align priorities with Business Unit needs and impact opportunities.

    • Assess together with OE and Site organization major opportunities for throughput improvement to optimize asset capacity or asset efficiency.

    • Consolidate opportunities as basis for execution prioritization

    • Govern/support ongoing projects (>200 Mio GP opportunity)

  • Develop and prepare a multi-year execution plan:

    • Deliver sustainable value, Center of Excellence fully integrated in Lean Operations using standard approach to debottlenecking across the Lonza network


  • Prior experience in pharmaceuticals industry is required. Experience in Biologics, Mammalian Cell and related operations is highly preferred but not required.

  • Bachelor's degree required, Master's Degree is preferred but not required. Degree in STEM or other relevant discipline is a plus.

  • 10 years relevant experience in Operational Excellence and Lean.

  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is required. Master black belt is preferred. Internal and External candidates are required to pass a Lonza internal Operational Excellence test during interview process if they have not completed it previously.

  • Ability to travel 30%-50% expected, both international and domestic.

  • Maturity, confidence and high degree of emotional intelligence with demonstrated empathy and ability to influence others. Able to remain humble while implementing organizational changes and interfacing with colleagues.

  • Advanced knowledge in Project Management skills

  • Working knowledge of GMP regulations

  • Proven track record in successfully managing complex transformations, integrations and change management (mini-T methodology).

  • Prior experience designing trainings, workshops, and transformational change for Operational Excellence and Lean improvements.

  • Proven track record of successfully developing and overseeing cross functional-divisional and strategic initiatives.

  • Leadership experience of global teams with a technical focus is preferred.

  • Agile and pro-active relationship management in a multi-matrix organization

  • Fluent in written and spoken English. Ability to speak other languages is a plus.

  • Excellent communication skills: simplifying the complex, making the message /request clear, providing options/proposals, ability to focus on the purpose and outcome.

Every day, Lonza’s products and services have a positive impact on millions of people. For us, this is not only a great privilege, but also a great responsibility. How we achieve our business results is just as important as the achievements themselves. At Lonza, we respect and protect our people and our environment. Any success we achieve is no success at all if not achieved ethically.

People come to Lonza for the challenge and creativity of solving complex problems and developing new ideas in life sciences. In return, we offer the satisfaction that comes with improving lives all around the world. The satisfaction that comes with making a meaningful difference.

Lonza is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a qualified individual with disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Reference: R54593