The Product Development Manager is responsible to lead and mentor a best in class product developer team who is responsible for all technical innovation of new product development from concept to production for their respective categories.
By utilizing advanced technical knowledge related to product fit, patterns and construction in order to provide leadership for large and complex apparel development team of developers.
This person will partner with Category Developer Manager, Line Managers, Design, Fit Manager, Materials and Production to build product lines that deliver innovation while growing market share and profitability by providing a pulse on industry direction in product development for their perspective category. S/he is responsible for managing all Product Developers within their category to ensure products are commercialized accurately, adhering to the Company’s aesthetic, fit, quality and environmental standards resulting in on-time sample and production deliveries. S/he is also responsible for ensuring developer operational objectives, such as: prototype costing, BOMs, construction details, fit, measurements, etc. are adhered to and achieved with all products of oversight.
This person will also coach staff, create opportunities for staff development, assist in hiring decisions and drive performance management, recognition and rewards. The Product Development Manager will develop a team structure that facilitates and maximizes individual and team performance.
Essential Job Functions:
o Collaborate with Line Management, Designers, Materials, Production and Product Developers to develop products that meet environmental, functional, design quality, delivery and price targets.
o Primary mentor for group of Product Developers they oversee which demonstrates excellence in service, skillset, communication and strategic planning.
o Lead and manage product category developer team, setting goals that align with department and function goals. Manage workload planning project delegation within the team
o Manage and foster vendor relationships that support, sourcing decisions, training of new factory resources and achieves “state of the art” opportunities for product innovation.
o In conjunction with the Advanced Development Team, develop new and innovative technologies.
o Manage the development process to achieve commercial viability of designs through collaboration with such departments as: Fabric Sourcing, Design, Trim Development, Forecasting, Costing and Quality.
o Provide necessary support for new system implementations and processes to streamline the development process
o Responsible for managing and reporting metrics to Category Managers on the proto-type process including: ensuring that the calendar deadlines and approvals for: BOMs, prototype process, costing, quality evaluation, color, fabric and trims are met.
o Ensure that the Company’s standards for quality, fit, function and reducing environmental impacts are met in all products of responsibility.
o Ensure team supports Marketing, Sales, Line management with sales meeting requirements such as presentations, sample reviews and product feature information.
o Ability to sit for extended periods of time.
o Ability to look at a computer for extended periods of time.
o Ability to work under pressure, meet established timelines and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
o Able to focus and complete duties in a lively, energetic department that can be noisy at times.
o Ability to travel, domestically and internationally, utilizing various methods of transportation.
Minimum Job Qualifications:
o Degree in Apparel / Textile Design, Technology, Merchandising, Engineering required.
o 5+ years’ experience in technical development, design, production or merchandising.
o 2+ years’ experience in managing and developing a sizable staff.
o Extensive knowledge of apparel construction, material construction and properties, pattern making, costing, embroidery and surface applications (e.g. screen printing, etc).
o Thorough understanding of their respective respective design and apparel markets.
o Complete understanding of development and merchandising process from inception through production.
o Ability to interpret design intent and offer solutions.
o Ability to write product specs.
o Knowledge of garment fit and the ability to instruct a manufacturer on necessary changes to a pattern to influence the fit.
o Proven performance history with domestic and offshore vendors and manufacturers.
o Ability to be a technical resource to others.
o Proven skill at problem solving and product innovation.
o Excellent Adobe Illustrator skills.
o Working knowledge of such programs as: Word, Excel, PLM and Outlook as well as a variety of data, voice and image communication programs.
o Extreme attention to detail and the ability to establish and maintain schedules.
o Comfortable with team-based work structure; ability to demonstrate flexibility on the job.
o Demonstrates initiative, is conscientious and provides complete follow-through on areas of responsibility.
o Ability to lead communication effectively-verbally, written and visually-with a wide variety of people.
It is the responsibility of every employee to contribute to a positive work environment through cooperative and professional interactions with co-workers, customers and vendors.
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