A Product Development Manager manages the seasonal product development process, in collaboration with a cross-functional team that includes Design, Production, our OSOs and factories, to plan, create and execute product lines, profitably and on time.
Strategy & Innovation
- Engages in development of seasonal product strategies for category with Design, Merchandising and Production teams.
- Executes strategic direction and product plans set by supervisor for each brand and product category.
- Identifies and suggests new product and material opportunities; leverage competitive market intelligence to gain and maintain marketplace advantages; isolate key, relevant trends for each category or brand, where appropriate; partner with supervisor and team to ensure brand cohesiveness.
- Reviews and oversees issuance of all specs (BOMs/tech packs) for accuracy, completeness, quality, affordability, viability in production, and compliance prior to release.
- Recommends enhancements, construction and material options to elevate our brand while hitting financial requirements.
- Coordinates with development and cross functional teams to manage spec turnover within calendar to insure timely prototyping and finalization through to production.
- Manages the pass off of ‘clean’ specs to manufacturing partners on behalf of design, communicating daily with OSOs and direct suppliers on questions and changes to specs, standards, and aiding in interpreting design and manufacturing needs.
- Reviews all prototypes and market samples to insure faithful execution to spec.
- Buys, schedules, monitors, tracks, and reports on all necessary sample materials and needs.
- Oversees the maintenance of all standards for issued for brand consistency including PLM records.
- Supervises, schedules and tracks all pre-production samples to insure exact execution of final design. Reviews and approves all production materials, addressing variances with suppliers, design and production.
- Communicates and resolves style/material minimums, material costs, and lead times with cross functional teams in development. Negotiates advantageous costs and terms for these items as well as finished goods costing based on shipping metrics and margin plans.
- Aims to instill quality in the product from onset of development through final production.
- Reviews all products for customs compliance needs prior to production.
- Assess all components and constructions with an eye for quality and durability.
- Insures that all components and constructions used are compliant for performance and restricted substances prior to production. Works in tandem with quality, technical, and compliance to achieve these ends.
- Insures questionable materials and treatments are tested in development cycle for durability and compliance to prevent a lapse in product flow in production or customer returns.
- Maintains accurate compliance records.
- Works closely with the design teams on seasonal offering needs to provide options in materials, suppliers, techniques, and costs that are on brand.
- Partners with internal materials departments, and direct sources, to execute materials that are viable for our brand, trends, costing, and quality.
- Creates relationships with manufacturers and material suppliers to build a tight factory partner base.
- With production, OSO, and design input, awards business by allocating specs to factories that are advantageous to the brand for aesthetic, quality, execution, cost, and delivery performance, avoiding overdependence on any resource or geography.
- With the team, participates in on-going factory base performance reviews, and recommends improvements to factories, vendor base, and geography.
Operations & Results
- Builds, manages, and flexes Product Development calendar for optimum operational efficiency; partner with Design, Production and Sales to ensure timely delivery of prototypes, market samples, finished goods, sales growth, expense management and attainment of margin goals
- Participates in product review meetings, including edits, board review, pre-costing and post-season reviews; track assignment of duty rates and confirm with customs; create and track checklist of any or all legal requirements; verify that goods are placed in approved facilities and raise concerns to Director of Product Development.
Customers & Relationships
- Communicate and follow-up with internal and external constituents around the world, including customers, suppliers, vendors and licensors, where applicable.
- Partner with Production and Tech to source new suppliers and vendors and maintain favorable relationships with existing partners, including internal constituents.
Leadership & Teams
- Contribute positively to team dynamic and manage up where necessary.
- Manages team for growth of product lines with an emphasis on professional development and succession planning. Attract, develop and retain top talent.