R&D Technical Project Manager
Job Location: Chicago
Ferrero is a family-owned company with a truly progressive and global outlook and iconic brands such as Nutella®, Tic Tac®, Ferrero Rocher®, Raffaello®, Kinder Bueno® and Kinder Surprise®. As the love for our brands continues to grow, so too does our global reach. Represented in more than 50 countries, with products sold in more than 170, the Ferrero Group is loved by generations around the world. The secret to our global success? 38,767 dedicated employees who celebrate care and quality to craft a business, careers and brands we are proud of. Join us, and you could be one of them.
Ferrero is committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture in which all employees feel welcomed and appreciated and have the same opportunities. We believe all of our people are equally talented in their own way. In nurturing the curiosity and natural abilities of our employees, we provide them, generation after generation, the means to succeed personally and professionally, enabling them to craft their journey at Ferrero. The diversity of our talents is what makes our work environment multicultural, innovative and highly rewarding.
About the Role:
The Projects Team or Technical Project Management function within Ferrero NAM R&D acts as the conduit for project flows between all the technical teams at Ferrero – these include Laboratory Development, Industrialization, Raw Materials, Regulatory, Operations, Engineering, and Quality. The Technical Project Management team is also the first point of contact for R&D & Technical for the Commercial teams – helping drive portfolio strategy and promote business growth.
In the role of R&D Technical Project Manager, you will lead the coordination and management of the technical industrialization of Innovation, Brand Maintenance, and Productivity projects within the Cookies or Chocolate Categories. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a growing team as we implement the new Ferrero NAM R&D organization.
- Drive technical project activities by leading cross-functional teams (i.e. R&D, operations, engineering, quality) to meet project objectives.
- Develop project operating plans according to project scope/objectives - defining activities, timing, and responsibilities, highlighting milestones and deliverables.
- Drive the creation and communication of technical risk assessments ensuring risk mitigation plans are in place and executed.
- Manage changes in project scope, project schedule, and lead escalations when needed.
- Communicate effectively with team members, internal stakeholders and leadership on status and performance of the projects in assigned Category.
- Ensure the development of assigned Category packaging projects with the collaboration of the Packaging Category Managers.
- Contribute to the definition of the industrial development plans of assigned Category with reference to the implementation of the Category Portfolio Strategy.
- Partner with Operations & Engineering on the analysis of Capital process proposals.
- Partner with Commercial Project Managers, Operations & Engineering to prepare framework for Capital Investments for assigned Category.
- Domestic travel between 5-15% according to priorities & project requirements.
Who we are looking for:
- Bachelor of Science degree with a preference in Food Science, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, or related field.
- Minimum of 8 years of previous experience in CPG R&D, project management, manufacturing, innovation, product, process, or technology development roles.
- Successful & proven experience in product/process development from laboratory bench scale to launch in market.
- Superior project management & organizational skills.
- Previous experience managing multiple projects concurrently.
- Ability to manage & influence resources without direct reporting relationships.
- Results & Detail oriented with strong passion for creativity and innovation within a complex driven environment – ability to work effectively in high pressure situations within strict deadlines.
- Understanding of manufacturing cost structure with the ability to interpret cost build-out.
- Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite, specifically MS Project/Excel/PowerPoint.
- Familiarity with SAP Architecture is considered a plus.
Ferrero N.A. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.
How to be successful in the role and at Ferrero:
Consumers, quality and care are at the heart of everything we do. So, to be successful at Ferrero, you’ll need to be just as consumer and product centric as we are - dedicated to crafting brilliant results for consumers around the world.
Strong analytical mind, attention to details on one hand, and ability to cooperate with employees at all levels and great organisational skills on the other, would be key to success. Employee contribution and engagement at Ferrero is based on the individual, team and organisation dimension, so you should have the ability to work independently, as a part of the team and build good relations with stakeholders at all levels. Being flexible and dealing with a dynamic working environment as well as the ability to embed new knowledge and skills in existing competencies will definitely help you to become high performer here.