Outdoor Research
  • Product Design
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Full Time

Job Purpose:     

The Product Manager is responsible for overseeing assigned subcategory's planning and product creation process from concept through commercialization. They're charged with execution of business plan, margin, calendar adherence and cross functional leadership. The Product Manager owns relevant information on consumer and competitors to assist the Head of Product in identifying trends, business strategy plans and analysis.

About Outdoor Research: 

Based in Seattle WA, Outdoor Research (OR) offers technically innovative and superior outdoor products. As outdoor enthusiasts themselves, the employees of OR know people are designed by their adventures, changing as they pursue their sports. Adventure becomes a way in which people define themselves through their experiences in the natural world. OR also knows from their own experiences and from customer feedback, that the gear they use should also be designed by adventure. With this inspiration and their own passion for adventure, OR continues to develop gear that helps their customers reach the top, find a new edge, discover new adventures and environments and uncover new parts of themselves along the way.

Key Accountabilities:

  1. To develop a seasonal range plan that delivers against the category objectives for sales, gross margin, SKU productivity, and brand image.
  2. To write executable seasonal product briefs targeting opportunity and competitive sets. Understands manufacturing processes and capabilities and able to build product briefs with material and feature sets to meet MSRP's.
  3. Presents product information to key internal and external groups in a comprehensive, clear and tactical manner.   Comes armed with research, data points and preparedness on category lines. 
  4. To create/maintain a seasonal line plan with achievable FOB target costs, suggested retail prices, and volume estimates. (In line with financial objectives outlined in point #1).
  5. To brief Designer/Tech Design on specific fit, feature, or construction requirements.
  6. To approve all product and material costing.
  7. To create and approve accuracy of all product copy used for marketing and communications purposes.
  8. To deliver the contributions needed to the product development process on time, in full.
  9. To present ranges at key sales launch, and key account meetings as directed by Vice President Product & Marketing and Sales management.
  10. To co-ordinate the field and lab testing of all new products to validate functionality / durability and value for intended use
  11. Manages, distributes and maintains all information of assigned product category encompassing hang tags, workbooks, line lists, and CAD books.

Critical Partnerships:

  1. Designer: Issue design brief.  Approve new designs against brief.  Co-ordinate and agree on fabrication, color direction, trim development.                           
  2. Tech Design / Pattern Makers: Brief on fit and construction requirements.   Communicate sizing.   Communicate/approve all raw material or feature changes made during the development process.  Participate in all fit reviews.  
  3. Purchasing: Approve final product costs based on Sourcing Strategy provided by Head of Sourcing and Supply Chain Operations.  Co-ordinate on planned factory allocation.   Approve all quality or material specification exceptions occurring in sample or bulk production.
  4. Marketing: Proof read for accuracy all product copy used in trade / consumer communication tools.  Brief and approve the development of all on-product hangtags or labelling.
  5. Sales: Validate the target feature formula, retail pricing, and preliminary forecast estimates throughout the design/development process.   Co-ordinate on key account previews, and direct the developments of any key account special make orders.

Skills:

General: 

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Computer literate. Familiar with Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Must be fluent in English.
  • Business savvy- strong retail math skills

Technical:

  • Product Management or Apparel development skills.
  • Commercial negotiation skills.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Knowledge of apparel, materials/fabrics.
  • Ability to understand / interpret a financial statement, and the key performance indicators (KPI's) that drive business growth / profitability.

  Competencies:

  • Customer focused (internal & external).
  • Team working.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Commitment to achieve and drive business
  • Meet and exceed business goal
  • Personal effectiveness.
  • Detailed oriented but able to present the big picture
  • Forward thinking and strategic
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities in efficient manner
  • Experience in merchandising/buying a plus

Knowledge:

  • Working understanding of technical apparel featuring/user requirements.
  • Familiar with North American, Asian, and European suppliers for technical fabrications.
  • Familiar with Europe and North America technical Outdoor apparel market.

Personal Attributes:

  • Organized, good head for numbers.
  • Energetic and enthusiastic.
  • Pragmatic, tenacious, with attention to detail.
  • Self-starter / Problem solver
  • Dedicated to getting the job done, but interested in having 'fun' as well.
  • Available for travel
  • Able to work /communicate in a culturally diverse environment
  • Ability to adhere to deadlines

Qualifications:

  • 4 year college degree (or equivalent work experience).
  • Experience in apparel or sporting goods equipment development.
  • Personally participates in one or more of the sports addressed by OR

Experience:

  • Required: Minimum 10 years work experience in a related position.
  • Preferred: Specialty retail, sales, marketing or product development experience in the Outdoor industry.
Outdoor Research
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