Operational Exellence Manager – Lucca (Italy)


The Operational Excellence Manager works with all levels of the organisation to identify, structure & deliver improvements, and implement a ‘Lean Way of Working’; that sustainably enhances local organisational performance.

  • Supporting deployment & delivery of Strategic Objectives
  • Identifying improvement opportunities
  • Shaping & structuring improvement plans/projects and driving their implementation
  • Improving process standards & application of Best Practices

Job Dimensions

  • Realisation of Lean Maturity Development
  • Realisation of Lean Competence Development
  • Realisation of OEE improvement/Financial return from Focused Improvement Projects & Performance Improvements on site

Internal customers

  • Site Leadership & Operational Excellence Function – development and implementation of plans that support the further roll-out and effectiveness of ‘The DS Smith Way’ across the site; and corresponding performance improvements
  • Site Teams – support creation & execution of local plans; develop through facilitation, training & coaching


DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, paper products and recycling services worldwide. Over the past 80 years the organisation has grown dramatically, as have our services and areas of expertise. Today, they operate in more than 30 different countries, proudly employing over 30,000 people. It’s thanks to the skills and knowledge of our employees that we are able to provide our customers with strategic support across their entire packaging Supply Cycle.

The Mill in Lucca has an annual production capacity of around 410,000 tonnes and is the biggest paper mill of its kind in the country. The Lucca Mill produces White liners. More information about the Mill is published at https://www.dssmith.com/paper/about/paper-mills/lucca-it

The Operational Excellence Manager is reporting to the Director of the Mill and to the Supply Engine Operational Excellence department (Central Lean Organisation)


Lean deployment: “The DS Smith Way”

  • Implement & develop ‘The DS Smith Way’ Operating Model throughout the organisation;
  • Develop & implement standardised tools and approaches that support performance development;
  • Support development of Daily checks, routines & review that drives Daily improvement;
  • Facilitate problem solving and root cause identification of issues;
  • Drive new ways of working & behavioural change that promote a culture of Operational Excellence;
  • Support deployment & delivery of site Strategic Plan/Objectives;
  • Deliver Year on Year site Lean Maturity Level development (as evidenced Annual Lean Assessment).

Process Improvement

  • Analyse & evaluate processes, performance & existing ways of working to identify improvement opportunities;
  • Develop pipeline of potential projects;
  • Structure Improvement Plans/Projects and drive their implementation; on topics such as: OEE, Cost Reduction, Process Efficiencies, Asset/Process Reliability, Quality, Service;
  • Lead/facilitate improvement workshops & meetings;
  • Lead and coordinate teams/individuals in delivery of projects;
  • Define & drive the application of Standards & Best Practice to Key Processes (specifically in Core Operations – Production & Engineering);
  • Deliver tangible performance improvements that can be seen in OEE/Financial results.

Leadership Competence Development

  • Use own Lean competence to facilitate & coach others in practice;
  • Identify needs, and create Lean training & competency development plans;
  • Develop/adapt Lean training materials;
  • Coordinate and deliver Lean training and competency development plans;
  • Create & update Lean Competency Matrix for site;
  • Deliver continual & sustained Lean competence level development.

Leadership & Communication

  • Establish & maintain effective relationships with Key Stakeholders, and at all levels;
  • Provide inspirational leadership to engage & motivate others in Lean improvement activities;
  • Appropriately support & challenge progress of Lean improvement activities;
  • Provide hands-on leadership, that is visible across the site;
  • Develop and deliver internal Lean communications (e.g. Newsletters/Brochures, Workshops/Briefings, Etc.);
  • Liaise with colleagues in Lean Network.

Planning & Reporting

  • Ensure appropriate Project Management documentation
  • Project Charters
  • Activity Plans
  • Financial appraisal
  • KPI baselining, target setting & tracking
  • Establish routine local governance to review activity progress & benefits realisation
  • Report progress locally and to Division

Health, Safety & Environment

  • Ensure a safe working environment is maintained at all times.  Reports any defects, short comings including any incidents and injuries immediately.  Assists with company investigations, Risk Assessments & SSOW (Safe Systems of Work).
  • Ensure the safety of all work colleagues, contractors, visitors and where relevant members of the public to ensure any health and safety risks are minimised.
  • Comply with any site’s Environmental Management System (EMS), including environmental procedures and work instructions.
  • Report potential hazards to the environment, and environmental incidents, and assist with company investigations as required.  Assist with risk assessments and the development of the EMS.
  • Ensure all employees and / or sub- contractors under direct control follow the requirements of EMS.
  • Ensure all raw materials are used efficiently and actively work to reduce D S Smith Paper’s environmental impact


  • Seek continuous improvement in quality processes
  • Develop understanding of customer needs & wants; and continually improve processes to satisfy
  • Risk manage and statistical analyse impact of process improvement interventions on quality


  • Engineering or Manufacturing related degree (or equivalent via experience);
  • Knowledge of Lean approaches & deployment; and tools & techniques (Lean Certification, such as 6 Sigma, an advantage);
  • Fluent in Italian and ideally English;;
  • Possesses both a strategic mindset & pragmatic hands-on approach;
  • A motivated self-starter with the ability to identify, structure & practically drive change;
  • Process optimisation focus; with strong analytical skills & problem-solving ability;
  • Ability to effectively engage & influence stakeholders at all levels;
  • Excellent communication skills, both written & verbal; and ability to facilitate, train and coach;
  • Flexibility & adaptability;
  • Work within large scale continuous manufacturing processes (preferably Papermaking);
  • Operations leadership / supervision;
  • Demonstrable application of Lean / Continuous Improvement methodologies;


  • In international working environment
  • Excellent C&B package
  • Plenty of growth opportunities in the Mill and internationally


DS Smith works exclusively with Paper Support One for the recruitment of candidates for the Operational Excellence Manager position. You can contact Pim van Meeuwen for additional information about DS Smith or the position. (+ 31 43 326 08 00 / +31 653 26 55 11)


Please upload your CV via the “APPLY” button.

Looking forward to your application!

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