The Director of Quality Assurance and Research and Development influences and implements company policies and strategic direction in quality systems to ensure the safety and quality of all processes and products within further processing. This position leads the development and deployment of new processes that build strategic quality alignment and partnerships with customers and suppliers. This position works cross-functionally to meet our client and its customers' functional requirements as well as a resource to identify and give advice on resolving problems with formulations and offer advice on resolving production quality issues.
The Director of Quality Assurance and Research and Development provides technical and strategic business leadership necessary to support the overall product development, application development, and process development/improvement goals and objectives of the company. In so doing, the position develops and implements a systematic approach working directly with the customer to develop new product formulas, test ingredients, schedule trial runs, and report test results with recommendations to move product and process development to commercialization. The position assumes total accountability for the identification, development, testing, and scale-up of a potential new product for commercial introduction. This position is accountable for working with the Sales, Marketing/Optimization, and Business Development teams to ensure products meet the criteria for successful market introduction.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Develops, implements, communicates, and maintains a quality plan to bring the Company's Quality Systems and Policies into compliance. Manages, validates, and audits Food Safety Plan, GMP, Sanitation, HACCP, FSMA, and other quality systems.
- Manages analytical, environmental, micro, and product testing at all locations. Audits and monitors facilities to ensure each facility consistently meets product specifications, quality procedures, and quality programs.
- Serves as a key statistical resource, verifies product and process improvement through implementation and analysis. Coordinates and executes functional product testing by working cross-functionally with the QA and Operations teams to ensure all products meet customer’s functional requirements.
- Manages SQF Level III, Kosher, HALJA certifications. Performs quarterly audits at all processing locations to ensure proper documentation and verification of procedures.
- Monitor customer complaints, ensure proper correspondence and countermeasures are completed.
- Establishes testing criteria and works with USDA New Technologies to modify existing processes for improvements to efficiencies.
- Establishes standards for all Co-Packers or co-Manufacturers including auditing, product verification testing for food safety and quality standards, and monitoring standards.
- Establishes standards for all storage facilities to ensure controls are implemented to sustain finished product and ingredient integrity. Acts as liaison for any finished product transitions between further processing facilities.
- Investigates Technical Egg issues to resolution.
- Reviews and validates specification changes for ingredients and finished products. Works with Purchasing Department on alternate sourcing of products as needed; Prepares and evaluates products for use in plants.
Product & Process Development and Optimization:
- Works with sales and business development staff to understand customer product lines and develop strategies to reduce costs or enhance product functionality.
- Acts as liaison between sales groups and customers for product development and revisions to existing formulas.
- Research products/customers that the company should work with on development projects.
- Travels to the customer to make functional project presentations; Works closely with customers regarding products; suggests/identifies problem-solving solutions or alternatives.
- Manages the development of shelf-life guidelines and specifications for new products, coordinates guidelines, and follows up on product issues seen and identified by the QA department.
- Assists in the control of ingredient cost through new product development, analyzing food cost information, and suggesting cost-saving ideas and changes for currently produced products and new products under development.
- Work closely with Operations and supporting cross-functional teams on process development and improvement projects to properly assess USDA or FDA regulatory needs, processing technologies, quality parameters, and process savings.
- Research other egg companies’ products and execute side-by-side comparisons.
- Assesses all Intellectual Property opportunities on new product and process developments and files associated with patents or trade secrets with review by legal counsel.
- Coordinates with management on the project priority list and reports on progress weekly.
- Ensures team and self can lead the technical portion of Stage-Gate projects and meetings to ensure timelines are met. Mentors and develops department personnel, including supervisory/management staff.
- Establishes and monitors co-worker performance and developmental goals, assigns accountabilities, sets objectives, establishes priorities, conducts annual performance appraisals, and administers salary adjustments as required.
- Establishes budget for projects and departments. Manages monthly/yearly budgets to ensure cost controls and implements quality KPI’s to track internal measurements.
- Participates in business development team meetings and operational leadership team meetings.