Global Process Continuous Improvement Manager - R2R

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire, Cheshire East

Job Type: Full time


The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
- Amelia Earhart

Global Process Continuous Improvement Manager - R2R

Competitive salary and benefits apply

Location: Macclesfield, UK / Cambridge, UK / Warsaw, PL

AstraZeneca is one of the world’s most exciting bio-pharmaceutical companies. From scientists to sales, lab techs to legal, we’re on a mission to turn ideas into life-changing medicines that improve patients’ lives and benefit society. We are active in over 130 countries and we employ over 83,000 people. We are an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical with over 60 years of experience. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality.

Global Finance Services (GFS) is AstraZeneca Finance’s financial services division covering Record to Report (including Controlling), Purchase to Pay, Contract to Cash, Performance and Management Reporting and Tax delivered from our in-house and BPO service centres located across the globe. GFS was established to support AstraZeneca’s Finance function on a transformation journey with the objective of delivering excellence in financial operations and insight through global simplification and standardization that enable our colleagues focus on AZ’s strategic priorities.

Record to Report (R2R) has a clear strategic roadmap to the 2025 vision of seamlessly delivering trusted financial reporting through scalable and sustainable process excellence . GFS R2R plays a fundamental role in the delivery of this R2R strategy.

GFS has two distinct operations - Middle Office (MO) and Back Office (BO). The R2R MO teams are aligned to the business areas and act as the single point of contact for their respective business area. The MO is customer aligned, providing controllership support and undertaking activities requiring judgement. The MOs are located in three strategic locations – Warsaw (EMEA), San Jose (Americas) and Kuala Lumpur (Asia). The MO works closely with the BO to ensure the financial results are robust and processes are well controlled. The R2R BO delivers the standard, repeatable, transactional activities and is aligned to a process tower structure, ensuring process excellence is delivered whilst driving productivity through process efficiency and automation. The BO is delivered via both a BPO outsource provider and through an in house shared service centre.

We are currently searching for candidates in the GFS Global Record to Report Team. This team drives the global process delivery and oversight for the R2R process tower, translating the R2R strategy into clear operational deliverables. GFS R2R’s vision is to provide globally consistent service to the business centred around our standardisation, automation and continuous improvement agenda. The team drives the R2R global performance and service management, ensuring consistency across the service centres, as well as supporting the global transformation agenda. The role holder will report into the R2R Global Process Delivery Director (GPDD) organisation and will work closely with the Global Process Owner (GPO), the various finance teams (eg Group Reporting, Operations finance, Tax, Commercial etc) as well as with the wider Global Finance Services (GFS) teams and Site Heads to support the delivery of the R2R strategy.

The successful role holder will facilitate and lead key Continuous Improvement (CI) projects and initiatives within GFS R2R. This position will work collaboratively to create, prioritise, implement and drive the continuous improvement strategy as well as supporting the relevant governance framework in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes. The initial focus of the role will be driving improvements in the R2R technology portfolio. During 2021/22, AstraZeneca implemented the Journal and Balance Sheet reconciliations modules of the Blackline tool. Whilst the tool was successfully implemented, the next phase is to ensure the investment is effectively leveraged to drive operational efficiency, productivity, automation as well as qualitative benefits. The role holder will be instrumental in developing and managing the continuous improvement pipeline as well as being a key player in the decision making process. Due to the nature of the organisation, the role holder will be required to work collaboratively with a wide group of global stakeholders to consult on ideas as well as being a change agent to ensure the improvement initiatives are effective embedding into the organisation.

Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Lead creation of Continuous Improvement (CI) strategy for areas of responsibility, including managing the CI pipeline and tracking progress against the plan and budget.

  • Collaborating with core stakeholders as well as using data and process subject matter expertise to identify and drive continuous improvement opportunities aligned around standard ways of working, processes, technology functionality and operating practices with a view to increasing efficiency and improving effectiveness on an end to end basis.

  • Support the GPDD and R2R Leadership Team to provide enhancements to overcome operational challenges to positively influence business outcomes and customer experience.

  • Work collaboratively to maximise R2R efficiency using technology. (eg IDOC’s).

  • Ability to diagnose root cause problems, reach conclusions, develop implementable solutions, articulate ideas concisely and build consensus across the organisation.

  • Work collaboratively across all GFS sites, other process towers and embedded finance to support the continuous improvement agenda whilst ensuring global consistency both from a quantitative and qualitative point of view.

  • Being a key member of the relevant Design Authority, presenting initiatives for consideration and approval to senior stakeholders.

  • Drive and track the implementation of improvement and change initiatives into the relevant teams.

  • Support with the relevant change governance process including refreshing key documentation as well as building and delivering a clear communication strategy.

  • Lead or support project delivery whilst ensuring that changes to processes from transformation activities are successfully embedded into the service centres.

  • Ability to facilitate change and motivate colleagues to practice continuous improvement#

Essential for the role

  • Energetic, proactive and self-motivated qualified finance professional with the capability to build strong internal and external relationships with stakeholders.

  • 5 years+ Record to Report/Controlling experience in a large/global organization.

  • Working Knowledge of R2R Systems (eg SAP, Blackline and Hyperion)

  • Ability to work well in and across diverse global teams whilst demonstrating ability to influence

  • Experience in working in a matrix organisation including building relationships remotely and cross-culturally

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the confidence to express clear opinions to senior stakeholders.

  • Ability to remain objective & independent whilst under pressure

  • Capacity to solve problems across a number of systems and processes, identify options and propose/implement a reasoned solution

  • Strong project management skills and ability to lead complex projects to positive results.

  • Track record of driving standardisation, simplification & continuous improvement across key business processes

Desirable for the role

  • Understanding of a variety of Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen philosophies and the ability to explain and utilise core concepts operationally.

  • Experience of working in the Pharmaceutical industry.

  • Formal training/certification in Lean or Six Sigma.

Other Role Requirements

  • Flexibility and Ability to travel and work in another AZ facility outside the country when necessary

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca we’re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and spark your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration, and always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development. We’re on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.

So, what’s next?

  • Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.

  • Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media,

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Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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