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Director, Food R&D - (Caldwell, Idaho, West United States, USA)

Company: J.R. Simplot Company
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Open Til: 08-Oct-11
Industry Sector: Food/Processing
Industry Type: Food Processing
Career Type: Director
Job Type: Full Time
Minimum Years Experience Required: 15
Salary: 100,000

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Director, Food R&D 

Job# 436

The J.R. Simplot Company is a diverse, privately held organization with roots firmly planted in agriculture and agriculture-related businesses. These endeavors have been around for centuries and will continue to be a vital part of the global economy. We currently have a position available at our Tech Center in Caldwell, ID.

Job description:
This position will manage the R&D group to (a) assure the timely development of new and line extension products and improve processes that meet customer needs and that are cost effective, and to (b) provide assistance in commercialization of these products and processes.

NATURE AND SCOPE: This position reports directly to the V.P. of R&D and QA. The R&D Manager will direct research relating to any of the company's food product lines including potato, vegetable, avocado or other new product lines. This position is responsible for customer and production support by developing and improving products and processes that focus on the changing needs of our customers and production facilities, and that are profitable and appropriate for Simplot Foods. This generally involves assistance to Division QA, Process Improvement, Division Engineering, Sales & Marketing, Operations, Potato, Vegetable and Avocado SBUs, and Customers on specific projects as requested. Product and process development and commercialization usually requires R&D involvement in the following areas: Ideation, concept development, prototype development (batch and continuous), specification, cost, estimation, product samples for internal and customer evaluation, production line design, construction and shake down, production support, and post launch audit.


  • Lead & manage the R&D staff that develops profitable new products. The staff includes senior project managers, food scientists, technologists, and technicians
  • Manage new product and process improvement projects and provide initial screening and assessment prior to evaluation by V.P. of R&D and QA. Work with customers to provide innovative solutions to food product needs. Represent Simplot as technical expert on food science, potato processing, and statistics
  • Work with marketing, R&D, QA, Operations to assure effective use of the New Product Introduction system so that project benefits and risks are well defined and resources are managed well
  • Lead R&D project prioritization process with Marketing to assure effective use of resources and capital. Collaborate with other R&D leaders to develop and execute a strategic plan that aligns with that of the Food Group
  • Ensure that all R&D related physical and intellectual property of Simplot is properly recorded, utilized and protected
  • Hold staff accountable to follow good project management practice and champion the New Product Introduction process
  • Provide assistance to customers as requested which may include designing tests and experiments, analyzing data using sophisticated statistical techniques, writing reports and other memos providing Technical support
  • Ensure the interface with other support groups is conducted in a manner that is conducive with the operation's goals
  • Provide for the continued training of all project personnel in relevant processing, testing and evaluation methods and procedures
  • Conduct oneself in a professional manner and ensure that personal appearance meets the standards necessary to perform the job function while representing the Company
  • Ensure that additional accountabilities, as may be required by management, are handled in a manner necessary to meet operational and Divisional standards.

Other information:

  • Education: Requires Master's degree (M.A.) or equivalent.
  • Experience: Minimum of fifteen years related experience and/or training.
  • Knowledge: Understanding and experience in Project management. Knowledge of complex business practices including the relationship between Sales, Marketing, QA, Operations, and R&D. Knowledge of food chemicals and additives. Knowledge of pilot plant operations. Knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practices. Knowledge of sensory evaluation principles and methods. Knowledge of bookkeeping, word processing and spreadsheets. Knowledge of scientific and statistical methods for decision making.
  • Skills: Human relations skills in leadership, coaching, participative management style, development of subordinates, and performance management. Constant communication and interaction with staff, strong interpersonal skills, and understanding roles and motivation of others. Management skills in planning, organizing, directing, goal setting, controlling, self-development, and decision making. Strong mathematical, verbal and written communication skills. Professional appearance and presentation skills.
  • Distinguishing Features: Position requires leadership, good planning and organizational skills, good judgment, strategic thinking, and the ability to work well with and manage a diverse group of people. Actively participates in the organization and implementation of New Product Introduction system. New Product Introduction consists of a stage and gate system requiring the input of Marketing, Operations, Purchasing, Logistics, Finance, and Quality Assurance. Requires project management, excellent documentation practices, good communication skills, the ability to bring a diverse group together to accomplish a common goal. Other key attributes include decision quality, priority setting, business acumen, motivating others, and a drive for results.
  • Salary: Simplot Pay Grade - 48

Location Information

Just 45 minutes away from Boise, Caldwell offers a small community atmosphere, but large city amenities. Caldwell boasts great community events and recreational activities for river rafters, skiers, hot springs lovers, trail riders and hikers. For the wine lovers, there are over 10 wineries and vineyards to tour.

Next Steps

To be considered for this position, click APPLY TO THIS POSITION below to register in our Career portal, build your profile, and complete our online application process. This process includes additional job relevant questions, so please plan on at le

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