Do you constantly look for new solutions to old problems? Do you believe there has to be a simpler way to accomplish everything? Are you a deep thinking Innovator with a portfolio of inspirational & commercialized products? Are you ready to have an impactful role as a player/coach in generating breakthrough new product concepts used in fueling a rapidly growing company? If you answered yes to these questions we have the perfect opportunity for you!
Exemplis is looking for a Director of Research & Development to lead product innovation in our advanced development engineering efforts. The R&D Director will be responsible for developing new technology for products including (but not limited to) highly customizable build-to-order furniture. This Director level role is for someone who is great at managing people in a matrix fashion, while still having the desire and ability of being hands-on in leading and working on innovative research projects. This position will have an immediate impact on defining Exemplis’s next generation products!
Responsibilities and Essential Functions:
- Apply Design Thinking to solve real Consumer Problems and translate those needs into R&D projects. Initiate R&D projects that both support the NPI roadmap, and have the potential to disrupt the NPI roadmap.
- Work closely with Marketing, Industrial Design, Product Engineering, and Upper Management to develop a Technology Roadmap of disruptive Features, Materials, Components, and Processes to be used on future products.
- Allocate resources to R&D projects and rapidly bring ideas to a physical proof of concept form. Set up regular reviews with management and work with cross-functional leaders to ensure projects are on track.
- Set priorities and keep momentum going on a mix of projects, ranging from blue sky projects, to projects with defined completion dates. Respond quickly to shifting priorities without losing sight of longer range projects and goals.
- Have the courage to make hard decisions such as when to stop working on a project or when to start working on something that no one is yet asking for.
- Think critically about new product concepts and ask the kinds of questions that can inspire a creative approach and improve the concept.
- Develop and implement R&D processes that leverage both internal, and external resources. This position will be responsible for managing outside technology vendors & resources, as well as incoming technology solicitations.
- In a matrix fashion manage a team of creative, talented, and passionate product designers and engineers who like the freedom to dream up and build things.
Qualifications, Skills and Education
- 8+ years product creation experience, with a focus on designing, prototyping, and launching innovative, elegant, and interesting hard good consumer products a must.
- BS in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Technology, or relevant experience
- Must use a combination of sketching, CAD, working prototypes, and other means to quickly create physical demonstrators of new concepts.
- Applied experience with plastics, plastics processing, metal fabrication, textiles, foams, and other cutting edge materials, coatings, and manufacturing processes.
- Experience with Design creation tools such as VOC, Kano, Triz, Blue Ocean Strategy, etc.
- Previous Project Management experience.
- Strong Product Development Process knowledge and Stage-gate experience.
- Previous furniture experience a strong plus.
Exemplis LLC, headquartered in Cypress, CA, is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of branded contract office seating products in North America. The company provides a broad range of task, executive, conference, side, visitor and lounge seating products that are distributed through independent contract office furniture dealers under the SitOnIt Seating™ and IDEON™ brands. Exemplis is the market share leader in the middle segment of a $3.0 billion addressable seating market in North America.
The Company has an installed base of over five million seating products in a wide variety of industry and institutional environments, including High Tech, Health Care, Hospitality, Government, Education, and Manufacturing. Exemplis has delivered strong sales growth and profit margins on a debt-free capital structure. The Company’s profitable growth has been enabled by its build-to-order business model which has allowed the Company to consistently deliver to its target market a value proposition based on choice, speed, quality and performance at affordable prices.
Exemplis' commitment to its customers drives the Company's market and operating strategies. Management has a strong bias to action and a focus on quality, operational excellence and superior financial performance. For more information, please visit http://www.exemplis.com.
Exemplis is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and our company adheres to the equal employment opportunity guidelines set forth by federal, state and local laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, national or ethnic origin, protected veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal civil rights laws that is not related to job requirements.