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Program Lead: Material Quality Management- Chicago, IL


Chicago, IL, US, 60642


A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet.  What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated 

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.


Job Purpose:

Program Lead for Material Quality Management is responsible to provide a scientific, risk based, service to ensure quality, food safety and legal compliance of raw materials to support our products/suppliers/factories that are in line with our strategic business goals.  This role is also important to ensure MQM is embedded into the Science and Technology - Ingredient Science Team to support the compliance to our Quality Food & Safety objectives.  The role is expected to build strong collaborative partnerships in Quality Food & Safety, SRA, SQA, Product Development/Innovation and Corporate plus Regional MQM leads as well as represent MQM processes in R&D system deployments.


What are you looking for:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 2+ years’ experience in managing and optimizing new R&D process flows and embedding continues improvement.
  • Strong facilitation and presentation skills including ability to engage and influence senior leaders.
  • Strong stakeholder, change, and process management skills
  • Solid analytical skills with the ability to interpret, summarize, and make recommendations based on data


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters/ PHD
  • Previous experience working with raw material/ ingredients
  • Food industry experience


Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead MQM business process development and continuous improvement for Mars Wrigley by working collaboratively with the Corporate MQM team and cross-segment.  Providing high quality end-to-end service throughout all steps of raw material life cycle in line with MQM standard requirements.
  • This includes process ownership, governance and continuous improvement for the following:

a) Material risk assessment process management

b) Specification management through process and system;

c) identification of the need for change in raw material specs;

d) Business process ownership MQM-related areas.

  • Depending on the category of material, the scientist might work with existing Global Raw Materials Communities (Cocoa, Peanut, Coconut and Dairy) comprising 40+ Commercial and R&D associates across all regions, including local representatives and other Communities of Practice (e.g. MRA CoP). The Program Lead has to work in close cooperation with other groups within R&D, SQA and Commercial.
  • Ensure team prioritizes Quality & Food Safety through compliance to MQM including MRAs and specifications, in partnership with Q&FS and SQA teams.
  • Diagnose capability gaps and assist in the design a global solution with QF&S and SRA to address and balance short, and long-term competency and capability needs.
  • Support the integration of MQM into the Ingredient Science Team and ensure the long-term compliance to novel ingredients. 
  • Lead projects, and initiatives to support the development and implementation of global learning & development processes and training programs.
  • Create a global Key User network to embed processes and training amongst MW R&D
  • Provide change management and communication support to programs, and projects as needed.
  • Partner with global QF&S and SRA Business Partners to identify learning and development needs aligned with business initiatives and build those into a comprehensive learning and training plan per the global R&D strategy.


What can you expect from Mars?

  • The opportunity to learn, develop and take charge of your own career.
  • An industry competitive salary and benefits package. 
  • To be respected and valued.
  • The Five Principles at the center of every decision we make.
  • The opportunity to work cross functionally, add value and impact a better world for generations to come.




Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.


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