Pros: working with design, learning about leather, free/discount on handbags, working for a well known company, great benefits
Cons: no lunch break, long hours, poor/little management
A typical day at work includes a couple of meetings and/or e-mails/phone calls with cross-functional partners, co-workers, and tanneries to review the current status of leather development, color dips, and sample orders.
Over the past four years in this department, I have gained a vast knowledge of leather. There are very few companies that devote – more... a whole department to materials, let alone one material. There are many experts that have worked in the leather industry and tanneries that I get to work with on a daily basis. They are a great resource for information and advice. I have picked up the following skills: leather sourcing, vendor relationships, leather types and quality, costing, color dipping, lead time, production, and logistics.
Management's role is to initiate the type of leather design would like to use for the collection for the season. They also handle high level responsibilties such as Quality Assurance, warehouse management, bulk production, and costing.
The co-workers at my level and in my department each have a collection that they are responsible for. Co-workers in other departments are my cross-functional partners such as design, costing, and engineering.
A big part of my job is to meet deadlines on the corporate calendar. Leather is needed for various milestones such as design meetings and Market Week. This can be the hardest part of my job as the information is almost always provided after the deadline to place the order. I have to be aware of tannery lead times and capacity. That way the order can be made and shipped by the deadline. Regardless of the timing, I need to keep product development and factories updated with ready dates, ship dates, and tracking information. Also any changes to the aesthetic of the leather such as thickness, grade, size, price, color, etc.
The most enjoyable part of my job is being exposed to new types of leather. There are so many new technologies and trends in the market and I like to be aware of what is current and trending. I also really enjoy the color dipping process. There are times that design receives color submits that does not meet their standard or production comes in off standard. I have to solve the problem by submitting another color dip with the tannery, or analzying the color against the standard to see if there is any room for tolerance. All of this requrires communication with cross-functional partners and a sense of urgency as the color is an integral part of the collection. – less