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Celebrating its 80th year 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 10,000 employees are helping customers in more than 60 countries stay competitive. Kennametal generated nearly $2.4 billion in revenues in fiscal 2018. Learn more at




Job Title:  Leader, Operational Excellence

Location:  Rogers, AR


Job Description:


The Kennametal Rogers, AR facility is in search of an enthusiastic leader and change agent to institutionalize Operational Excellence throughout the manufacturing facility to deliver sustainable improvement.  The purpose of this position is to lead, execute, teach, coach and drive continuous improvement at the Rogers manufacturing facility in support of the site and Kennametal Infrastructure strategic objectives.  Through partnership with all functions within the facility, the Infrastructure Business and across the Kennametal Enterprise, the Manager, Operational Excellence will proactively identify top priority improvement opportunities, and use the Infrastructure Operational Excellence Management Operating System to ensure projects are well executed and sustained.


Key Job Responsibilities:


  • As a leader in the manufacturing organization, operate as a positive change agent, working with all teams and levels in the organization to institutionalize Operational Excellence.
  • Build strong relationships with facility team members to build your operational knowledge and create teamwork necessary to effectively drive improvement.
  • Partner with Infrastructure and Enterprise Operational Excellence resources to leverage tools, resources and best practices to deliver rapid, sustainable results.
  • Support the continued facility cultural transformation to Infrastructure Operational Excellence.
  • Lead identification of top priority improvement facility projects.  Partner with facility leadership using an Operational Excellence Management Operating System to ensure projects are assigned, swiftly executed effectively using data to drive decisions, and deliver tangible, sustainable results. 
  • Lead, facilitate and/or coach facility team members in the successful execution of Operational Excellence projects and ensure their sustainable results.
  • Lead and complete high priority Operational Excellence projects at the Black Belt level.
  • Train facility resources in the topics of the Operational Excellence toolbox, including core tools such as Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED), Standardized Work, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Problem Solving, Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Six Sigma (yellow belt level).
  • Lead and/or assist in data collection and analysis in support of Operational Excellence projects.
  • Share learnings across the plant and across relevant locations, and proactively transfer knowledge from other sites within and outside of Infrastructure to leverage learnings.


Preferred Areas of Education, Cerfitications and Skills:


  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering or other technical field with the scientific method and mathematics as core disciplines.
  • Lean and/or Six Sigma Black Belt certified by a reputable institution.  Proof of certification and requirements of certification are necessary.
  • 5 or more years of experience in an a highly automated manufacturing environment.
  • 4 or more years of experience in leading, facilitating, coaching, training and successfully implementing Operational Excellence projects with tools including, but not limited to Six Sigma, TPM, FMEA, RCA, SMED, VSM, SPC, and driving an Operational Excellence transformation with proven results in an automated manufacturing environment.
  • Must be willing to share clear examples of your experience in Operational Excellence including projects you have led and facilitated, training you have led and non-proprietary magnitude of results attained and sustained.
  • Proven ability to work independently, drive rapid results and successfully facilitate cross functional teams, regardless of reporting structure.
  • Well organized, data-driven and results oriented with a can-do attitude and problem-solving mindset.
  • Disciplined project management skills, showing effective use of project scope, deliverables, timelines and sustainable results.
  • Strong financial acumen and a bias to exceed customer expectations while balancing business needs.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, verbal communication and organizational skills.
  • Must be comfortable teaching and presenting to large groups at all levels of the organization from shop floor to executive levels.
  • Must be proficient in MS Word, MS Outlook, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Minitab or other well-known statistical software tools.
  • Willingness to travel approximately 20%.
  • Ability to function in a manufacturing environment, including some climbing up and on plant equipment, and including activities such as walking, kneeling, stooping, bending, occasional reaching with hands and arms, and climbing stairs to reach plant areas and equipment.
  • Willingness to work flexible schedules as needed.
  • Experience in SAP ERP.
  • Robotics and process automation experience.
  • Metallurgical and/or material science experience.
  • Operations research modeling experience for identification of constraints and what-if analysis.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Nearest Major Market: Fayetteville

Job Segment: Materials Science, Metallurgy, Engineer, ERP, Manufacturing, Science, Engineering, Technology