The Product Manager oversees the entire portfolio of DUCHATEAU brand products including hardwood and LVT flooring and wall covering products that deliver both outstanding design, and superior Quality and performance. This role contributes to profitable growth and is engaged in every aspect of the product pipeline, ensuring products of outstanding quality are produced and delivered to the consumer. The Product Manager conducts formal and informal market research to fully understand the product needs of the end-user, retailer, designer and architect. This role works effectively with cross functional business partners and leads a team to determine production timetables, pricing, product introduction and product launch.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Leads a team that includes Quality Control Manager and Product Sample Manager.
- Works effectively with cross functional partners including VP of Sales to align product sales strategies, Supply Chain Manager to align inventory strategies and VP of Marketing to align product launch strategies including product positioning and assets needed for consumer touchpoints.
- Serves as the lead point of contact for manufacturing partners including overseas factories and establishes the terms when creating contracts.
- Responsible for creating and ensuring adherence to a quality management system. Accountable for the overall quality of all company products from raw materials to finished product including packaging materials, labels, and non-wood products.
- Ensures that each factory has clear understanding of required quality processes, ensures internal audits are performed, and documents site specific recommendations with analytical projections. Evaluates current manufacturing processes and provides recommendations to the manufacturing management team with the aim of adding value to product quality.
- Manages Final QC Inspection and record keeping of all company products.
- Supports Customer Care in the investigation of product claims due to product quality issues and implements appropriate corrective action when needed.
- Owns and maintains all product specification databases and documentation.
- Recommends the nature and scope of present and future product lines by reviewing product specifications and requirements, appraising new product ideas and/or product changes.
- Assesses market competition by comparing the company’s product to competitors’ products.
- Determines product pricing by utilizing market research data; reviewing production and sales costs; anticipating volume.
- Completes operational requirements by scheduling and assigning employees, following up on work results.
- Maintains product management staff by recruiting, selecting, orienting, and training direct reports.
- Maintains product management staff’s job results by counseling and disciplining employees, planning, monitoring, and appraising job results.
- Contributes to a team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
- Bachelor’s Degree required.
- Strong customer service standards.
- Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Outlook).
- Solid math and writing skills.
- Ability to learn new technologies and apply to workflow.
- Ability to follow through and be detail oriented.
- Ability to work with multiple priorities.
- Ability to solve problems.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
- Ability to work independently and as a team.
- Effective written and verbal communication skills.
- At least seven years of experience in directly related product management roles.
- Minimum two years of hardwood flooring and LVT manufacturing experience required.
- Proven experience negotiating and influencing international contract manufacturers.
- Experience in Flooring industry a plus, including familiarity with wood product sourcing, manufacturing and import compliance requirements.
- Experience in vendor management and managing oversees business relationships.
- Knowledge of process improvement techniques, such as Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma.
- Strong quality control management including ISO 9001, revision control and structure documentation experience required.
- DMAIC working knowledge.
- Chinese manufacturing experience a plus.
- Strong negotiation abilities in establishing terms and price.
- Experience with Customer Service or Customer Interaction.
- Sourcing and procurement experience a plus with the ability to identify and negotiate ways to eliminate cost and reduce the price of our products.
- Ability and desired to travel to multiple factories through Asia and Europe multiple times per year. 30% to 50% travel required.
- Team player with a record of developing teams.
- Ability to work in a high-pressure environment and exercise good judgment to resolve problems and complete tasks in the absence of formalized guidelines and procedures.
- Ability to work independently relying on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish assigned tasks and goals in accordance with project deliverable and reporting deadlines.
- Good oral, written and interpersonal communication skills to effectively interact with Senior Management and internal customers. Good presentation and team facilitation skills to present information, deliver training and solicit feedback at various levels within the organization.
- Ability to collect raw and secondary data, to organize, analyze and draw relevant conclusions to inform senior management accordingly.
- Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner. Gathers and analyzes information skillfully. Works well in group problem solving situations.
- Motivation – Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles. Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.
- Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.
- Experience with Minitab ideal.
- Analytical – Synthesizes complex or diverse information. Collects and researches data. Uses intuition and experience to complement data. Designs workflows and procedures.
- Dependability and self-initiative.
The Product Manager is expected to contribute to profitable growth, be engaged in every aspect of the product pipeline, and ensure outstanding quality products are produced and delivered to the consumer.
The Product Manager prevents and resolves all quality issues at the factory source ensuring that all finished product passes incoming inspection upon delivery to DUCHATEAU’s warehouse and to customers.