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Operations Start-Up Specialist (Project Manager)

Nestle Purina PetCare

Last Updated: 5/26/23

Job Description

Operations Start-Up Specialist (Project Manager)

Job Description

We planted our roots in St. Louis home back in 1894. Since then, we’ve expanded our manufacturing to 21 facilities across the United States and St. Louis has grown into what some would call a “hidden gem”. This “big city with a small-town feel” has everything you need and more— a rich culture with world-class schools and healthcare, an affordable cost of living and a neighborhood for every lifestyle. Hours from other major metro’s or minutes from a bustling downtown, serene parks and outdoors—join us in calling St. Louis home.

As an Operations Startup Specialist, you will support the end-to-end PM to plan and lead investment projects and coordinate contribution of all stakeholders (from investment project charter until vertical start-up and agreed sustained performance is established) to achieve the project defined capability to support the business delivering manufacturing excellence, by managing a cross-functional and multidisciplinary team whose objective is to assure that the invested resources bring the return of investment expected with a flawless execution to deliver a vertical start-up.

Note: As our business continues to grow, an ideal candidate will be open to relocation as part of the growth path and career track for future capital projects and operations start up initiatives within Nestle Purina’s network.


Before starting the project design phase:

  • Contribute to Define the project scope, success criteria, and milestone deliverables that support business objectives in collaboration with Product experts, AG, factory and market stakeholders.
  • Build the investment project charter that includes the resources plan including a multifunctional project team required to accomplish the project manufacturing excellence targets.
  • Ensure available standards and best practices, as well as understanding of current category loss tree are revised as part of the project planning.
  • Ensure local site operational constraints are identified and addressed as part of the project charter. Engage factory team in develop synergies between the project and the factory NCE journey.

During project design phase:

  • Execute the basic and detailed design of the project based on Nestlé Corporate Business Principles, Nestlé standards, local regulations, the defined User Requirements Specifications and the TPM characteristics of a unit operation (safety, quality, affordability, maintainability, operability and reliability).
  • Ensure by design the workers and operators’ safety during both the construction and the ongoing operation of the plant.
  • Support the design team to accomplish the basic and detailed design, while mobilizing all the required resources and liaising with stakeholders.
  • Lead Current Operations Assessment and Change Impact Assessment activity to revise potential barriers that could place the project on risk.
  • Lead the Development of an Operation Start-up Plan to coordinate the operational preparation (People, Materials, Methods), including a ramp up curve aligned to the business requirements to ensure a Vertical Start-up can be achieved.

During the start-up phase of the project:

  • Lead the assigned area of the factory and coordinate the contribution of all stakeholders and functional support groups to ensure a vertical start-up meeting manufacturing excellence criteria and required production volumes.
  • Complete a smooth handover to factory operations after the qualification and verification of the installation.
  • Support the preparation and distribution of the project documentation, including the Manufacturing Dossier and TPM readiness assessment for the lines.
  • Ensure that the investment project charter and success criteria have been fulfilled and that the project scope is achieved within the agreed cost and timing.
  • Manage the allocation of all operational preparation and start-up expenditure.

During the whole project life:

  • Be the Manufacturing project leader of a specific assigned area of the factory, meaning integrating all operational tasks, motivating and influencing the workforce, coaching, developing, managing and evaluating team members and being their support and liaison with the steering committee and all the project's stakeholders.
  • Keep the Startup Lead and End to End Project Manager informed.
  • Keep all the required communication channels open.


  • Bachelor’s degree with 3+ years’ experience in project management, business analysis and/or change management experience within a manufacturing, industrial, military, or related environment


  • Associate’s degree with 5+ years of project management, change management, and/or business analysis experience in a manufacturing, industrial and/or military environment
  • Preferred: 1+ years’ experience in early management, operations, and/or a startup environment

It is our business imperative to remain a very inclusive workplace.

To our veterans and separated service members, you're at the forefront of our minds as we recruit top talent to join Nestlé Purina. The skills you've gained while serving our country, such as flexibility, agility, and leadership, are much like the skills that will make you successful in this role. We hope you'll consider sharing in our mission--you'll join a cohort of others who have chosen to call Nestlé Purina home.

The Nestlé Companies are equal employment and affirmative action employers and look for diversity in qualified candidates for employment.

Prior to the next step in the recruiting process, we welcome you to inform us confidentially if you may require any special accommodations in order to participate fully in our recruitment experience. Contact us [Register to View] notify of us of any needs related to completing the job application.

Job: Operations Start-Up Specialist (Project Manager)
Primary Location: Saint Louis, MO US
Other Location:
Career Area: Professional
Nestle Purina PetCare Company

Company Details

Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Nestlé Purina PetCare has been advancing pet nutrition for over 80 years. Our team of over 18,000 employees and 400 scientists, including nutritionists, aim to develop products that deliver comprehensive nutrition to help ensure the long healthy lives of pets and make discoveries that can further enhance the lives of pets everywhere. Nestlé Purina is focused on delivering world-class products with...