Bluestem Brands, Inc. is the parent company to a number of eCommerce retail brands. We have one mission: to build a dynamic retail enterprise that wins with direct-to-consumer excellence and entrepreneurial-minded employees focused on serving our customers' unique needs. Our leadership is responsive and supportive, empowering those smart and passionate employees who drive our success. We are continually innovating and improving: we take risks, learn from mistakes and celebrate success as a team.
You work hard, and you deserve more than just a paycheck. Bluestem works to do what's right for employees. From the big things (great benefits, employee discounts and incentive plans) to small touches (jeans-every-day dress code), this is the place you'll want to be. And we don't just talk about work-life balance, we try to live it. Join the Bluestem Brands team to make an impact, be inspired and be valued, every day.
We are seeking a VP of Product Integrity and Global Quality. This role could be located in Mahwah, NJ - Middleton, MA or Warren, PA. The VP of Product Integrity and Global Quality is responsible for leading all departments that contribute to the quality of product being delivered to the Bluestem Customer, this includes Technical Design both on-shore and off-shore, Quality Assurance & Quality Control both on-shore and off-shore, Product Testing, and Social Compliance. This position works cross brand and cross functionally to teach, mentor, and lead the efforts of ensuring all hands touching product (both internally and externally) are fully understanding Bluestems standards for quality and compliance.
This position owns relationships with 3rd party vendors in the testing arena to implement Bluestem standards and compliance protocols. They own the protocols product is being tested to and the standards at which we deliver product. This position owns all Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) used in the supplier community and by 3rd party vendors to ensure proper documentation of compliance.
The ideal candidate for this position must have superior communication skills to ensure best practices are being implemented in all brands through negotiations and influence. They must be able to properly document via power point and process charts to ensure all scenarios are thought through and fully vetted before changes to and brand are made. They must lead their direct reports in such a manner that change is being implemented by them through 100% partnership and support.
The VP of Product Integrity and Global Quality is accountable for training, mentoring, and influencing the supplier community through the creation of training courses and incentive programs the result in certification of the supplier community to act independently with a level of oversight and governance to ensure compliance at all times. They are accountable for producing supplier score cards to properly document output and define when a supplier should be granted privileges or not. They work hand in hand with Sourcing Leads to ensure product placement is strategic and cost-effective while being conscience of delivery. They work hand in hand with US warehouses and testing agencies to confirm (QC) all endeavors (QA) that went into the design and delivery of product were effective and measurable. They cross check returns information as an additional safety gap to measure success.
What you'll do:
- Develop, implement, and maintain one central policy manual to house best practices for a quality assurance approach, sections would include:
- Hard-lines and Soft-lines testing protocols / standards / process.
- Classification of suppliers to drive participation in the Harmonized Product Testing Program.
- AQL sampling plans.
- Major vs. Minor failure attributes.
- Issue resolution / escalation process
- Vendor Score Carding process
- Plan and manage global quality department activities in accordance with agreed upon budgets, timelines and goals- this is applicable to all direct agents and vendors accordingly.
- Sets annual goals and objectives to drive consistent improvement in quality assurance process and procedure as it relates to the delivery of product.
- Creates yearly T&A calendar for quality in alignment with the overall product development calendar.
- Manages, coaches, recruits and motivates staff in domestic and regional global offices (HK, Shanghai, and Delhi) and provides an environment for continuous improvement.
- Develops and owns all communication strategies, both internally and externally as it relates to the communication of root cause analysis to drive constant improvement
- Accountable for AQL inspection requirements for both domestic and direct channels- setting the bar for what is to be considered off-shore accountability and on-shore accountability.
- Communicate accordingly with domestic suppliers as to the requirements of product via the Bluestem Quality Manual.
- Creates methodology and developing / overseeing process for measuring product performance in agreement with established standards- and then communicating results accordingly to the Brand Presidents and key merchantswithin the brand so they know how the product for their corresponding brand is or is not performing.
- Includes, but is not limited to, overall return rates and reasons for return, customer feedback, fit and performance of garments, overseas and domestic inspection performance, mini-audit performance/accountability.
- Drive Supplier Score Cards and deliver information in usable format to Sourcing Leads to drive strategic placement of product.
- Develop, implement and maintain day-to-day operations designed to ensure the compliance with Social, US Customs and FTC regulations as it relates to company's imports, while providing efficiency in operations and use of resources.
- Provide guidance and leadership to the brand technical teams to ensure understanding of quality expectations is consistent between Quality and Technical departments.
- Responsible for the Orchard Brands Global Sourcing quality staff.
- Writes annual reviews for the regional Quality Manager(s)
- Responsibilities include recruiting staff, assessing performance, training, developing individual careers.
- Administrative duties to ensure smooth operation of the Northstar business in Minnesota: this includes the processing of invoices and management of the mile-stone calendar.
- Drive compliance in all aspects of the business as it pertains to product and liaison with the Compliance Team in Minnesota to gain alignment in all product being delivered prior to the delivery of that product to the Bluestem Customer.
- Drive issue resolution quickly and effectively to ensure corporate compliance on all fronts- again, with the alignment of Corporate Compliance in Minnesota.
- Implement a level of governance in product testing and product execution appropriately to enable product oversight by Corporate Compliance.
- Interacts with all Bluestem Brand businesses and related functions to ensure all products meet AQL standards
- Oversight of all QA activities currently in process in all warehouses
- Interacts with OBGS and all Agents to ensure oversight of all AQL standards and control of all QC activities for all products
- Supervise all brand teams to ensure all AQL standards are developed, agreed upon, and adhered to
What you'll need:
- Bachelor's Degree required
- 10+ years industry experience in apparel industry with thorough knowledge of fit, fabric, performance, color/shade, statistical inspection processes and vendor compliance reporting
- Ability to read, analyze and interpret general business periodicals and update all technical procedures
- Proven project management skills
- Develop & manage external and internal KPI's (i.e. vendor compliance, on time performance, etc.).
- Excellent written and verbal skills
- Highly organized
Job Grade: E