Minneapolis, MNFull Time
The role of a Development and Production Liaison is one of the most challenging in our business. This person will work collaboratively with client brands, lead members of our manufacturing team in China, and supporting factories in the US and Europe to develop footwear, apparel and accessories collections and provide design and performance oversight for in-process production runs. Our ideal candidate is a highly motivated team player who strives for operational excellence.
Over the course of a year, the Development and Production Liaison will shadow our Chief Production Officer and meet regularly with our CEO to learn internal processes and protocols for production development, quality control, and client and factory management.
This role will participate in manufacturing planning and strategy discussions with our Leadership Team, be responsible for managing a team of three to six Minneapolis-based Trade Associates, and lead weekly product development and production reviews with our China-based Client Account Managers.
We expect this candidate to have strong operations and project management experience. Production experience is ideal, but not a requirement. If experience in these areas is not footwear industry-specific, we are willing to commit long term training for this role if candidate demonstrates a strong desire and ability to grow into a leadership position.
Candidate must be amenable and able to occasionally travel internationally and work across multiple time zones.
- Manage US-based Trade Team to provide oversight and ongoing training on client accounts
- Lead product development and production reviews with China-based Account Managers
- Evaluate new business opportunities and proposed footwear, apparel and accessories designs for potential
- Evaluate product tech packs, spec sheets, blueprints, product prototypes and BOM, along with available production resources for production viability
- Analyze production plans to achieve a strategic balance between quality control and timeline requirements
- Work with Leadership Team and QC Team to identify potential risks and solutions for individual production runs
- Work with Manufacturing Team to understand production capacity and plan for potential growth or downsizing of production runs
- Negotiate costing with supporting factories to ensure competitive margins in primary factories for clients
- Maintain control of production toolings contracts and raw materials inventory
- Participate in Finance Team reviews to help assess potential risks, allocate funds for production budgeting, and ensure healthy cash flow
- Research global landscape and assess how latest manufacturing initiatives and local legislation may impact running a competitive international business
- Intelligent, ambitious, goal-oriented, driven by integrity
- Results-oriented and process driven, with high expectations of self and team
- Exceptional interpersonal skills and aptitude for working through cultural challenges and communicating effectively to all levels of staff to encourage a transparent and positive team environment
- Background in production, quality control and management; with practical knowledge of industry infrastructure and resources, and ability to vet and categorize factory capabilities
- Strong analytical acumen with the ability to solve problems and develop creative, tactical solutions
- Identify strategic manufacturing and logistics relationships with consideration to new opportunities and risk
- Footwear industry experience is preferable, though not required as we are willing to train the right candidate
- Business proficiency in Mandarin is preferable, though not required
- Cover letter
- Explanation of Career Goals
- Professional references