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IT Applications Manager (MES)


Chicago, IL, US, 60631

Job ID:  50465
Estimated Travel:  0 - 25%
Contract Type:  Employee
Talent Area:  IT

This is a role within the Ardagh NA IT Manufacturing applications department. This role will lead the team responsible for shop-floor applications and related application integration. An important portion of this role is also to manage small and medium-sized projects.


The purpose of this role is to understand business requirements & processes, identify business technology, process & automation opportunities, working closely with business & IT managers to design, deliver and support solutions to agreed timelines, cost, and quality. The role is also responsible for developing and maintaining service operation strategy for several internally developed and third-party systems in the areas of manufacturing execution, quality, and industrial automation. The role also has responsibility for ensuring that the appropriate processes and quality metrics are in place for the relevant applications.


Responsibilities of this position include:

  • As an applications manager -
    • Responsible for overall configuration, development, operations, and integration of applications in manufacturing execution, quality, and industrial automation areas.
    • Manage a team of functional and technical resources in the areas of MES, SAP MII, and other internally developed and packaged applications.
    • Lead the team in configuring and deploying packaged software applications to meet functional design specifications
    • Maintain a roadmap of all applications in the areas of responsibility and manage the lifecycle of the systems by planning projects in the strategic portfolio as part of the budgeting cycle.
    • Develop and maintain one or more defined communication channels and/or stakeholder groups, acting as a single point of contact for the business units’ manufacturing leadership teams. Gather information from the customer to understand their needs (demand management) and detailed requirements. Facilitate open communication and discussion between stakeholders, using feedback to assess and promote understanding of need for future changes in services, products, and systems.
    • Work with the business units to develop unit, system, and integration test plans
    • Act as technical liaison to the software vendor
    • Manage the pipeline of requests for system changes, program modifications, and reports by assigning resources and overseeing delivery
    • Design and oversee deployment of interfaces to other systems
    • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationship with functional counterparts in the business and cross functional IT leads
    • Support the PMO team in delivering large projects
    • Manage application development, integration, maintenance, and support activities for process monitoring applications, shop floor applications
    • Collaborate with Global technical teams to architect home grown systems (.Net, C# interfacing data via OPC and PLC)
    • Integrate and manage quality control and process monitoring systems
    • Serve as the initial contact point for audit activities in relevant applications
    • Manage MES application installation, configuration, and deployment to manufacturing sites; monitor the performance, reliability, and availability of the MES service; maintain and update operational run books
    • Drive the change management effort in the test and Production environment
    • The manager will have full responsibility for administration of the team. This includes assigning work, conducting performance evaluations, facilitating team member development, and building strong relationships with business customers and IT colleagues across the globe. A key responsibility will be to ensure the delivery of development services consistent with the ITIL framework for application management. This position will also source and manage contract resources to assist and augment existing staff.
  • As a Project Manager
    • Take full responsibility for the definition, documentation, and satisfactory completion of small to medium-scale Projects (typically lasting 3-6 months, with direct business impact, teams of 3-5 and firm deadlines).
    • Identify, assess, and manage risks to the success of the project.
    • Ensure realistic project and quality plans are prepared and maintained and provides regular and accurate reports to stakeholders as appropriate.
    • Ensure Quality reviews, change control adherence and KPI achievement
    • Provide effective leadership to the project team and take appropriate action in case of issues.
    • Maintain contact with the customer and stakeholders throughout to ensure satisfaction.
    • Capture and disseminate technical and business information.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree preferably in Computer Science, engineering, MIS or related field.
  • 10+ years’ experience in managing teams engaged in delivery of solutions in the manufacturing area (experience to include deployment of third-party MES applications)
  • 3+ years (solely) as a Project/Program Manager managing development and deployment of solutions across the enterprise
  • 3+ years’ experience in Application development, including strong technical background
  • Must have experience managing technical resources and vendors
  • Business collaboration, experience acting as a technical liaison for software vendors
  • Participate in innovation initiatives to improve overall technical landscape
  • Demonstrated excellence in complex technologies, including integration tools, and translating concepts to outcomes
  • Proven ability to work directly with the client business to elicit document requirements and drive functional vision
  • Integration of SAP and shopfloor applications for production and downtime monitoring
  • Management of proprietary and out of the box manufacturing execution systems and applications
  • Experience with MES software development and problem resolution
  • Experience working in a Manufacturing environment
  • Experience working in an SAP environment is a plus


Skills and Competencies

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work as a team member or independently
  • PMP or Prince2 certification is a strong preference
  • IT experience in a global operations environment a plus
  • ITIL experience – at least to foundation level desirable
  • Proven Team leadership and management skills
  • Proven experience of leading and driving third party delivery and partners
  • Proven experience of successfully managing direct reports, and external resources.



Environment & Physical requirements:

  • If visiting plants, hearing and eye protection must be worn in the plants, as well as other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required.                                                                      

This position will be filled without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, ancestry, national origin, age, marital status, disability, sexual preference, or veteran status.


About Ardagh Group

Ardagh Group is a global leader in metal and glass packaging solutions, producing packaging for the world’s leading brands. We trace our roots all the way back to the Irish Glass Bottle Company, founded in 1932. Since then we have grown rapidly to a team of more than 16,000 people with revenues of almost $7 billion.
Today we have a presence across Europe and the Americas.

•    Did you know that Ardagh produce many of the beverage cans and bottles you drink your favorite beverages from?
•    Did you know we produce metal and glass packaging which are permanent materials, meaning they can be infinitely recycled without any loss of quality?
•    Did you know we produce more than 160 million containers per day?

Ardagh is passionate about sustainability and have a reputation for innovation. We push the boundaries of what’s possible, pioneering new production methods, new design techniques and new ways to recycle and save energy. 

Our aim is to reduce any negative environmental impact while remaining economically sustainable and socially responsible.
We believe that the success of our business depends on the success of our people. 

We strive to create working environments where our employees feel valued, can work to their full potential, and where their achievements are celebrated.

Here at Ardagh, we offer exciting and rewarding opportunities for talented and creative people. If you have ambition and want to make an impact with your career, come and join our team, you’ll enjoy the journey!

Ardagh Group is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

Nearest Major Market: Chicago