Product Developer I – Hawthorn – The Bradford Group – Niles, IL

Product Developer I – Hawthorn
The Bradford Group
23 reviews

Niles, IL 60714

Responsible for assisting Product Development team in the research and development of new concepts, and development and management of backends or existing programs. Creatively brainstorm and concept new ideas that fit within the established Bradford criteria and formats. Managing administrative functions of the department including tracking, scheduling and updating reports and product programs. Creatively solve issues and problems related to design, scheduling and costs.

Administrative Project Management Tasks

  • Update product development database (File Maker Pro) to include critical products reports, rolling forecasts, fact sheets, design worksheets, and contract requests, with a high degree of accuracy and timeliness, as it relates to status on products and product research. Communicate and keep the workflow smooth across the various departments such as Advertising, Design, Production, Marketing, Research & Analysis. Identify delays and inconsistencies such as accuracy of proof dates, products falling off the list and notify appropriate Product Development Manager for resolution. Also responsible for preparation and distribution of fact sheets and final Cost of Goods packet to appropriate personnel for each corps.
  • Coordinate backstamp process – supply Design with worksheets and Marketing with approved fact sheets. Proof, route and finalize approval on backstamps, hang tags and certificates and advise Knowles and Design teams.
  • Prepare presentation boards, sample set-ups, kick-off packets for meetings and presentations such as Quarterly Reviews, European, Sales meetings. Update and maintain ad brochure binder by corps.
  • Responsible for black & white color copying; digital photography samples and products; review and approve invoices and send to Accounting for processing.
  • Prepare packages for shipment via DHL, Fed Ex and messenger; faxing (domestic and international), scanning, and other miscellaneous duties as assigned

Concepting & Developing Products

  • Researches past Bradford product to analyze degree of success in market research & product research. Track conversion rates, historical data, source color proofs, transparencies, brochures for art reuse evaluation.
  • Maintain and manage back end products (initially with guidance from Product Development Manager) with emphasis on the design quality and series cohesion with a backend cadence of not to exceed 30 days. Coordinate and manage through design, sculpt, decal proofing and manufacturing processes to include preparation of design worksheet, fact sheet, approvals, product reporting, backstamps and hang tags. Set up and maintain backends in database; pull art and appropriate research for review; work with designer on illustrations, review and communicate DDCP changes to Design team. Responsible for program scheduling and target dates.
  • Print and critique JPEG photos of products in development, pre-production samples and production samples including backstamps and certificates.
  • Participate in concepting and brainstorming with Product Development team. Develops and presents concepts and ideas for new products to managers. Develop new product concept for tests at weekly Office Hours meetings (under supervision with Product Development Manager, if applicable) – this includes the concept, research, mockup/sketches, worksheet/statements, and data on trends, competitive and related industries, prior test/rollout results, preliminary costs/margin estimates, and other required materials.
  • Ensures quote packages are sent out to appropriate vendors using corporate COG’s guidelines for each corp. Work with vendors and Product Development Manager to negotiate and finalize COG’s.
  • Follow up on outstanding Office Hour issues in a timely fashion.

Contacts with Artists and Outside Resources

  • Work with outside resources such as designers, sculptors, model shops, licensors vendors on new concepts and information and material required to complete. Communicate and direct outside sketch artists, illustrators, sculptors, painters, mold makers, and manufacturers. Expand design pool (designers, sketch artists, sculptors, painters, etc) by proactively seeking out new talent to result in quality and reliable resources for the product development team.

Required Qualifications

Education, Licensing, Certification, and Experience

  • MA, MFA, BA or BFA degree in Art, Art History, Fine/Studio Arts, Illustration, Product Design, Sculpture, Graphic Design or an art related field.
  • 0-3years work experience

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent organizational, project management, and communication skills – both verbal and written.
  • Must be organized and must be very detail oriented
  • Knowledge of MAC/PC including Excel, Word, PhotoShop.
  • Ability to work and troubleshoot in an extremely fast paced environment.

Preferred Qualifications

Education, Licensing, Certification, and Experience

  • Strong internship experience or a minimum of two years work experience is preferred.
  • Experience in a clerical and/or art and craft environment is a major plus.
  • Artistic skills

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Familiarity with Illustrator and/or databases is helpful.

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