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Plant Program Manager (Contract)

The Plant Program Manager’s (PPM) is the plant primary contact and responsible for leading the plant internal cross-functional team (CFT) toward a successful launch of new products, transferred products, or changes.  They lead the plant by setting up the plant internal CFT meetings, defining/driving the agenda, preparing meeting minutes and actions lists, following up on open tasks, driving progress to the process and closure of issues.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities

  • New Launch Support
  • Support the Corporate Project Manager’s (CPM) Project CFT meetings, providing plant input into the planning, and execution, of the project launch.
  • Schedule Initial Flow meetings as required to provide updates to the CPM Project CFT and as needed drive activity within the plant to ensure launch readiness in each of the key areas – Manufacturing, Quality, & Logistics.
  • Set meeting agendas to make clear the meeting purpose, required inputs, outputs, and attendees.
  • Drive specific agendas.
  • Drive the team progress to the process.
  • Lead the meeting – drive responses and activity from all members, keep the meeting agenda and time, assign/drive agreement on tasks and due dates.
  • Prepare meeting minutes, including all relevant notes, actions, assigned owners, and follow up dates.
  • Distribute minutes/actions lists.
  • Use minutes/actions lists to drive follow up meetings and drive closure of open actions.
  • Escalate barriers to Functional Area Managers, CPM, and Plant Manager as needed to drive barrier/issue resolution.
  • Prepare all timelines for all plant internal activities required to launch a new project, and provide as needed to the CPM’s master timeline.
  • Pre-production order tracking for off-tool, off-process builds, and prototype coordination support.
  • Ordering of PV parts for Change Requests (CR).
  • Ordering of all component parts necessary for plant equipment, tooling trials, PPAP, and pre-production builds, until such time that all parts are on a Blanket Purchase Orders (PO), and BOMs loaded into EDI / parts can be ordered by PC through EDI.
  • CapEx – Assist in obtaining plant level signatures required for Capital Expenditures.
  • Other responsibilities as defined in ABC-P011 and ABC-F129, and the Akebono Quality Management System (QMS)

Transfer Projects

Same as responsibilities as for New Launch, but in addition, the PPM assumes the Project Leader role for transfers within the US in accordance with the responsibilities defined in ABC-P025, prepares/owns the master timeline, master CFT leadership and master open issues list, and other responsibilities as defined in the QMS.

Change Management

The plant may designate a Change Manager who focuses on managing change within the plant.  This designate role has the same responsibilities as for New Launch, but in addition, the PPM assumes the Project Leader role for implementation of changes within the plant, prepares/owns the master timeline, master CFT leadership and master open issues list, and other responsibilities as defined in the QMS.  In addition:

  • Order Process Validation (PV) parts for CRs.
  • Ensure the CR is properly filled out, all key information attached, and all information needed from the Plant side is input, then sign-off CRs on behalf of the plant as appropriate.
  • Initiate & drive CapEx process if required for CR.
  • Other responsibilities as defined in ABC-P011 and ABC-F129.

Additional Tasks

  • Primary contact at the plant – ensuring seamless communication, ensuring those needing information are put into contact with the right people inside the plant.
  • Support as needed:
  • Plant quotation, which is led by CPM with support from Sales, PRC, Plant Finance Group
  • Post-SOP delivery issues, which is led by Production Control
  • 0-Mileage Quality issues, which is led by the Plant Quality Engineering
  • Preparation of the plant for customer visits – conference rooms, catering, meeting minutes
  • Capacity definition, reviews, etc.
  • Knowledgeable of:
  • Akebono and AIAG/Customer APQP process
  • Customer milestones and delivery requirements
  • Akebono products and all processes governing new launch, change management and transfers
  • Internal and external key project team members
  • Manage the OTD of all material supply chain, capital equipment and tooling for product launch, including Process Sign-Off, PTR, and PPAP submission

Education and/or Experience (minimum required for the position)

Bachelor's degree in Engineering (B. S.) from four-year college or university is preferred;  Minimum of 5 years job experience directly related to engineering, program management, manufacturing, material handling, and/or quality is required.  Familiarity with brake components and APQP processes are required.

Essential Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Leadership – ability to influence others to a common goal.
  • Drives/facilitates collaboration.
  • High level of self-motivation, initiative, drive, and self-management.
  • Results oriented.  Urgency in addressing internal and external issues.
  • Strong at conflict resolution.
  • Clear and professional communication.
  • Approachable, non-confrontational.
  • Listens, is open, and seeks out win-win.
  • Excellent organization skills
  • Strong time management and multi-tasking skills
  • Culturally sensitive
  • Proper utilization of escalation
  • Valid Driver's License Required


Ability to use conventional e-mail and engineering office software (Microsoft Project, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook) to communicate concepts, timing charts, etc.).  High level of proficiency in Microsoft Project.


For lead PPM or Manager of Plant Program Management manage, train plant program managers, develop skills matrix, performance reviews, development, and general management responsibilities for PPM group.

For positions reporting to lead PPM or Manager of Plant Program Management, this job has no supervisory responsibilities.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear.  The employee frequently is required to stand.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts.  The employee is occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions and vibration.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Some travel to suppliers, various plants and Akebono R&D center.

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