Director, Contract Manufacturing Innovation

United States /
Innovation – Product Development /
Hello potential future Oatly employee. It’s us, the original oatmilk company that started in Sweden back 25 or so years ago and has since expanded to the U.S. where we’ve continued growing at a rate such that we need more brilliant minds to come to work with us to keep the momentum going and the oatmilk flowing.
Sustainability, health, and transparency are the core values that guide everything we do.
Basically, we exist to make it easy for people to eat better and live healthier lives without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources in the process.  If any of this resonates with you, then maybe you’d like to work for Oatly, too. Now onto the formal stuff.

We are looking for a Director of Contract Manufacturing to join our Emergent Food team.  This role will be responsible for identifying, selecting, and onboarding new external partners to meet our ambitious innovation plans. Additional responsibilities include assessing capacity, technical capabilities, costs, project timelines, and trial contract negotiations.  This role will oversee business relationships from concept to commercialization and ensure strong and speedy collaboration between internal and external partners to meet growing business needs. 

All qualified candidates must reside in Eastern Standard Time or Central Standard time due to business and travel needs.

Here are the things we want to hire you to do:

    • Identify, select, and onboard new contract manufacturers to support Oatly’s innovation pipeline
    • Bring entrepreneurial spirit to developing key strategic co-manufacturer relationships by articulating business needs and brand ambitions
    • Serve as the primary point of contact between our contract manufacturing partners and various internal cross-functional teams from concept to commercialization
    • Ensure successful execution of business plans and initiatives to meet all quality, service, regulatory compliance, and financial objectives
    • Partner closely with product development/engineering/packaging to scope technical capabilities, review potential capex needs, and identify best solutions for commercialization
    • Partner closely with quality to ensure contract manufacturers meet and/or exceed Oatly’s food safety & quality standards
    • Partner closely with finance to oversee P&Ls, and actual-to-budget cost variances, identify root cause issues and drive improvement by pulling together key cross-functional partners through the development and upscaling as we approach commercialization
    • Regularly meet with contract manufacturers and Oatly’s internal cross-functional team to ensure alignment
    • Negotiate trial agreements, and initiate and collaborate on ongoing production agreements to secure capacity, drive margin enhancement, and deliver great food
    • Conduct supplier risk assessments
    • Troubleshoot and lead improvement processing regarding production issues as they occur through trials and upscaling
    • Network within the food industry to build contract manufacturing connections to support future product launches
    • Participate in the QBR scorecard review process for contract manufacturing partners, as needed
    • Ensure execution, project management, and communication among cross-functional teams
    • Continuously develop and improve processes and best practices related to external manufacturing

Here are the things we think you need:

    • B.S. degree in Supply Chain, Engineering, Manufacturing Management, or related field
    • 7+ years of experience working in the food industry
    • Ability to manage multiple projects in a high-paced, ever-changing collaborative environment
    • Passion for making things real in the world and energy to work in an entrepreneurial way (even within a growing organization)
    • Ability to think analytically and strategically to deliver creative solutions
    • Strong collaboration and communication skills
    • Exceptional influencing skills to drive strategy and direction
    • Excellent negotiation skills
    • Ability to build trust and create strong relationships
    • Ability to travel as required to contract manufacturing locations

And here’s another list of qualities we think make a good Oatly team member:

    • You feel connected to our mission of encouraging health, sustainability, and transparency
    • You are a self-starter who doesn’t need direct supervision to motivate you for success – we believe strongly in building a culture of individual accountability and ownership and need partners that can embrace that mentality
    • You are ready to make your mark in a smaller, growing brand leveraging your experience to deliver amazing results and build an outstanding company
    • You have entrepreneurial spirit in that you’re comfortable with ambiguity and are energized by the process of building something lasting from the ground up
    • You enjoy sharing your quirkiness and talents with your coworkers
Another bulleted list felt redundant, so we wrote this long sentence with all the ways we sweeten the deal to work with us, like providing flexible vacation for starters, really great benefits with 100% medical coverage, genuinely great coworkers who want to see the company and each other succeed, a start-up vibe with an established company history, and a fridge full of the best non-dairy alternative in the world for your enjoyment.
Oatly is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.