The Director Product Development & Lifecycle Management is a critical member of the Containers global team with responsibility for driving the development and deployment of some of the Group’s most important growth efforts. This role will have primary accountability for supporting the operating divisions in identifying product-based solutions to customer/market needs and managing those solutions through vendor selection to operational deployment. He/she will drive the assessment, review and introduction planning for new container offerings, as well as owning and managing the entire global container portfolio from a SKU tracking and lifecycle management perspective. S/he will work across a complex, global organization in supporting all divisions of the Containers Group in achieving growth, margin, BVA and cash flow targets through new product introductions and updating existing container solutions to deliver on cost out and customer solution efforts.
Containers is a highly diversified business with a wide range of opportunities and challenges to address in the coming years. As an essential growth platform for Brambles, it is vital that Containers have world-class strategic acumen, analytical skills and business execution expertise to achieve our high risk/high return objectives. Given that our value proposition for customers is based upon delivering the right container solutions to address their critical needs, we must have a robust and actively managed product development and management capability to succeed in our goals. Our Group has an Innovation objective of achieving 25% of our revenues from products or services introduced within the prior 5 years, so continuous upgrading and innovating in our container fleet is core to this top strategic objective. The role is also essential to rationalize our highly disparate global container fleet, which leads to operating inefficiencies and, through improvement efforts, will drive out substantial cost in the business. This role will be responsible for engaging other internal and external stakeholders to ensure successful product strategy. Product Engineering, Sourcing, customers, external design houses and container manufacturers are illustrations of the wide range of relationships this executive will manage.
The Director will drive several key business initiatives in FY13-14, as well as responsibility for collaborating on Container product management with the Group, across Brambles shared service organizations, and with the IFCO and CHEP Pallets teams.
- Containers Product Development and Lifecycle Management strategy development
- Product-based solutions framework development and implementation
- 1-2 strategic program analysts/managers in the areas of product development support and business case creation and testing
- Global Containers Product Management Council
- Collaboration with product development leads within IFCO and pallets teams as well as Sourcing experts tasked with driving execution of the Containers product strategy
- Semi-annual product portfolio review and cost-out process.
- Rationalization of Brambles global container portfolio to focus resources on the highest value added solutions on both a global and regional basis
- Global Product Management and innovation pipelines from ideation through development, launch and product lifecycle management
- Strategic analysis of new solutions opportunities models and entry cases
- Initial design of business execution programs for new product launches
- Strategy development for global vendor relationships, including portfolio makeup/mix, strategic alliances, and annual vendor performance reviews
- Rally point process for new products and strategic initiatives
- Produce Development Cost budget - Set and manage all related budget elements for projects ranging from $500,000 to >$50+ million in capital invested
- Daily relationship with product development leaders in other Brambles units
- The development and management of our Vitality Index to support the achievement of our 25% new product/service revenue target by 2018
- Expertise to support commercial activity – product/solution business cases, technical support for business execution efforts, customer interaction at senior levels of the organization
- Strategic vision and direction to the Sourcing team to ensure internal alignment of Sourcing efforts with overall Group Product Strategies
- Central point of contact for customer organizations, as needed, to address product-related questions or issues.
- Leadership in rolling out new business models/capabilities. Work alongside operating teams to ensure successful roll out of products, solutions and staff to ensure successful, high growth product launches into new or existing spaces
- Assurance that each new program has identified, and complies with, agreed upon success milestone. Alignment responsibility to match up new business launches with Brambles and CHEP broad strategic and financial objectives.
- Identification of synergies across the various Containers and other Brambles businesses and establish the appropriate tie-ins to maximize product-related service delivery and performance
- Transparency into the global product development budget and forums for teams to contribute to the shaping of the budget and investment priorities
- Coordination and process management that improves performance of the Containers supply chain, based on Lean manufacturing/ Six Sigma and other principles
- Support, as required, for due diligence efforts where their expertise can contribute materially to Brambles evaluation of M&A or JV/partnership opportunities
- Education: University degree in Business, Operations, Engineering, Product Design or related field. Advanced degree highly desirable, but not required.
- Direct budget responsibility
- Product development/management certification highly valued
Skills and Knowledge
- 7 – 10 years of product development and/or related business operations or engineering experience required
- Plastics engineering degree/background is considered highly relevant and valuable, though not critical for success in this role. Will need to be able to effectively liaison with plastics engineers regardless of personal background.
- Must have experience working across a matrix organization and building ownership and accountability within complex global teams.
- Experience in equipment pooling desirable
- Experience in successfully establishing new organizations a strong plus
- Proven experience in driving standard work and operating procedures.
- Large project management experience
- Customer and vendor relationship management experience
- 3-5 years of operations experience highly valued, though not essential
- Demonstrated comfort in ambiguous, high-growth business environments
Critical Competencies for Performance
- Solid critical thinking skills – able to ask the right questions, process information quickly and think beyond present
- Demonstrated leadership & business results related to process design & optimization
- Resourceful – Strong level of autonomy and drive
- Excellent communication and leadership skills
- Confident – capable to work through issues and conflicts. Can handle setbacks with reliance and sense of optimism
- Decision making – Ability to prioritise and work under pressure
- Superior organization skills, with strong ability to prioritize
- Rigorous – Attentive to details and processes
- Strong comfort with vendor management. Appreciates the suppliers’ point of view
- Sense of humour and ability to roll with the challenges of ramping up a newly created organization with global reach and complexity
- Computer: M/soft Office suite, CHEP e-tools
- Decision quality
- Drive for Results
- Building Effective Teams
- Process Management
- Learning on the Fly
- Customer Focus
- Interpersonal Savvy
- Problem Solving
- Business Acumen
- Dealing with uncertainty
- Sense of humor & humility
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