Product Manager

Product Manager
Product Manager

28 August, 2016

J.A. Henckels

Manufacturers of high quality kitchen products, cutlery and cookware

We are currently looking for a pocket knife and Kitchen Cutlery Product Manager in Pleasantview, NY. This position reports to the President / CEO. The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated, creative, strategic and tactical thinker and planner, balancing the needs of both brand image and sales. Must have solid experience with product development, product line management, pricing, and marketing launches. Must possess the ability to effectively develop, manage and execute plans with keen attention to strategic goals, detail, accuracy and timing. Must effectively communicate and partner with marketing/ communications teams, sales, outside suppliers and other essential stakeholders.


Product Manager will manage assigned product lines to maximize sales opportunities and profitability and manage entire product line life cycle from strategic planning to launch/tactical activities. Responsibilities include: product life cycle calendar, current line analysis and management (SKUs, pricing, negotiation with factories-pricing, minimums, timing), forecasting, new product development (new ideas, new from existing products, customer exclusives), launch plan development and implementation leadership, product knowledge training and presentations, QA/QC process.

Primary Job Responsibilities

  • Packaging
    • Manage design (based on approved branding/visual identity guidelines), development and production (through to digital files) of packaging.
    • Develop and implement formalized review and approval process that ensures branding, environmental, retail and operational issues are addressed.
    • Partner with Supply Chain to ensure quality meets standards, production and delivery meets deadlines.
    • Partner with Supply Chain to identify new suppliers, materials and manufacturing methodologies that enhance quality and deliver more environmentally sound solutions.
  • Product Development
    • Develop and implement formalized process to collect input from sales to inform and prioritize development initiatives.
    • Conduct and collect competitive/market research and information to identify opportunities and trends.
    • Identify new product opportunities, define product release requirements; work with Zwilling team (or other sources) to develop and produce to specifications.
    • Identify and build new product ideas from existing products (inclusive of GWPs). Work with Zwilling, other sources and/or internal teams to produce to specifications.
    • Develop and implement process to respond to requests for customs/exclusives, including input required, minimums, etc. Work with Zwilling, other sources, and/or internal teams to produce to specifications.
    • Establish and manage review and approval process for all new introductions.
  • Product Life Cycle Calendar
    • Develop and manage annual/seasonal calendar to ensure all critical go-to-market dates are met from development phase through to final delivery/launch phase.
    • Lead cross-functional team meetings as needed to review status vs. calendar, identify and resolve issues.
    • Communicate critical changes in calendar to key stakeholders.
  • Product Line Analysis & Management
    • Develop and implement standard reporting process that 1) routinely analyzes productivity and profitability of existing product line; 2) identifies new product opportunities; 3) identifies discontinued candidates; 4) provides rationales for costs/pricing.
    • Negotiate and establish costs with factories; establish and communicate MSRPs and MAP pricing.
    • Develop and implement an effective forecasting process including standardization of timing, input, reporting, and communication. Lead forecasting process/meetings and provide all necessary reports/information on timely basis.
    • Develop and maintain product related budgets (pricing, margins, etc.) as required by company.
  • Launch Plans
    • Develop and manage implementation of go-to-market plan, leading cross functional team to execute:
    • Define positioning/opportunity, features and benefits.
    • Establish product-related launch plan elements and timetables
    • Provide critical input / product information for marketing materials and POS items. Provide ideas and input for promotions.
    • Lead cross-functional team to ensure successful coordination of and timely execution of plan including-but not limited to-manufacturing, sales, marketing colleagues, customer service, and supply chain.
    • Review and approve all product and marketing-related elements.
  • Product Knowledge
    • Serve as the primary internal and external product knowledge specialist and evangelist.
    • Create and conduct product knowledge seminars for sales and other key internal personnel/departments (marketing communications, customer service, etc.). May also be required for key customer meetings.
    • Create and/or provide all necessary input for development and creation of training materials and presentations.
  • Quality Assurance and Control
    • Establish and implement process for identifying, tracking and communicating QC issues, from field and operations feedback to communication to Zwilling/other sources.
    • Lead resolution and communication on all critical QC issues.


  • Qualities: Passionate, high-energy, flexible, resourceful, self-starter, multi-tasker. Works well in fast-paced environments and will contribute to building a best-in-class culture of customer responsiveness, constant improvement and teamwork.
  • Minimum 5 years product management experience in branded, consumer products company. Manufacturing/Sourcing knowledge and Housewares knowledge a plus.
  • Minimum 4 year college degree
  • Excellent organizational skills in both planning and execution, managing multiple tasks with accuracy, and meeting corporate deadlines
  • Effective and persuasive verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong negotiating skills
  • Ability to work autonomously; effective time management skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel and AS400 systems. PowerPoint a plus.
  • Fluency in German a plus

Any questions? Please contact:

Karin Slade

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