The Director of Product Development for REI Private Brands contributes to REI’s success by performing as a functional and key member of the Private Brand leadership team. The Director of Product Development oversees apparel, gear, outsourced product including leadership, strategic direction setting and execution of all development activity from sketch through to production approval. This role successfully leads the development, engineering, predictive costing, patternmaking, fit execution and accurate specifications for creation of innovative, technologically advanced products at the highest level.
Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.
• Identifies and communicates key responsibilities and practices to ensure the organization promotes a successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve business results.
• Supports the implementation of company programs, procedures, methods and practices to promote REI key messages.
• Challenges and inspires employees to achieve business results.
• Ensures employees adhere to legal and operational compliance requirements.
• Conducts and ensures the completion of performance reviews.
• Provides coaching, direction and leadership support to employees in order to achieve department, company and customer results.
• Establishes and maintains visibility within the department.
• Build up and develops the team (objective setting, assessments, training, development) and fosters productive cross-category cooperation with the other key partners.
• This role sets direction at a macro/strategic level as well as the tactical execution of the product creation cycle to reliably develop product to design intent, quality, margin and timeline expectations; collaborating across leaders in partner departments with a multi-season time horizon viewpoint.
• Partners and collaborates with cross functional leaders design, quality, sourcing, precosting, patternmaking, production planning, merchandising, manufacturing and merch planning to achieve max efficiencies in margin, calendar adherence, quality, and delivery.
• Successfully incorporate industry best practices/opportunities. Focused on continuous improvement to fuel the level of operating sophistication of the product organization through processes, tools, systems and training that optimize impact, strengthen the expertise, and minimize not value add activities.
• Establish a new precosting function (processes, tools, change mgmt) to support predictability in achieving margin targets while optimizing the value add within the product. Educating the organization on the global economic drivers which affect product costing and margin for the Co-op.
• Prepare and manage operating budget for the department.
• Ensures compliance to seasonal timeline milestones, recommends changes for milestones as needed
• Ensures department level deliverables align with Product Integrity strategy, collaborates with cross functional Product Integrity support team
• Work with Design to proactively manage the styling, material and trim requirements relative to manufacturability, performance, quality, cost, lead-times and minimums.
• Develop, implement and monitor all product development programs including but not limited to product and raw material commercialization, fit, calendar and color.
• Oversee the garment fit process assuring fit direction is appropriate/consistent with the design intent, and maintained through product development into commercialization.
• Maintain cost and master bill of materials during development process.
• Facilitate cost engineering to meet cost goals, including maximizing construction opportunities while minimizing liabilities. Identify where costing objectives are out of sync with manufacturing or supplier trends.
• Ensure the delivery and evaluation of quality lab dips/print strike-offs and communicate comments to vendor.
• Create and maintain dashboarding of product development metrics for corporate transparency and executive review.
• Review and continuously update standard operating procedures in partnership with team for best departmental efficiencies and practices
• Ensure continuous product and process improvement with emphasis on quality product development and completion of products in accordance with the operating calendar
• Responsible for the ‘total’ development process within apparel performance in both HQ and field offices through to ‘product sealing ‘stage and timely handover for bulk commercialization.
• Monitor and continuously improves workload and organizational efficiency with the support of IT-systems, data and analysis
• Take a leading role in the pre-allocation of all development projects within apparel performance based on service and product needs