Waterford, PA QA Supervisor

Quality Assurance Supervisor

Company Overview

Shearer's Snacks is the largest producer of private label salty snacks, crackers and cookies in North America and the largest producer of kettle cooked potato chips in the world. Based in Massillon, Ohio, Shearer's operates eleven state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Iowa, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, Arkansas, Virginia and Canada and received the snack food industry's highest sustainability award for environmental responsibility.


The Company offers its customers a unique value proposition that includes innovation, product development, manufacturing, and category management expertise.


Competitive Environment

  •          Because of the unique business model and value proposition, Shearer’s Snacks has very few competitors that match its total portfolio of capabiliites.


Drivers of Growth/”Reasons to Believe”

  •          Shearer’s Snacks has more than quadrupled its growth over the last 10 years through strategic acquisition and organic growth, making it the leading private label and contract manufacturer of salty snacks, cookies, and crackers.
  •          The Company is a strategic supplier to a diverse customer base of leading retailers and branded snack food companies.
  •          Product innovation, technical product development, and category management are important and significant capabilities and set Shearer’s apart from its smaller competitors in establishing a value proposition in the market place.


Position Summary:


The Quality Assurance Supervisor is responsible for supporting the quality assurance and food safety program. This includes working with customers, suppliers, corporate personnel, and manufacturing staff. Responsibilities includes auditing of Quality systems such as, SQF (Safe Quality Foods), HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), and SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) for plant Quality department. Responsible for communication of food quality standards to plant personnel through training, corrective actions, quality audits, production and facility monitoring.


Specific Responsibilities


  • Function as direct supervisor of the hourly QA team members.
  • Serves as SQF Practitioner.
  • Conduct verification, validation of Food Safety Pre-requisite programs.
  • Support HACCP policies and procedures.
  • Serves as HACCP Team Member.
  • Monitor, support and enforce all Shearer’s Foods food safety processes and procedures. This includes all AIB standards, SQF standards, and customer specific standards as identified in supporting documentation.
  • Participate in weekly Food Safety Inspections.
  • Ensure all quality procedures and processes are followed according to document policies.
  • Ensures that all GMP and Safety standards are in compliance.
  • Maintains a comprehensive understanding of all products manufactured by the plant as well as the raw materials, packaging materials, and operations required in the manufacturing process including quality specifications and standards.
  • Designs and implements quality assurance training programs.
  • Investigates customer complaints regarding quality.
  • Coordinate and participate in mock recalls.
  • Responds to customer requests and queries.
  • Provides technical support to operations.

Essential Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science Degree or other related degree.
  • Direct experience with AIB, SQF or similar food industry production audits.
  • Prefer SQF Practitioner Certification.
  • Knowledge of Food Safety (HACCP principals, cGMPs, SOPs and SSOPs, Pest Control, Allergen Control & Recall programs).
  • Solid knowledge of Laboratory Procedures.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills both orally and written.
  • Supervisory experience in a QA lab.
  • Knowledge of FDA standards.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and application of statistical process control, quality assurance techniques and tools and quality management principles in a food manufacturing environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to direct, coach, and train associates as well as plan, monitor and schedule work.
  • Lead ‘best in class’ behaviors with focus on food safety, quality assurance, and plant regulatory compliance.
  • Handle multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Experience working directly with customers and supplier.
  • Strong PC proficiency to include Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint; Working knowledge of statistical software programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate and understand mathematical equations, especially basic statistical analysis.


Talent Recruitment Story (Why does a person want to work here?):

  •          Be part of a values based culture where people and communities are considered important stakeholders and respect, teamwork, and giving back are key cultural guideposts.
  •          Ability to make an immediate and lasting difference.
  •          Work and standout in a flat, non bureaucratic environment that values action orientation and speed of decision making.
  •          Supported by a leading private equity investor that supports growth through significan capital investment.
  •          Excellent benefits  and on site medical clinics with free prescription drugs.
  •          Culture that promotes wellness with programs and incentives.


Reporting Relationships:

Reports to: Quality Assurance Manager

Direct reports: Hourly quality assurance associates.


Peer Interfaces:


  •          Other Supervisors in Production, Maintenance, and Warehousing

Career Stage and Growth Considerations:

  •          Ideal candidate has a proven track record of leadership in a manufacturing environment, preferably in food or some other consumer packaged goods environment.
  •          This individual should be looking for a growth opportunity, being promotable to Quality Manager within 3 to 5 years.

Key Metrics for Success:

  •          Improve associate training, engagement, and retention.
  •          Achieve sustainable and ongoing quantitative improvements in safety, quality, labor, and materials.
  •          Achieve sustainable and ongoing qualitative improvements in associate relations and engagement, customer service, product development support, and manufacturing execution.


Critical Competencies (skills & knowledge) , Previous Performance and Experiences:

Critical Demonstrated Competencies (refer to Competency Model):

  •          Drive Company Value  by coaching and leading production associates to perform in  a high functioning team based environment
  •          Act with Intensity – must be urgent and positively engage others around him, be visible and confident, not panicked and negative
  •          Courageous Leadership – create hope and confidence in being the leader
  •          Value People and Diversity – strong people orientation, care about people, help them find success
  •          Develop Organizational Talent – stabilize the workforce, engaged and informed workforce
  •          Foster Team Work – pull people together, help them forms teams and the relationships
  •          Foster Open Communications – Be a visible leader and communicator, teach others to communicate
  •          Engage and Inspire – must create a winning atmosphere, have an approach to rally the workforce to win
  •          Display influence – lead from the floor, be visible
  •          Integrity & Ethics – believe and display no shortcuts
  •          Adaptability & Personal Growth – not rigid, pursues learning
  •          Lead Change – has track record of organizing people and leading through a change initiative
  •          Drive Operational Excellence & Deliver the Plan – recognizes overall performance obligations and establishes performance to satisfy scorecard performance versus one aspect

Personality/Personal Characteristics:

  •          Acts with a sense of urgency
  •          Passionate leader that inspires innovative thinking
  •          Multi-faceted approach to problem solving
  •          Remains flexible in situations of ambiguity
  •          Strong communication skills with the ability to modify style for different audiences
  •          Knows where to go to find resources and has an entrepreneurial resourcefulness
  •          Strong business sense and excellent financial skills
  •          Hands-on, “can do” attitude
  •          Strategic and ambitious in their career path
  •          Open to relocate in order to grow professionally with the organization
  •          Inquisitive and able to assess situations quickly

Team Dynamics/Culture and Organization Fit Comments:

  •          Must be able to assess a team accurately and build their capabilities
  •          Must have passion for the products and our mission
  •          Possess strong business skills to earn the respect of the organization and peers
  •          Understands how to navigate complex organizations
  •          Must bring new thinking to the business and challenge the organization in order to achieve objectives


Hiring Manager & Interview Team:

Hiring Manager:  Plant Director and Plant Quality Assurance Manager


On Site Interview:

Plant Director

Plant Quality Assurance Manager

Operations Manager

Human Resources Manager



Base Compensation

  •          Pay Band:  6
  •          10% bonus


Discussion Notes and Candidate Notes:


Pre-Interview Session Comments

  •          Main focus is to find a candidate with

o   Leadership in a manufacturing environment

o   Ability to execute a plan by leading a team of diverse people in a complex environment

o   Ability to build a team – lead with a blend of people and process orientation

o   Desire and ability to lead from the floor

o   Patience with intensity/urgency

o   Desire and ability of progress their career to the next level, which will in all probability require relocation to another Shearer’s site.