Product Development Specialist

Job Summary

The Product Development Specialist (PDS) is responsible for ensuring that great ideas come to life. As handler of technical details, supplier communications, product sampling, and retailer feedback, our product development team depends on the PDS to see that timely plans and designs become quality samples ready for inspection and, ultimately, ready for the end user in an expedited product development lifecycle.

The PDS balances aesthetics with practical execution, task management with rapidly moving timelines. Reporting directly to Product Development Managers and Business Leaders, the PDS is skilled at the art of both receiving and providing direction to an extensive cross-functional team that includes product development, design, supply chain, overseas staff, manufacturing partners and retail clients.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Manage all facets of the sample development process including: sample review and sample procurement, quality, compliance, internal and retailer specs, safety, testing, and schedule requirements.
  • Manage client approvals, deadlines, and feedback during all stages of sampling, including pre-production phase.
  • Interface with product development, designers, supply chain, manufacturing partners and retail partners to ensure alignment with costing efficiencies, margin goals, and product value requirements.
  • Support data and process integrity within a robust Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system, as well as retail partner systems.
  • Drive communication and collaboration excellence with factories, including key PLM communications and updates, and the disciplined, timely sending / receiving of samples.
  • Lead coordination with cross functional team to complete mock-ups & other materials for customer presentations.
  • Develop and stand for technical quality expertise and product / packaging compliance (FDA regulations, product testing, labeling, etc.) with support from our China office.
  • Review and analyze factory samples and packaging; collaborate with team and China office to troubleshoot and provide ready solutions for final approval and to pass testing requirements.

Essential Skills and Abilities

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Retail or related field.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in Product Development, Retail, or other related area.
  • Experience working with national chains and big box retailers a plus.
  • Strong skills and comfort level with tech and systems: Microsoft Suite preferred (Word, Access, Excel and Outlook); familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite a plus (Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign).
  • Ability to communicate effectively internally and externally to customers and international factory partners.
  • A self-starter with proven ability to work independently and self-manage workload around multiple and competing project timelines.
  • You are an organized, creative problem solver with a passion for innovation, delivering quality and timely results, and a drive to continuously learn and develop.
  • Strong project management, time management and organization skills with a proven ability to balance and execute against multiple and evolving priorities simultaneously.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Interest in international trade and travel.

Our Mission

Made For Retail is committed to two basic principles: do good work and be good people. In addition to developing great designs and producing quality product responsibly and efficiently…

  • we strive to have a positive impact on people and in our communities.
  • we support a safe, unbiased organizational culture and an inclusive experience for all stakeholders.
  • we work hard to create and ensure a thoughtful product experience for all guests.
  • we aim for the highest standards of honesty, transparency, and integrity in all that we do each day.

Made For Retail Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status.

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