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Manager Operational Excellence


Beford, PA, US

REQ ID:  39412

With over 80 years as an industrial technology leader, Kennametal Inc. delivers productivity to customers through materials science, tooling and wear-resistant solutions. Customers across aerospace, earthworks, energy, general engineering and transportation turn to Kennametal to help them manufacture with precision and efficiency. Every day approximately 9,000 employees are helping customers in more than 60 countries stay competitive. Kennametal generated nearly $1.9 billion in revenues in fiscal 2020. Learn more at Follow @Kennametal: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Operational Excellence Manager – Bedford, PA



The Kennametal manufacturing plant in Bedford, PA is seeking an Operational Excellence Manager within the Earth Cutting Tools (ECT) Business Unit. The role is responsible to lead continuous improvement and lean manufacturing efforts which directly impact Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) including safety, quality, delivery and cost. In this role, you will act as a change agent to help eliminate non-value-added activities while improving efficiency and effectiveness of team members throughout the facility.


Job Responsibilities:

  • Facilitate improvement planning sessions to identify highest priority opportunities to achieve operations goals with the Bedford Plant Leadership Team.
  • Execute Value Stream Mapping on key processes and products to identify prioritized improvement opportunities and develop and lead action plans with measurable outcomes supporting operational goals with team members throughout the plant.
  • Facilitate problem-solving by leveraging continuous improvement methodologies to eliminate root causes and permanently reduce variation using Lean and Six Sigma™ tools throughout operations. 
  • Lead, and coach others to lead, improvement tasks and projects throughout manufacturing using the continuous improvement tools applicable to the situation.
  • Effectively use analytical skills and tools to assess observations and data to understand areas for improvement.  Identify constraints and drive improved flow.
  • Develop, implement and support the effective application of best practices as Standard Work, Standard Operating Conditions, and Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Advocate for the Voice of the Customer (VOC) via process capability and defect elimination.
  • Drive all five elements of the Kennametal Production System in cooperation with the plant leadership in a prioritized manner to deliver operational goals/
  • Develop countermeasures ranging from basic problem containment to system repair to equipment replacement.
  • Demonstrate the Kennametal Cultural Beliefs through daily interactions and inspire others to do the same.



  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Operations, Engineering or other manufacturing-related field.
  • Five (5) years of continuous improvement (Lean Manufacturing) experience in a manufacturing environment.
  • Strong understanding and demonstrated experience in the areas of Continuous Improvement, Operational Excellence, Lean principles, Value Stream Mapping, statistics, and data analysis.
  • Competence in usage of Microsoft Office tools (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), including the ability to create analytical reports, documents, and presentations.
  • Prefer experience with Minitab statistical analysis tools.
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal.
  • Ability to quickly learn and understand manufacturing processes, materials, quality processes, and basic financial analysis to optimize the effective manufacture and distribution of products.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple initiatives simultaneously, set priorities, identify, and resolve problems, and meet deadlines.
  • Experience in leading sustainable improvements using several of the following: Value Stream Mapping, DMAIC, DMADV, SMED, Kanban and FMEA.
  • Demonstrated success in training people at all levels to ensure engagement and ownership of improvements.


Preferred Certifications:

  • Lean and/or Six SigmaTM Black Belt certification; American Society for Quality Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence; American Society for Quality Certified Quality Engineer.

 As part of our core values, Kennametal is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all people.  We are an Equal Opportunity employer.

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