Unilever Innovation Planning Manager in Lewisville, Texas


Innovation Planning Manager

Position Summary

The Innovation Planning manager is responsible for the on time in full delivery of new product line innovation launches, following strict internal Unilever and TIGI innovation processes and protocols to ensure high product quality at optimum cost and service cost. The role includes responsibilities for executing strategic cost savings/value improvement programs for the Americas, in addition to forming business recommendations for future cost/pricing optimizations in the overall product life-cycle.


New Product Innovation Launches and Re-launches:

The Innovation Planning Manager partners directly with Brand Development, Procurement, Quality and the regional planning teams, managing new product line launches and re-launches within Unilever innovation guidelines and best practices. They are responsible for ensuring an on time in full launch into the marketplace. To be successful in the role, the Innovation Planning Manager must be able to quickly form strong team coalitions, and efficiently lead cross-functional team members through complex Unilever project timelines.This includes ensuring up-front alignment on project activities and timelines, as well as the ability to anticipate and avert typical Unilever project pinch points and conflicts that may threaten timely project delivery. The scope of the role includes:

  • Innovation timeline management and execution

  • Responsible for the timely roll-out of Global innovations across all regions, with a focus on the Americas

  • Anticipate and escalate innovation project risks

  • Leading Innovation project meetings

  • Drive discussion between cross functional teams on project status, jobs to be done and regular risk management throughout the project, according to Unilever Quality in Innovation and Functional Excellence guidelines

  • Allocating product sourcing location based on manufacturing capability and capacity assessments

  • Ensure optimal cost/complexity/service balance for the project within the TIGI sourcing and third party network

  • Facilitate Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) request process for innovations where required, partnering with Procurement

  • Coordinating risk assessments with the cross functional team for new launches

  • Ensure all potential project risks are captured and rated as per Unilever best practice

  • Drive development of action plan to mitigate and reduce these risks
  • Continually hold the cross functional team to account for delivery of risk mitigation plan through regular project meetings, ensuring risks are minimized as per TIGI protocol
  • Flag any potential consumer or environmental safety concerns to R&D Team

  • Meet/exceed TIGI Innovation Planning Management departmental targets RE on time in full delivery and margin optimization for every product launch

Value Improvement Programs:

Working closely with the full Supply Chain and R&D teams, the Innovation Planning Manager must develop and execute non-innovation projects which deliver cost savings to the Unilever business.

  • Partnering with internal and third party stakeholders up and down the supply chain to optimize cost/service on various elements of the product life cycle, including but not limited to:

  • Primary Packaging

  • Formulation
  • Manufacturing methodology
  • Secondary packaging
  • Recognizing potential links/benefits to current or upcoming innovation projects and harnessing those benefits efficiently to deliver optimized cost to innovations where possible, as well as existing product lines
  • Ensuring any and all cost savings made do not create any safety or environmental risks

Product Benchmarking and Supply Chain Strategy:

The Innovation Planning Manager will lead an end to end analysis work stream on the full TIGI product life cycle, evaluating each stage comprehensively from upstream purchasing of components, through to final delivery to customer. They will use these insights to develop Supply Chain Strategy recommendations to the business, to be implemented via future VIP/Innovation projects.

  • Benchmarking of our cost of goods and overall pricing vs both internal Unilever and industry standards
  • Leveraging knowledge of other Unilever brands’ value improvement programs, pricing and Supply Chain Strategies to bring a critical lens to TIGI’s position in the marketplace and more easily identify potential savings/improvements
  • Complete educated analysis of every stage in the material sourcing, manufacturing and delivery processes of each product within the TIGI portfolio, highlighting discrepancies between brands and opportunities to harmonize/simplify the product portfolio
  • Evaluate TIGI’s current supplier base for optimal cost, service and simplicity, with a focus on TIGI’s largest suppliers which are located in the Americas
  • Develop informed overall recommendations to the business to optimize TIGI Supply Chain Strategy and cost of goods, whilst maintaining strict adherence to Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre guidelines and protocols

Key Interfaces

  • Marketing
  • R&D
  • Supply Chain
  • Demand Planning & S&OP
  • Quality

Relevant Experience

  • 3-5 years’ experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Supply Chain, including hands-on experience in an Innovation Planning Management role
  • Proven ability to partner with key functions within TIGI/Unilever (e.g. global Marketing/R&D teams) to deliver projects on time in full
  • Proven ability to navigate the complexities of super-fast track innovation projects whilst ensuring all internal and external regulatory and quality requirements are met (with the aid of relevant cross-functional team members)
  • Proven ability to develop and deliver plans to support Unilever market strategy
  • Proven ability to manage the entire product development cycle from idea to launch

Essential Knowledge & Skills

  • Detailed knowledge of innovation processes and protocols
  • Knowledge and understanding of the product lifecycle and ability to identify opportunities to optimize cost/value at each stage
  • Understanding of the wider cross-functional innovation team dynamics and ways of working between functions/departments
  • Leadership ability and a willingness to take responsibility and accountability
  • Passion for succeeding
  • Ability to learn on the fly
  • Honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and dependability
  • Ability to function independently
  • Experience in managing fast track innovations timelines
  • Strong Analytical mindset and skills
  • Self-motivating, able to work in virtual teams and cross-functional teams
  • Strong problem solving skills and bias for action
  • Experience in change management projects development and management
  • Comfortable and confident working in dynamic environment able to adapt to changing priorities
  • Experience in Microsoft Office Projects
  • Advanced Excel Skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to travel internationally up to 5% of the time
  • Ability to stand for prolonged periods of time
  • Ability to drive or use other methods of transportation
  • Exposure to atmospheric conditions (extreme weather - hot/cold, humidity, etc.)

What We Can Offer You

Culture for Growth|Top Notch Employee Health & Well Being Benefits|Every Voice Matters|Global Reach|Life at Unilever|Careers with Purpose|World Class Career Development Programs|Check Out Our Space|Focus On Sustainability

Please note: as part of the job application, you will be asked to complete pre-screening questions.Completion of the pre-screening questions are mandatory in order to be considered. Please allow yourself plenty of time to complete both the application and pre-screening questions.If the pre-screening questions are partially answered or not at all, it will adversely affect the progress of your application. Please be aware that you will have to complete the pre-screening questions at once as you will be unable to return to it later.

Unilever is an organization committed to diversity and inclusion to drive our business results and create a better future every day for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business.

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Job: Supply Chain

Primary Location: United States-Texas-Lewisville-Lewisville TX - TIGI HQ

Schedule: Full-time

Shift: Day Job

Unposting Date: Jul-13-2018

Req ID: 1800072U