Job title: Director of Product Design_Development
A global manufacturing and distributor of innovative tobacco, electronic cigarettes and specialty accessories is seeking a highly qualified and motivated Director of Product Design & Development to build and lead our product development team. This individual will lead the company’s product design vision, development and launches for all new cigar, pipe and men’s lifestyle accessories for the company’s Ventura Cigar, Comoy’s of London, Havana Bay and other portfolio brands. This position works across the globe with a multi-cultural team of manufacturing and supply-chain partners, marketers, product designers, and industrial, mechanical, and testing engineers. They will collaborate with Marketing and Purchasing on all strategy, packaging design and go-to-market strategies to meet launch dates and sales objectives.
Essential Responsibilities and Duties:
- Implement and lead a unified product development vision and process by managing internal and external resources, across countries and functions, from consumer insights through launch and post-launch product improvements.
- Fuel a passion for conceiving, planning and delivering innovative, breakthrough products and an overall product road map which meet specified business, market, performance and cost criteria within development budget and timetable.
- Leads industrial design effort from visual concepting/ideation to prototyping, user testing, refinement and final engineering; working closely with manufacturing partners to solve issues throughout the process.
- Build and lead a high performing internal team of development and technical staff, while also leveraging external industrial designers, product designers, and vendor/factory resources to develop compelling new products
- Manages product project manager in charge of the backend implementation of all project initiatives. Ensure that issues and escalations are brought us early to light and addressed from initiation to closeout. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws.
- Works closely with Brand Managers and Creative to gather consumer insights, market trends, develop product requirements, packaging and go-to-market strategies.
- Identifies and build solid relationships with factory partners around the world to meet project requirements, specifications, quality control, regulatory, budget and timelines.
- Owns the scheduling, coordination, execution and troubleshooting of all phases of the product development upon project approval. This includes: Cutting of POs, logistics, tracking collateral shipping dates, samples, inventory, etc.
- Manages the development and logistics of all new products including hardware, accessories and product packaging approvals as well as inbound shipping guidelines for pallets, master cartons, and unit packaging.
- Ability to take a proactive, adaptive, and strategic long-term approach to goals and problem solving with continuous refinement and improvement over time.
- Bachelor's degree in Design, Engineering or equivalent (graduate degree preferred)
- 5+ years of product development, product management, project management and logistics experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Experience with men’s lifestyle products, luxury goods and consumer electronics (tobacco accessories experience a plus)
- Deep appreciation for aesthetics, visual design language and user experience
- Computer proficiency in CAD design tools (i.e. SolidWorks, etc.), Adobe Creative suite and business software (Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
- Knowledge of project management best practices, product management, manufacturing, technology and production standards for product areas of focus.
- Solid experience leading a product development team, combining process management with the nurturing of a creative environment that encourages new ideas and innovation
- Experience leading dynamic brainstorming sessions
- Highly entrepreneurial self-starter and manager/coach.
- Very hands-on in defining objectives and producing deliverables in a fast-paced environment
- Demonstrated experience managing the full product development lifecycle, including product briefing, conceptual crafting, patent assessment, product line development, costing, prototyping, spec development, DFM and overseas manufacturing
- Ability to travel internationally
- Strong blend of analytical, decision-making and creative problem solving skills