WhiteWave Foods Group Leader - Operational Excellence in San Juan Bautista, California

With our pioneering Horizon Organic, Silk, International Delight, Land O’Lakes, Earthbound Farm, So Delicious Dairy Free, Vega™ and Wallaby Organic brands in North America and Alpro and Provamel brands in Europe, WhiteWave Foods has made healthy, alternative food choices mainstream, creating not just new categories, but a new consumer mind set. At heart, we are creators, engaged in the making of a new kind of Food Company. We are unique in possessing both the creativity and the scale not only to meet the world’s emerging needs, but to shape them, and help define the future of food.

As we experience growth, and as our portfolio of products grows, we maintain a constant focus on our environmental and social responsibilities. We pursue reductions against waste, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions throughout our operations, focusing on our plants and our company owned farms. We are also champions for food security, lending our support to national hunger relief organizations and those that operate in our local communities.

This role will be a critical member of the continuous improvement team, focused on driving continuous improvement on a line or group of lines within the facility. Responsible for performing the routine loss analysis and building capability within the organization to eliminate that loss. Conducts analysis and implements improvements for all work processes in order to eliminate Non-Value Added Activity. Execute and/or facilitate improvements through proven CI / Lean / TPM tools. Must be a change catalyst with strong communication and time management skills. Most importantly, be a team player!

  • Ensure the safety of our people and our products always

  • Attend and support all line meetings as part of the daily direction setting process

  • Work with Production Leader and Maintenance Leader in the development and execution of the Plan for the Day and loss elimination

  • Owns Centerline Management system for the line. Routinely coaches operators and mechanics on the execution and adherence to this system. Leads process definition to identify Centerline targets and document standards

  • Owns the Finished Product Quality system for the line.

  • Maintain up to date Centerlines targets and track/check compliance to standard

  • Meet with each shift daily to review and prioritize unresolved issues

  • Support off shift critical work and emergency repairs where required

  • Provide trended data, ad hoc reports as requested by plant teams

  • Conducts recurring Loss Analysis and partners with Line Lead to develop short term improvement plans

  • Uses Plan-Do-Check-Act thought process to analyze line data to identify and prioritize loss elimination opportunities through the Daily Direction Setting cycle

  • Leads continuous improvement problem solving approach and trigger system to start the problem solving cycle

  • Perform Root Cause Analysis on safety, quality and major losses / chronic losses as necessary

  • Plans and coordinates training to others who will support the Process Improvement initiatives

  • Design, drive and perform analysis of recurring transactional and effort based work processes. Drive and track these projects to successful completion.

  • Develops control strategies and troubleshooting guides to enable operators to respond to sporadic losses

  • Ensures data is integrated into Daily Direction Setting process

  • Owns integrity of OEE calculations through informance and other line event data tracking systems

  • Conducts regular and periodic audits of daily management systems

  • Provides technical direction/guidance to personnel as required.

  • Networks and shares best practice with other locations internal and possibly external to the plant

  • Will be a member and valued contributor to one of WhiteWave’s Operational Excellence Pillars


  • Minimum four-year degree in engineering or related operations/process fields

  • Related process improvement working experience in manufacturing or other related industry

  • Familiarity or exposure to TPM, Lean, Six Sigma a plus

  • Dairy background a plus

SALARY: WhiteWave Foods Company offers a competitive salary and bonus potential. The company also provides a comprehensive benefits package as well as many other company sponsored benefits.

Nothing in this job description restricts WhiteWave Foods, Earthbound Farm, So Delicious Dairy Free, Vega™ and Wallaby Organic rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibility to this job at any time.

WhiteWave Foods is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to give equal employment opportunities to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, genetic testing information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, military service, status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, disability or any other consideration made unlawful by state, federal or local law. All employment practices and personnel actions, including hiring, termination, job assignment, compensation, discipline, and access to benefits and training are made without regard to any status protected under applicable law. It is our policy to select the most qualified person for each position in the organization, whether that is a new hire, a transfer to another position, or a promotion.

This policy applies to all persons involved in the operation of WhiteWave Foods, including, but not limited to, employees, vendors, customers and their employees, contract and temporary workers and anyone else on the Company’s property.

About Us

We believe a single person, working in any position at WhiteWave, can make a difference in our future. We believe this because we’ve seen it happen, time and again. We look for people with the vision to imagine new possibilities and the drive to make them real. We welcome individuals who care about making and selling good food, and who care about the impact their work has on people and the planet.

As a global company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, we offer positions in a number of locations across the United States. . Our operations in Europe span multiple locations in Great Britain, Belgium and other sites across the continent.