Product Development – Assistant
Blue Marble is a consumer products company with a focus on developing exceptional STEM toys for families around the world. Simply put, we believe quality educational products inspire kids and instill in them a lifelong love of learning. We believe that foundation will serve them throughout their entire lives and will benefit their future and our community.
We are National Geographic’s largest licensee and have created hundreds of products under their brand which we sell in over 60 countries around the world. We also created products for NASA, and we have developed our own brands: Discover with Dr. Cool, and Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Builders www.blockarootoys.com.
We have been in business for over 15 years and our headquarters is in beautiful Ashland, Oregon. Our products are the gold standard of quality when it comes to educational toys. Look at our brand store on amazon (search: National Geographic Toys, or visit our company website www.thinkbluemarble.com and you will quickly see the Blue Marble difference. From real dinosaur fossils, to amazing gemstones from around the world, we love making products that inspire, and we think you will feel the passion, excitement, and innovation that our company is known for in every product we make.
What’s it like to work here?
Blue Marble is a special work environment. It has a family-style atmosphere and there is always a buzz of activity and inspiration in the air. Our team is made up of people with high character. To work here you need to be talented, bring a positive attitude, and be a great human being. This is a place where our team supports each other and wins together.
As a company, we care about our employees, our community, and the world around us. How we do things, and how we treat each other matters to us. We exist to make thoughtful, purposeful products, but we also value a good balance between work and life, and we want to enjoy how we work together all along the way. Our team is like no other, and if you share our values, we believe you will agree that this is one of the best places to work on the planet.
If you think this is the place for you and if you want to join a company that aims to make a positive impact in the world, then we look forward to hearing from you!
Position SummaryOur Assistant Product Developer will focus on new product initiatives related to sales efforts and will support the Product Development team on a wide variety of tasks. The Assistant will serve as the main point of contact for product requests coming from the Sales Team and will manage these requests from initial inquiry through production. This will require gathering information from the Sales Team and assessing documentation to more fully define the product requests for the Product Development, Operations, Design and Inventory Planning teams. Once the details are confirmed and the customer has committed to purchase, the assistant will manage the product through the product development life cycle. In addition to managing product requests from the Sales Team, the Assistant will support the product development team by managing incoming and outgoing sample distribution, contributing to product testing and ideation, sample organization, assisting customer service requests, and creating SKU / UPC for our products. This is a “hands-on” role where you will collaborate with the entire organization to move your products through the product development life cycle to generate all marketing materials and packaging for the product, product samples for testing and photography, product costing details for operations set-up and ultimately lead delivering the product to market. The Assistant Product Developer follows standards and processes, contributing to continual process improvement for our product development workflow and the development of our team. They use our project management and workflow tools for inter-departmental collaboration and lead product-briefing meetings with all internal stakeholders. Our Assistant Product Developer is a skilled communicator and creative problem-solver with a positive attitude and the ability to thrive in an ever-changing and fast paced work environment. Please Note: This is not a product design position.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Manages products for our retail customers through the entire lifecycle - from initial request to early concept to launch and optimization - by working closely with Sales, Operations, Inventory Planning, Design and other business stakeholders.
- Must be able to track and communicate progress across departments.
- Assists PD/RD team with samples, competitive analysis, patent searches, product testing and UPC / SKU creation
- Works with Marketing on product and packaging design to promote effective marketing strategies.
- Initiates, oversees and reviews procurement of new product samples. Is responsible for QC checks through initial development stages.
- Responsible for consistently executing high-quality products that meeting testing guidelines, Licensor standards, and company brand values.
- Maintains product brief documentation and Bill of Materials on all Products.
- Works with Inventory Planning and Sales to satisfy production timelines for new product releases as well as managing running changes to existing products.
- Communicate throughout the organization as necessary by participating in meetings, presentations, one-on-one dialogue, etc.
- Meet all product objectives on time, on cost, and on quality.
- Drive progress and ensure that items pass all of our internal success requirements.
- Daily problem solving and issues resolution.
- Collaborate to define the product vision, strategy and business model.
Required Experience and Knowledge:
- One year of experience within a consumer products toy field in product development; sports/entertainment licensor or licensee (Toy Manufacturer) experience and preferably with the design or technical engineering phases.
- Entrepreneurial, passionate, collaborative and ready to learn.
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously with attention to detail while managing the big picture with diverse groups.
- Team player who is also on independent thinker, self-motivated, self-starter, analytical thinker and a creator.
- Strong organizational, communication, interpersonal, time management skills, relationship-building skills and ability to work in a global environment.
- Able to communicate complex concepts, projected performance, and risks to team and senior management.
- Knowledge of toy categories including manufacturing techniques, materials and technologies preferred.
- Strategic vision for overall business and category.
- Comfortable with uncertainty.
- Creative flair both in generating ideas and execution.
- Good command of Microsoft Office Suite applications; word, excel, PowerPoint and Adobe applications; Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat.
- Able to work flexible hours including some nights and/or weekends based on business needs.