Job Title

Senior Product Developer

Reporting to:

Head of Design & Development

Responsible for:

None

The Role:

The role of Senior Product Developer exists 1) to transform market insights and design concepts into actionable and exciting product plans, and 2) to manage the development process across multiple concurrent projects to deliver category-leading product ranges in line with required timescales and margin targets.

The role sits within a team of 3, including a Product Developer and a Product Technician, who report directly to the Head of Design & Development.  The team is supported by a network of suppliers and design resources externally, and internally by graphic design, brand and commercial roles, as well as the in-house manufacturing function which encompasses print, cut and sew and upholstery capabilities.

Responsibilities

Management of process

  • Drive the product development process by defining and implementing critical paths and milestones plans for standard and new development projects
  • Effectively manage multiple development projects simultaneously, keeping projects on schedule and proactively dealing with any setbacks or changes to priorities
  • Determine appropriate cost targets in line with brand and quality expectations and manage product development to meet requirements
  • Liaise with a variety of designers to fully understand design vision and work together to reach solutions that meet all objectives
  • Present product development plans and new product concepts to the design team, commercial team and senior leadership team for review, project progression and sign-off

Product development

  • Interpret market research, user feedback and design direction, and translate into actionable product plans
  • Continually supply inspiration for new products and development of existing ranges
  • Create and curate product ranges in line with brand, ensuring products stay fresh and market appropriate
  • Balance design values with practical considerations and sound commercial judgment to make confident decisions on product specification
  • Be actively involved and hands-on with the product development process, alongside team members – selecting, appraising and perfecting materials and product forms
  • Work with Brand and Graphic Design to ensure that product packaging design enhances the overall brand and product proposition
  • Act as a point of contact and effectively communicate with external suppliers on development related issues

Research

  • Research, interpret and present trend direction relevant to individual ranges across the business
  • Analyse sales, returns and customer feedback to identify gaps, functionality and product opportunities to feed into product improvements and new development
  • Actively carry out research into customer needs and present back to relevant stakeholders to inform product design and marketing

Sourcing

  • Proactively source innovative materials and technologies outside of standard briefs to drive new development opportunities
  • Identify appropriate sources for materials and components, working closely with the Purchasing Manager to maximise supplier relationships

Quality & Standards

  • Responsible for updating and communicating product compliance & quality standards, and ensuring products are developed in line with these requirements

 

Person specification:

  • An all-round understanding and experience of the product development process from concept to production
  • Proven experience of developing consumer products to point of manufacture, ideally with a background in homewares, furniture or fashion
  • Keen interest and understanding of materials and manufacturing processes
  • Confident decision-maker who can quickly identify critical factors to move forward with pace
  • A logical and pragmatic approach to problem solving and developing functional solutions
  • Solid experience with critical paths and development timelines, with evidence of planning and organisational skills to manage multiple projects effectively
  • A strong commercial sense and understanding of how this can be expressed creatively
  • Obsessive attention to detail and a natural aesthetic sense and vision, and ideally a mind that understands 3D forms and spatial design issues
  • Awareness of compliance & product safety
  • Strong visual communication skills, through competent use of industry-relevant creative software and presentation tools
  • Works collaboratively to inspire excitement and drive momentum cross-functionally
  • A positive mentality and unlimited passion for product