Product Development Manager
We have an exciting career opportunity to lead the development of our beautiful, quality product. Reporting to our Director of Product Development, the Product Development Manager is responsible for partnering with the Technical Development Manager and Production Manager to lead all stages of product development across all Jewelry categories. The role will manage all aspects of the development calendar, multi-phase sample coordination and inventory control, as well as serve as an interface for Design Team requests. This role combines the need for intensive understanding of process and product and ability to build strong internal and external cross functional partnerships.
• Direct development timelines, priorities and key cross-functional touchpoints.
• Build, maintain and communicate complete development calendar for Jewelry, from design concept or strategy development to product hand off.
• Build tools that allow cross-functional team members to have easy access and a clear understanding of key dates, hand offs and timelines.
• Regularly partner with cross-functional departments to review and gain buy in of development calendar.
• Schedule and lead development initiated team meetings; ensure key milestone touch points are completed and all strategies/objectives are communicated clearly.
• Communicate schedule overlaps, conflicts, risks, priority shifts, deadlines & action items to all applicable team members that impact the development timeline.
• Manage vendor/Agent timeline communication and priorities for current and new category development.
• Implement traditional retail product development processes and milestone cross-functional meetings.
Sample Development & Management
• Drive sample ordering strategies, quantities, and timing to control costs and ensure that all needs for physical samples can be met.
• Manage development sample communication and tracking with Agent to ensure quality, on time shipments throughout all development sample phases.
• In partnership with Technical Development, proactively communicate Design Team exploratory material and product requests to Agent; assist in innovative sourcing and communicate options back to internal teams.
• Partner with Technical Development Manager on sample development plans, timing, and requests to ensure complete synergy between teams.
• Build processes and tools to promote organization, department efficiency, cost reductions, timely receipts, quality product and seamless hand off to Production team.
• Manage coordination of physical sample access, organization and inventory control.
Product Costs, Knowledge & Hand Off
• Develop and implement costing strategies, ensuring design aesthetic and innovation are top priorities.
• Set target prices and negotiate product costs with suppliers based on product knowledge, to ensure target margins are met and products are competitively priced across vendor base.
• Create and implement product hand off strategies between Design, Product Development, Technical Development, Agency and Production, to ensure on time, quality bulk production.
• In partnership with Technical Development, understand production capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of all vendors with the ability to make educated vendor placement recommendations.
• Oversee quarterly wholesale market prep, timelines and execution
• Maintain high level of industry knowledge in regards to raw material pricing, international manufacturing, relevant product category introductions, innovation and vendor management.
• Fully understand Design aesthetic, category strategy, and brand positioning for all products, with an emphasis on innovation.
Cross-Functional Leadership & Vendor Management
• Create departmental strategies and direct internal and external priorities based on development needed to achieve companywide goals and initiatives.
• Build strong cross-functional partnerships with Design, Technical Development, Production, Vendors and Agent and intuitively know when to effectively engage teams to support department needs
• Strategically develop product through partnership with Production on vendor placement strategies and long-term supply chain goals.
• Maintain a working knowledge of all areas of production process across a variety of materials, techniques and products.
• Partner with Technical Development, Production and Agent to assist with new vendor, exploratory material, current product and new category sourcing.
• Lead select vendor meetings during new or existing vendor meetings for current and new categories.
• Lead and develop Product Development team, in partnership and alignment with Technical Development team
• Research and initiate conversations with new and existing suppliers for new product category development
Our Ideal Candidate Will Have:
• 7 years’ experience in multi category Product Development, or similar role; jewelry and accessory experience a plus
• 3-5 years’ experience leading and developing a successful team
• Strong multi-tasking skills and ability to react quickly in a fast-paced environment.
• Deadline focused and highly organized; Not fazed by complexity, multiple timelines, and competing priorities.
• Comfortable communicating opportunities, risks, changes, and needs to cross-functional teams.
• Focused on process improvements and collaboration in all aspects of role.
• Ability to develop and maintain effective relationships and partnerships.
• Meets challenges and frequent priority shifts with flexibility, motivation and a ‘can do’ attitude
• Solution oriented and critical thinker; Strong levels of problem solving.
• Strong business acumen and negotiation skills
• Open listener with strong communication skills both written and verbal; Chinese language skills a plus.
• Experience with Excel; Photoshop, InDesign, PLM experience a plus
• Experience developing, implementing and communicating new processes and tools
• Comprehensive knowledge of retail product development, technical design, and manufacturing processes; applied understanding of the international vendor community
• Excited and able to travel domestically and internationally