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Job Details

Merck & Co, Inc

Continuous Improvement Specialist

Equipment/Technology Specialist

Equipment and Facilities Specialist


De Soto, Kansas, United States

Job Description

Our Manufacturing Operations teams are the people that make our products. We work in the manufacturing plants with a “Safety First, Quality Always” mindset striving for continuous improvement. We work in the local plant connected to our global manufacturing network to ensure the highest quality of raw materials, intermediates and finished products.

Have you always wanted to work in a pharmaceutical company where there is room for personal development and your knowledge & skills are used for products that matter to people and animals?

Do you have a passion for optimizing (production) processes, developing colleagues and do you have extensive experience with change and improvement methods?

Our De Soto, Kansas location (Animal Health) is seeking a Continuous Improvement Specialist

About the position:

As a Continuous Improvement practitioner you identify, initiate, analyze and coach on continuous improvement, both strategically and based on daily problems. In this position you will lead or be involved in improvements in project teams on all facets within the production location with the aim of increasing safety, quality and/or output. You apply lean six sigma / change management methodologies and you develop colleagues at all levels, so that continuous improvement is in everyone's DNA.

Welcome to our team:

Our Company's Animal Health facility in DeSoto, KS is part of the global Animal Health Manufacturing Division network and a key contributor to the manufacturing of animal health products. We are expanding operations in the manufacturing of vaccines and biologics for large and companion animals and leveraging an experienced and innovative team-oriented work environment using fermentation and cell culture platforms along with filling and packaging.

Our strategy is important to us, where everyone works according to the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Safety, Health & Environmental (SHE) standards. We set up and improve our processes according to the Production System (MPS), which is based on lean, six sigma and inclusion principles. In addition to being responsible for supporting the operation within the site, the improvement team is an ambassador of MPS and the strategy of the site. The Improvement Team in De Soto consists of 3 people who report to the Operational Excellence Lead.

Primary responsibilities:

Initiate and implement improvement projects using Lean improvement tools (Standardization, 5S, Poke Yoke, Kaizens, Value Stream Mapping, Visual Management) to create flow and work smarter with the aim of increasing performance, safety, quality, and reducing cost.

Identify and elaborate business problems and long-term improvement potential based on thorough data analysis, setting up metrics/KPIs and benchmarking.

Hands-on support for operational problems and cross-functional investigations by conducting thorough root cause research based on scientific problem-solving techniques.

Facilitate project teams and provide training.

Continue to develop yourself in the field of Lean, Six Sigma, inclusion and change management. With this knowledge you develop colleagues at all levels in the organization by means of leading by example during improvement initiatives and coaching sponsors and stakeholders.

Collaborate with colleagues from Operational Excellence, Change Management communities and specialists from the corporate network to learn from best practices and share within the organization.

Required Education, Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum High School Diploma / GED with a minimum of 10 years of demonstrable work experience with continuous improvement (Lean, Six sigma, Project and/or Change Management) OR Associate or Bachelors' Degree with a minimum of 3-5 years of demonstratable work experience with continuous improvement.
  • Experienced in facilitating project teams and project management.
  • Result-oriented and able to manage many different tasks and projects.
  • Extensive experience and insight into working with data, making trends visible and performing statistical analyses.
  • Team player with a "go-to-the-gemba" attitude, analytical & eager to learn.
  • Pleasant, communicatively skilled personality who can connect with colleagues in production as well as within management.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (or equivalent)

Our Manufacturing & Supply Division is dedicated to being the most trusted supplier of biopharmaceuticals worldwide. Our facilities, along with our external contractors, suppliers, and partners, create a reliable global manufacturing network that’s devoted to delivering a high-quality, reliable supply to customers and patients on time, every time.

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for …

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us—and start making your impact today.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

For positions located in the United States and Puerto Rico – Subject to applicable law, all new hires (including internal transfers) must demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they qualify for a medical or religious exemption to this vaccination requirement. New hires (including internal transfers) to a position that, as determined by the Company, requires routine collaboration with external stakeholders (such as roles in health services or customer-facing commercial or research-based roles) (“Customer-Facing Role”) who are not vaccinated must qualify for a medical or religious exemption and be in a position that the Company determines can accommodate unvaccinated employees without causing an undue burden to business operations. If, following dialog with the candidate as appropriate, it is determined that the candidate either a) does not qualify for a religious or medical exemption or, b) for candidates applying for Customer-Facing roles, it is determined that allowing the candidate to work without vaccination would cause an undue burden to the Company, the candidate will be ineligible for hire or transfer, or any offer of employment or transfer (if applicable) will be revoked. Please note that notwithstanding the approval of any reasonable accommodation, the Company reserves the right to monitor, modify, or revoke any such accommodation if it is determined, following dialog with the employee, that the accommodation is no longer effective or results in an undue burden to the Company.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

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Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:


Flexible Work Arrangements:

Not Specified


1st - Day

Valid Driving License:


Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:R211680