Senior Product Manager & Market Manager

We are working with a 50-year international distributor of Globally sourced Textiles and Supplies based in North America. Due to significant growth, they are looking for a Senior Product/Market Manager to oversee one of 3 divisions within the company. The company is flexible and the position can be an in-office or a remote position with person based in either Canada or the US with some travel required (up to 25% as travel restrictions ease).

The Senior Product/Market Manager is a key contributor to the success and growth of the business across multiple markets. As one of three Market Manager’s for the company, this role focuses on market and vendor management, product and inventory management, trend identification, and procurement for the Contract Upholstery, Contract Drapery and Bedding, and Home Décor divisions. With a diverse customer base throughout North America, the Contract Market Manager understands unique market characteristics and sources fabrics that will take the contract and design component of the organization to the next level. This division services Hospitality, Healthcare, Specifiers, the A&D Community, and Contract Drapery/Bedding workrooms with the highest quality service and fabric selection. The Contract collections feature a vast array of fabrics intended for upholstery, drapery and bedding as well as an extensive drapery hardware collection.

The Senior Product/Market Manager will have the ability to make an impact, having full accountability for one division of the organization.  This individual will need to be an open-minded, effective manager with the capabilities of a merchandiser; strategic and creative, with proactive decision-making capabilities, having market trends front of mind.

Collaborative Leadership:

  • Work collaboratively with a team of purchasers to develop and achieve seasonal strategic goals utilizing performance analytics for guidance
  • Act as a problem solver when other departments (purchasing, sales, accounts payable, claims, warehousing) have unresolved problems or escalated issues
  • Represent and promote the company, acting as a role model for the team
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with all team members focused on executing the company’s strategic vision and growth targets
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with key vendors
  • Strengthen relationships with the sales group, other cross-functional teams and customers, to identify and understand their needs in order to successfully source new product lines
  • Develop and steward an environment of effective communication, championing constructive development and open dialogue
  • Coordinate with functional departments to formulate strategies to develop long term relationships with new and existing stakeholders

Market Strategy:

  • Manage the direction of products within designated market segments, using existing product maps for guidance
  • Research new/current product information, updating respective products maps where necessary. This includes application/end use suggestions, market trends, recommendations for discontinuing current products, appropriate testing results and methodologies
  • Create strategy and timelines for new product development and project completion which are achievable and coordinated with marketing, sales, and purchasing
  • Collaborate with Marketing Department on new sample developments to ensure effective development and design for target audience
  • Prepare new product launches for the sales team that explain, in detail, who, what, when, where and why a product range is being introduced
  • Responsible for content & accuracy of product information for new and existing products
  • Identify and manage key competitors and maintain an up-to-date reference on market intelligence, products and trends in the industry
  • Manage dynamic evolution of product maps to be a clear representation of market trend
  • Maintain a current, reference library with a commitment to ongoing pricing research to ensure competitive wholesale pricing
  • Create product knowledge and material that is clear and concise for educating sales force and customer facing employees

Product Purchase and Product Management:

  • Travel and participate in tradeshows and buying trips on a global level (the Americas and Asia) to identify current trends, negotiate all product details and contracts; and ultimately buy product. Manage tradeshow database and research, identify by target market the key Buying and Selling shows
  • Qualify, source and build connections with new suppliers while maintaining existing relationships; Work with purchasing team to maintain multiple vendor relationships, vendor negotiations, and vendor program evaluations
  • Analyze product status’ through its life cycle, including product ROI
  • Coordinate fabric and product quality testing to ensure quality controls are up to market standards and that client satisfaction and demands are not only met, but exceeded
  • Negotiate with suppliers (Rebates, Price, Sample Participation and Terms) and manage supplier correspondence including claims and delivery issues
  • Manage the review and processing of special orders; review purchasing procedures and policies to optimize them for the business
  • Resource products as required including but not limited to price, quality & service issues
  • Maintain systematic exit strategy for selling all discontinued inventory in a timely fashion

Financial:

  • Manage an annual purchasing spend of $10 to $15 million, which includes developing and maintaining a sample inventory budget
  • Responsible for maximization of margins and product turns – this includes new products that will maximize return on investment/margins/turns for each respective market
  • Conducting a semi-annual Market review (Line review) for the J. Ennis & Vision markets
  • Review and update all pricing as required, includes annual pricing review and comparisons to target market key competitors
  • Prepare and update yearly sample and travel budgets

Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree/Post-Secondary education in a relatable field is required;
  • Experience in new product development, with an innate sense for color and cross-merchandising
  • Fabric design experience would be considered beneficial
  • Ability and desire to travel and to participate in the global market and industry trends
  • Merchandising expertise and a proven ability to manage teams, vendors and customers in multiple geographies (distance management)
  • An in-depth understanding of the textile industry or commodity products
  • Innate ability to proactively predict trends and an undeniable skill in project management
  • Strong connection in the design community with an ability forecast trends 12 months out;
  • Completion of Purchasing/Procurement courses &/or certification considered beneficial
  • Experience in a product management position with extensive negotiation skills would be considered to be strongly correlated to success in this role
  • Professional and collaborative; must be able to give and receive direct feedback and understands the importance and value of this
  • Critical thinker/problem solver with a proven ability to evaluate situations and generate required steps to ensure success
  • Technical competency with intermediate/advanced skills in MS Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook)
  • Ability to work well in a family oriented, team environment; and strong organization skills that allow for the individual to manage competing priorities

All Candidates must be able to provide work related references.

To apply for this job email your details to resumes@rushandcompany.com

Rush & Company is a full service Executive Search Firm that specializes in the Soft Goods industry.

Included in this industry are the apparel, home furnishings and industrial markets. We work in the fiber, fabric and fashion industry with clients and candidates located all over the world.

All candidates must be able to provide work related references.

If you're a candidate and would like to submit your confidential resume, please use resumes@rushandcompany.com. We will contact you if your qualifications match any of our current job searches.