The Product Manager will manage specific product categories to achieve company goals. This position will combine product management skills with the technical ability to interact with inside sales and distributor partners regarding Toro's agricultural irrigation systems. Strong ability to deal with allied companies for product analysis on an on-going basis. Bilingual-English/Spanish is strongly preferred.
Manage specific product categories to maintain existing markets, while also identifying future product development and growth opportunities related to core products. This position is also responsible for supporting and coordinating the sales of Ag related products to dealers, acting as a point of contact for dealers and area sales managers. Drive new product development within this product group, establish technical product specifications, coordinate and track all activities with internal and external partner suppliers. Provide input into internal development projects and assist in planning sales volume, profit contribution and ROI. Maintain technical data and support materials to assist distributors and end-users to provide input into development of marketing support materials. Specific knowledge and attention to the agricultural market will be required with development of products and tools such as catalogs, instruction manuals, specification binders and support materials.
Duties & Responsibilities
1) Management of existing product line with clear understanding of competitive landscape, forecasting, inventory management, new product development process, ROI analysis, and ability to identify and translate customer needs into product specifications.
2) Administration & maintenance of existing product line; performs monthly audit of sales volume & profit to identify areas for improvement.
3) Define new product requirements; maintain constant field contact with distributors, sales force and installers to ensure new products meet customers’ expectations.
4) Coordinate new product development and changes to existing product line; interface with R&D, Engineering and Manufacturing frequently through the development process to ensures that product meets reasonable expectations.
5) Develop new product launch materials to support field staff and distributors; sales material and provide full product training; evaluation/modification of other marketing collateral; competitive evaluations and selling points; development of product updatereports and regular distribution to the field.
6) Analysis of competitive positioning; attend trade shows, conventions, distributor meetings, customer visits and industry association meetings; collect competitive literature and maintain a competitive library.
7) Maintain product line offering by managing on-going relationships with allied companies, development of manuals and distribution to other plants, technical data files and international reference files for certification processes, development of technical bulletins and other communications.
8) Develop and administer field training. Coordinate the creation and maintenance of all technical publications.
Working Relationships: The ability to work directly with engineering, sales, customers, administration, marketing, manufacturing, and after-market support.
Decision Making: Ability to make policy and program recommendations when creating new product parameter statements, project justifications and capital expenditure proposals, and in performing line profit analysis. Ability to make fact-based recommendations on the production of products when confronted by field/quality issues. Ability to solve challenges encountered when defining new product performance and specification parameters through formal and informal market research and processes; and when administering and executing new product releases, creating sales support and promotional programs.
Resolution of field/quality issues. Ability to reinforce importance and value toward our channel, ability to gain field marketing information on a timely basis, assisting territory managers in the sales of Ag products and accessories. Assist customers and consumers with concerns relating to our Ag products, product availability, interchangeability, dealer location and dealer concerns.
Education: Bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) in Marketing, Engineering, Agricultural Science or Agronomy is required; Master’s in business administration (MBA) preferred, or a combination of education and equivalent experience.
Experience: BA/BS degree and 7+ years or MBA and 3+ years’ experience in a product management role or insides sales role, ability to develop market plans, analytical spreadsheets, and proposals. Strong project management skills. Understanding of business principles. Experience in the irrigation industry or general agricultural markets is required. Experience in a product management role, development of market plans, analytical spreadsheets, and proposals is a plus.
Computer Skills: Expert knowledge in MS Office including Word, Excel, PPT. Experience with SAP or similar ERP/CRM system is plus. Candidates must have the ability to use a personal computer and related software required for the successful completion of job-related tasks.
Communication Skills: Must possess strong written and verbal communication skills. Strong communication, interpersonal and analytical skills are necessary to interact effectively with internal and external customers. Bilingual in Spanish/English is a plus. Effective collaboration with team members and appropriate division leaders from marketing, finance, customer service and external customers is required.
Travel: 25-30% travelrequired.