Digital R&D project manager - Packaging

Job Title: Digital R&D Product Manager – Packaging

Salary: Competitive

Benefits: Bonus, Healthcare, Pension, Agile Working

Location: Port Sunlight, Wirral, Colworth House, Sharnbrook UK

Function: Global R&D, Digital R&D (DRD)

Travel: travel within Europe, 10 to 20%


Packaging is a critical function within Unilever, spending significant proportion of €35bn through some of the world’s leading packaging suppliers. Our team of 800 packaging professionals operating within categories and in the central capability are key in driving our packaging innovation agenda and enabling the Compass vision.

We are recruiting a Digital Product Manager for Packaging to lead the development of new digital packaging capabilities in R&D and co-create a digital roadmap for 2020. This is a critical role within the Digital R&D (DRD) team that provides an exciting opportunity to directly influence the way R&D leverage packaging knowledge to drive decisions.

DRD is charged to enable the transformation of R&D ways of working in Unilever by using Information Technology. DRD teams are equipped with skills to analyse the business requirements of the R&D users and to translate these into business processes and functional designs of software. They can engage in ways of working discussions with digital product developers. The design, build and testing of these digital tools is done in close collaboration with ETS (Unilever IT teams), Third Parties and software suppliers. Our success to date has been the implementation of PLM solutions for packaging and formulation over the last 3 years, both tools are going to be integrated to deliver a single solution globally that will be used across Unilever R&D and Supply Chain.

The ideal candidate will be a strong, passionate R&D leader willing to go the extra mile to deliver digital solutions and ways of working. New solutions are built adopting the current 1Unilever packaging process and the newly launched specification PLM platform for R&D (Teamcenter/SAP PLM). R&D experience within category R&D, passion for data and affinity with information technology/information management are prerequisites. The role provides an excellent opportunity to grow and develop leadership, change management, training and stakeholder management capabilities and to build a wide network in the R&D community.

Key Accountabilities:

This role reports to PLM Director for packaging and the main accountabilities including the following:

Translate the packaging digital roadmap for 2020 into projects, which are aligned to R&D strategy and to lead projects that build end-to-end digital solutions to enable faster development and deployment of packaging (including modelling and simulation capabilities)

To drive and support the deployment of digital capabilities and oversee change management of R&D personnel through use of newly launched digital capabilities

To business partner with key internal and external stakeholders. For example– i.e., packaging capability and category packaging experts, and other senior stakeholders within R&D and other Unilever functions.

To build, lead and inspire a collaborative and energetic cross-functional team of packaging representatives, external partners and IT experts

Skills/ Experience/ Qualifications:

  • Significant global experience in packaging design and development or deployment into a local market
  • Awareness in Computer Aid Engineering (CAE) modelling and virtual simulation of packaging
  • Science and Engineering Academic background
  • Project Management: Proven record of accomplishment as effective leader in projects delivery
  • Business Partnering: Collaborates well within in a cross cultural/cross functional teams.
  • Proven track record in professional networking/external focus especially dealing with 3rd parties and suppliers (packaging vendors and leading edge packaging research institutes)
  • Proficient oral and written communication skills and can develop warm stakeholder management relationships (change management experience will be beneficial).

Standards of Leadership:

  • Growth Mindset (can-do approach, challenges the status quo)
  • Bias for Action(self-starter, results oriented, a sense of urgency to getting things done)
  • Accountability & Responsibility (ability to inspire and deliver through team)
  • Consumer & Customer Focus (user is at the heart of all digital solutions)
  • Building talent and Team (passion to develop and grow others)

Key Interfaces:

  • Packaging Capability teams (VP and Pack Excellence Director)
  • R&D Category Change Teams (VPs & Directors in R&D & Supply Chain)
  • Enterprise and Technology Solutions (R&D IT Innovation Teams, Information & Analytics team)
  • Cross functional SME (e.g. Finance, Supply Chain)


Unilever is a global Fast-Moving Consumer Goods company in the UK and Ireland. We are already on target to achieve our huge ambition to double the size of our business globally whilst reducing our environmental impact. We are growing our business and doing what is right for our consumers, community and environment. We are developing brands for people’s lives today and for the changing environment tomorrow – making sustainable living commonplace.

Working at Unilever means that you get to take part in this exciting journey and work with amazing people who are really passionate about our large portfolio of famous brands. We want to improve billions of lives and you too can join us in making a sustainable difference.


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Or to apply now, click on “Apply to this job”. All candidate applications are reviewed in accordance with the criteria outlined for the job role. Please note that the closing date for the receipt of applications is 3rd February 2017.

Candidates who have applied online can track their application through the candidate tracking link or, if you have any additional queries, you may contact the Recruitment hotline number on 0800 0284390.

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