Footwear Innovation Manager
Vietnam, HCM City
Research and Development
The Brooks Next innovation group is a team of world-class innovative minds collectively focused on improving the performance running experience through product, experiential and biomechanical innovation. They constantly challenge assumptions of how products are made and together they shape the future of running footwear. They stretch the limits of science and human performance with every innovation and are relentlessly focused on changes that benefit the Brooks runner. They pioneer relationships with manufacturing partners and suppliers, uncovering new partnerships with global industry leaders to create innovations and bring new Brooks innovations to life. The Next team operates across the full range of product creation, merchandising, brand strategy, sourcing and new business development to relentlessly pursue methods to make better-performing, higher-quality and sustainable products faster and more efficiently than ever before.
As our Innovation Manager for Vietnam, you will utilize your management skills, advanced products and process knowledge to drive the Vietnam innovation team through to completion on a variety of innovation programs that will drive the future of Brooks Running. You will lead a multi-national team and manage their work with a global, cross-functional product creation team from the collection of insights through commercialization to deliver products that deliver new running experiences and exceed runner expectations. You will oversee timeline creation and management across the innovation triad driving the research, prototyping and validation of ideas through the advanced R&D process delivering ready for in-line product and technologies. You will work with and manage relationships with strategic partners outside of Brooks to cultivate new ideas and manage the delivery of groundbreaking products that challenge and shape the future of running.
- Ability to oversee, drive and manage the Vietnam innovation team through multiple innovation projects from Portfolio Review, Brief & Research through Design, Development & Validation and into Commercialization & Manufacturing
- Oversee the creation and execution of project development plans/ shedules according to the strategic critical dates that lead to on–time delivery of samples, portfolio reviews, validation, technology transfers and final product/ technology confirmation
- Lead your team through prototyping, testing and validation of concepts using your team’s advanced problem solving and product creation skills which include: pattern making and construction techniques; blueprints, mold creation and midsole/ outsole creation; Lab, fit, wear and biomechanical testing and specification; and manufacturing processes used in the creation of our product
- Promote and build a partnership between your team and design, product line managers, engineering, manufacturing and vendor/ partners to ensure that products exceed runner expectations, are manufacturable and meet performance and quality objectives of the organization
- Display an in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing process with the ability to work with your team to manipulate the process in order to advance and achieve new manufacturing techniques which enhance the overall performance and efficiency of product
- Lead and manage development trips to work with manufacturers and suppliers on existing and current development projects.
- Put your team in a position to recommend and specify to product team the material, component and construction options to meet product’s functional goals, as well as assure product performance integrity through product testing (physical and field testing), either by building up their skills or promoting your team’s knowledge
- Oversee your team’s meetings with product teams during various phases of development to review, evaluate, update and ultimately assist in the decision-making process that leads to on–time production confirmation and margin goals
- Create and build a knowledge base and stay informed about vendor capabilities and performance, factory relationships, quality issues, materials pricing and lead times.
- Work to further define and implement the Next process with all its steps and milestones
- Find and create training programs to increase your team’s knowledge and skills to keep up with the industry trends
- Work with the Senior Manager for Innovation to make sure teams across all locations are aligned and working in harmony
- Participate in the Portfolio Review to contribute to the creation of the Next Innovation Portfolio
- Drive the implementation of new systems, process improvements, deliverable formats and so on to make the Next process, more efficient and result-driven
- Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Design, Biomechanics or other applicable technical degrees.
- 8+ successful years of experience leading the product development of high performance footwear projects.
- 3+ years management experience leading, developing and coaching a development team
- Technical expertise in footwear product development with an advanced knowledge of the total footwear construction process including; outsole/midsole drawing, pattern engineering, material construction, testing and costing.
- Strong understanding of manufacturing capabilities, anticipating issues, problem solving with timely resolution.
- Proven ability to lead and influence a team within a collaborative, cross-functional group without command/ control to meet strategic objectives.
- Demonstrated ability to develop highly productive relationships with individuals and teams that are made up of diverse disciplines and cultural backgrounds resulting in effective working relationships across the company
- Strong verbal and written communication skills, with an advanced ability to communicate new ideas, concepts and functional expertise within project teams and to external stakeholders. Presentation skills. Professional knowledge of Powerpoint, Keynote or other electronic means to communicate new concepts or ideas. Technical writing capability a plus.
- Keen attention to detail in planning, organization and execution of tasks (self and through others), while still seeing the big picture and understanding how all of the pieces fit together and affect one another.
- Ability to anticipate how a decision made can affect our customers, our partners, our products or other departments’ operations and/or morale; “connecting the dots.”
- Ability to manage teams of different sizes (initially up to 5) and conduct performance reviews every quarter
- Curious and open minded; always open for a challenge, inventive, creative. With the ability to challenge the status quo – always looking at improving our products and processes while also displaying a willingness to dive into the details.
- Strong computer skills including experience with Illustrator, MS Office software.
- Proven ability to drive, lead and influence in collaborative, team oriented and complex global environments.
- Passionate participation in Brooks’ sports activities a plus, overridden by the ability to understand and empathize with the runner in order to develop loyal, engaging relationships with our customers and the Brooks community.
- Embraces and lives the Brooks values!
Reports to: Senior Manager of Future Concept and Innovation
Department: Footwear Research & Development - 32
Position Class: Exempt, Salaried
Position Location: Linh Trung II, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam