Product Development Manager
For over 50 years, CORDURA® brand fabrics have empowered consumers to boldly take on their world. From mountain summits to city streets, the world's leading brands in the outdoor, workwear, and apparel industries look to CORDURA® for best-in-class fabric performance. Brands such as The North Face, Carhartt, and many more. CORDURA® fabric is even utilized by the world's leading militaries to protect their soldiers.Are you looking to be part of the team supporting this exciting business?
We are looking for a Product Development Manager to join our team.
The Product Development Manager (PDM) role is a global role on the CORDURA(R) end-use team and responsible for understanding market needs, setting performance standards for CORDURA(R) brand fabrics based on market needs, and working with our diverse mill ecosystem to develop high-performance fabrics in accordance with the fabric standards. The PDM must be a strong economic thinker and have strong project management skills to manage multiple on-going projects and to prioritize efforts that create the most long-term value for CORDURA. The PDM must rely on his/her deep knowledge of technical textiles to protect and improve the equity of the CORDURA brand by developing fabrics that the industry acknowledges as the “gold standard” in the markets where we choose to play. The PDM will lead product development and support product Launch through development, technical marketing storytelling and communications materials including development of claims support.
What You Will Do In Your Role
- Understand customer needs: Liaise with global sales, marketing and account management teams to develop comprehensive understanding of market needs and technical fabric trends within the textile value chains supporting Military, Workwear and Performance Apparel markets. Develop an understanding of (product) design process, interpretation & translation of emerging market signals / trends, business acumen.
- Develop fabric standards: Develop CORDURA brand fabric standards based on understanding of market needs and analysis of the performance levels of alternative fabrics. These standards must ensure that CORDURA products are not just fit for purpose, but also have best-in-class performance. The FPM must understand and shape the team’s thinking on what constitutes performance in the various markets we serve.
- Curate and organize: Lead the global organization of physical & electronic fabric libraries so that they are up-to-date. Curate fabric collections based on fit with various market segments and performance levels.
- Lead fabric development: Drive fabric development through mill ecosystem, with support from mill account managers, to fulfill customer needs. The FPM must use economic-thinking skills to ensure that fabrics are relevant in the market based on the price-performance tradeoffs they offer.
- Determine long-term product roadmap: Suggest long-term product roadmaps based on understanding of customer unmet needs and market trends. Evaluate fabric and other textile technologies to understand how they fit in the market in terms of enhanced performance, position relative to incumbents, cost-related value propositions, etc.
- Support global sales & marketing teams: Provide technical advice to account management, sales and marketing teams by making fabric standards clearer and accessible. Support development of marketing claims.
- Mill ecosystem evaluation: Drive Knowledge Processes to understand mill capabilities and identify ways to upgrade the collective strength of our mill ecosystem.
- Project management: Lead management of multiple on-going projects in order to keep up with the rapid pace of market change. These projects may range across external development projects to internal process-improvement projects. The FPM must use long-term economic thinking to appropriately prioritize projects that will have the largest positive impact to the business.
The Experience You Will Bring
- Bachelor's Degree in Science or Textiles or related scientific field
- Textile industry experience – particularly technical fabrics
- Strong project management skills
- Ability to work with a global team across multiple continents
- Ability to prioritize decisions and development activities based on long-term economic thinking
- Ability to travel on a regular basis, including overnights and occasional weekends
What Will Put You Ahead
- Experience in developing fabric solutions
- Experience identifying customer unmet needs
- Experience in contributing to product launch
- Experience leading innovation activities
- Ability to speak German