Product Manager in Japan with Mars

Job Title: EMQA / Product Manager Japan
Segment / Business Unit: Japan Multisales
Function: R & D

Zone / Grade / Job Level: T2
Location / Site: TOK
Line Manager’s Name: R & D Senior Manager Japan

Job Purpose / Overview

External manufactures (3 co-packer factories and 1 co-manufactures) are critical business drivers for MARS Japan (Pet Care / MWC). Japan business keens on to expand utilization of external manufactures more including new technologies with co-development model. This position This role is a key is responsible to manage EMQA (External Manufacturing Quality Assurance) and Product development programs for Japan based external manufactures. The intended ratio of Product and EMQA is 50:50 yet could be skewed to either one depending on the business needs. player to drive growth projects related to the Japan co-man and co-packer by playing both product development and EMQA role including new technology development, validation at the existing manufactures and new potential external manufactures.
The EMQA program includes ensuring external manufacturers are compliant to the requirements of the Mars Incorporated External Manufacturing Quality Management standard through the validation. The Product role is responsible for delivering growth ambition through new product development and deployment at co-manufacture and co-packer in Japan. and verification of external manufacturers to produce products which are equivalent standard to products produced by Mars Incorporated.

Key Responsibilities

Lead EMQ and Product Development programs related to Japan co-packers and co-manufactures.


  • Work within the internal business processes to meet the requirements of the Mars Incorporated External Manufacturing Quality Management (EMQM) Standard to demonstrate compliance to the Mars Incorporated Quality Management Process (QMP). Support QuEST activity process for external manufacturing related activities in conjunction with relevant activity manufacturers.
  • Write and maintain the Technical Specifications and EMPRA’s (externally manufactured product risk assessments) for all new products & processes, changes to existing programs (including promotional items) covering food safety and quality criteria in accordance with the Mars Global EMQM standard, through Quest and related processes.
  • Recommend the validation requirements of changes to externally manufactured items affecting Food Safety and verify compliance to the EMQM standard.
  • Assist with PRIMP’s linked to external manufacturing in conjunction with the R & D and QA team.
  • Manage verification activities for Japan, which includes organizing samples (retention and otherwise), periodic panel set up as part of the periodic Market Unit quality review.
  • Make recommendations around the status of suppliers, based on the outputs of EMPRA’s and Technical specifications.
  • Assist with the periodic review of suppliers, including consumer contacts and other associated metrics.
  • Maintain networking and connectivity with Asia EMQA team and Global Q & FS team.

R & D lead role to manage Japan Care & Treat co-manufacture and co-packer related projects.

  • Work with cross functional team and co-man to develop and maintain Care & Treat products and Dry products with inclusions at co-packer to meet the requirements of consumers and comply with Mars global brand direction.
  • Engage local stakeholders to ensure alignment on the project.
  • Project risks assessment with cross functional involvement
  • Work with CTI to assess product performance.
  • Maintain networking and connectivity with Asia product development team and GIC to leverage expertise to deliver the projects.
  • Ensure that the products developed and produced are consistent to the quality and comply with internal / external standard eg Mars Q & FS standards, MPENS, AAFCO, and meet all critical success factors (CSFs)
  • Through RCP process, ensure legal and regulatory compliance in each launch / roll out country
  • Check patent opportunities by consult with IP representative. When relevant, request an initial patent search from IP rep to ensure that any new ingredients / processes / recipe designs do not infringe other patents.
  • Recommend the protocol of product testing, assess and approve the results to ensure product performance vs CSF
  • Responsible for reviewing product specifications of new product launch / relaunch, supporting document / information for SRA

Context and Scope

The job holder is primary responsible to independently lead Japan based external manufactures (co-packers and co-manufactures) related innovation projects including new technology development both from EMQA and Product Development point of view. There is another Japan R & D EMQA Technologist who focuses on 100 % EMQA and mainly focuses on the existing co-packer projects and maintenance.

The job holder direct report to Japan R & D senior manager while functional doted report to Asia regional EMQA / Product role located in Thailand to receive technical guidance. The job holder needs to proactively connect and work with regional / global Q & FS and product development teams according to the subjects.

Details are as below.


  • External Manufacturers status
  • Disposition of non-conforming product
  • Development needs of external manufacturers to achieve the requirements of the EMQM program
  • CAPA requirements as a consequence of audit outcomes or incidents for external manufacturers
  • Continuous improvement activities for external manufacturers
  • Validation and verification requirements for External Manufacturers


  • External Manufacturing outcomes to Management ReviewDecide to approve or reject the exception product
  • Access and evaluate supplier quality management performance to the Commercial for developing sourcing strategies.
  • Recommend solution or decision on quality standards when have supply quality incidents and co-man product quality issue

For Product, the job holder is expected to play a R & D lead role for the projects related to Japan based external manufacturers (C & T co-man and co-packer), which includes exported projects to North Asia. The job holder needs to work closely with internal cross functional projects and co-man product development to design and deliver the products by using networking with Asia / Global product design team.

Job Specifications / Qualifications

1. Education & Professional Qualification

  •  Minimum Bachelor degree in General Science, Food, Microbiological, Chemical or Food Engineer

2. Knowledge / Experience

  •  More than 5 years’experience in an FMCG environment. 5-10 years’ experience in food factory, research and development background is preferred.
  •  Prior role in a quality related capacity will be an advantage
  •  Experience in Product development, Quality assurance and Auditing skill.
  •  Proven experience in conducting and delivering innovation projects including implementation activities.
  •  Ability to use software and systems for recipe development and project management.
  •  Understanding of manufacturing processes
  •  Understanding of raw material functionality and nutrition
  •  thus a good understanding of dog and cat food manufacturing or similar industry (ie. Meat industry processing)
  •  Scientific methods and mindset
  •  Strong Japanese and English communication skills are required.
  •  Basic statistics knowledge to manage quantitative data analysis.
  •  High learning agility to manage multiple different roles in R & D.

Level of role, Critical MLCs and Competencies

Level of Role: Individual Contributor

  • Delivers Consistent Results
  • Creates Collaborative Relationships

Key Supporting Competencies (4-6) * Conflict management

  • Dealing with Ambiguity
  • Drive for results
  • Problem solving
  • Motivate others
  • Priority setting

Key Functional Competencies & Technical Skills (3-5)

  • Quality & Food safety, Quality assurance program
  • Risk assessment
  • Microbiology and hygiene
  • Internal & External Networks
  • Product, Packaging and Process Design
  • Design for Quality & Efficiency


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