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Plant Manager (Bio-Industrial) - Chicago, IL 60617




CHI00687 - Plant Manager


Want to build a stronger, more sustainable future and cultivate your career? Join Cargill's global team of 160,000 employees who are committed to safe, responsible and sustainable ways to nourish the world. This position is in Cargill’s food ingredients and bio-industrial business, where we anticipate trends around taste, nutrition and safety to innovate and provide solutions to manufacturers, retailers and foodservice companies.

The job holder for this role is responsible for managing all aspects of a specialty chemical manufacturing facility in as efficient manner as possible while meeting all Cargill Corporate and Government guidelines. This includes setting performance standards, establishing budgets, managing costs, hiring and training, employee relations and engagement, implementing and managing all EHS, quality, customer service, logistics, maintenance/reliability, and production programs at a manufacturing location with highly hazardous processes as defined by Cargill. Responsibilities also include managing root cause analysis and project work to continuously improve business processes and product delivery systems to internal and external customers.


Principal Accountabilities


20% EHS and Employee Focus - Leads employee safety program standards and goals for a more complex plant that includes a Highly Hazardous process. Accountable for all internal/external operating/regulatory procedures on employee safety including strategic and tactical, execution in alignment with Corporate Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Quality and Regulatory. Collaborates with EHS/QR experts to ensure the most effective risk mitigation plans and regulatory compliance strategies are in place: Health & Safety: champions a culture of zero injury and illness, Environmental: Reduces and proactively avoids environmental impact and potential risk to the businesses. Oversees EHS/QR incident data to identify risks and to act on risk mitigation strategies (i.e. safety index, RIFR,). Leads tactical and strategic initiatives representing the business with external/internal regulatory authorities. Builds and maintains community relations that align with Cargill’s corporate and business interests while addressing stakeholders/community needs. Manage & promote Plant, Business Unit & Corporate programs and processes. Ensure implementation of Cargill’s philosophy of sincere concern for the health and safety of all employees. Meet all Federal, State, Local, and corporate requirements for EHS. Attend to EHS incidents or emergencies. Participate with EHS initiatives including safety meetings, behavior based safety, audits, and inspections.


20% Customer Satisfaction and Product Quality Management - Sets and deploys operational priorities for a more complex plant. Leads strategic and tactical operations/quality management deliverables to ensure customer and product/quality standards requirements are met within specifications. Collaborates/partners with Logistics/Procurement/Sales/Supply Chain professionals to ensure availability of raw materials and ability to meet customer

specifications and timelines. Ensures that customers are satisfied and that any inquiries, incidents and/or issues are resolved in a timely manner. Develops and oversees implementation of performance metrics for capturing, monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of corporate quality management activities and programs at the plant level. Partners with internal/external stakeholders (i.e. customers, Engineering, QR, Sales, Technology) to define, adopt and monitor performance indicators to identify/measure quality performance in areas that impact the customers and recommend areas of improvement and innovation. Champions and leverages technology innovation by developing strategic operational plans and by coordinating execution. Partners with BU leadership and with Technology/Engineering departments to identify emerging trends and translate into long-medium term operational goals. Ensures Cargill Intellectual Property (IP) materials, processes and knowledge are protected and maintained. Develops/supports BU/Plant customer relationships by meeting businesses objectives and by understanding how operational performance impact internal/external customers.


20% People Management - Develops/supervises and provides coaching to Operations Managers/ Production Supervisors including coaching Cargill’s core values and guiding principles for a more complex plant. Administers/oversees general workforce administration policies and programs in the areas of communications, staffing, training, evaluations, disciplinary actions and safety. Develops planning for future production workforce needs and participates in selection of employees. Responsible for developing strong leaders and a more diverse workforce by seeking multiple approaches to source/attract diverse talent. Incorporates diversity in succession planning and job fulfillment. Develops/Implements Plant/BU operational/reliability/safety training programs and monitors employee performance records on a monthly/ quarterly basis. Accountable for medium-term outlook workforce planning and accountable for successful training and on boarding of new/transferred employees as well as workforce engagement, recognition, development and coaching. Leads and implements systems and processes to maintain a highly engaged workforce. Holds direct reports accountable for actively addressing engagement issues and identifies/leverages best practices in engagement.


15% Financial/Capital - Leads, directs and controls capital and operating budgets for a more complex plant to achieve medium-term outlook financial performance objectives set by the business. Ensures and holds direct reports accountable for meeting and controlling operating expenses and established targets. Manages manufacturing P&L budgets/metrics and understands how production expenditure/costs impacts businesses margins and pricing. Forecasts overall volume of orders and inventory turns/costs. Partners with procurement/sales departments to establish best sourcing/pricing practices. Accountable for setting and managing base and non-base capital investments projects for a more complex plant. Partners with appropriate COEs (i.e. functional operations management, BU commercial/general managers, Engineering PDGs) to align medium/long-term businesses strategic goals in the development of plant capital investment strategies. Ensures capital projects objectives and scope are consistent with business strategy and technology strategy. Builds reliability and process safety into capital projects. May directly implement, execute and deploy all base and non-base capital investments projects in accordance to pre-approved budgets and by using proper project management tools/practices (i.e. Project Delivery Process, Portfolio Project Management, and build template).


15% Operating Efficiency and Reliability - Responsible for overseeing the overall operational management of a more complex plant. Implements operational efficiency improvements which may include, but are not limited to, standardization of plant information manufacturing systems, quality control, safety, production reliability excellence and maintenance, operators best practices, etc. Responsible for aligning overall team resources, with direct coordination/support from Operations Managers/Production Supervisors, to execute against medium-long term strategies and for meeting medium-term outlook strategic operations goals in accordance with BU/plant objectives. Enforces a culture that builds, operates and maintains plants that are operational sound, safe, and efficient. Champions and leverages leading operational practices and aggressively raise the performance of poor departments by monitoring key performance indicators (i.e. yield optimization, energy/water usage reductions, operator safety indexes, etc). Leads Reliability Excellence processes across more complex plant and ensures the reliability culture is foundational to operations. Enforces common reliability processes and metrics (focus on eliminating the root-cause of reliability problems, REPI deployments, etc) to achieve targeted results from continuous improvement practices, and validates the importance of Reliability Excellence through key successes (scorecard and metrics control, total cost of maintenance, total cost of ownership, monthly review of compliance audits, etc).


10% Miscellaneous duties as assigned




Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, or 10+ years of equivalent operations management experience


  • Seven (7) years of Production Management or Plant Management experience.
  • Prior accountability for the following areas: safety, environmental, employee development, quality assurance, security, cost control, reliability excellence, capital project management, facility upkeep, logistics, and customer service.
  • Experience with managing and controlling an operating budget ($5,000,000) and identifying and implementing expense and product conversion cost savings (+$250,000) .
  • Proven success in providing superior service to customers and at providing customer solutions.
  • The ability to manage change and pursue continuous learning and improvement.


  • Successful project management experience (+$2,000,000).
  • Knowledge and experience in transportation, distribution, and logistics industry.
  • Strong interpersonal and team work skills and the ability to build and maintain effective working relationships internally and externally.
  • Effective and systematic problem solving skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • A belief and commitment to a Self-Directed Work Team philosophy.
  • The ability to develop and lead the implementation of new policies and procedures.


This position is posted internally as well as externally.


Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

Job Operations

Primary Location US-IL-Chicago

Schedule Full-time

Job Type Standard

Shift Day Job


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