Senior Footwear Materials Developer
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023
Who We Are:
At Brooks, we believe a run can change a day, a life, the world. Everyone who works here is a key part of our obsession to make the best running gear on the planet. We want our business — which also happens to be our passion — to be a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable being themselves. Our company culture defines us, bonds us together, and drives our success. We live this culture daily through our brand values: Runner First, Word is Bond, Champion Heart, There is no “I” in Run, and Keep Moving. This means we always solve for the runner, do what we say we will, give it our all, are generous with our humanity, and find a way to keep moving every day, because joy is kinetic.
Are you ready to help create something extraordinary?
The Senior Footwear Materials Developer will lead, manage, and execute the seasonal footwear material development process, utilizing advanced product and process knowledge. You will work with a cross-functional product creation team from the collection of insights through commercialization to deliver products that exceed consumer expectations. You will be responsible for generating ideas around engineering principles that improve product performance, product value, and communicate them across the product teams.
This role requires advanced knowledge across many material constructions and processes involved in footwear manufacturing including; engineering warps, wefts, and wovens. You must also have extensive knowledge in raw material properties, testing, and costing. Other critical responsibilities include understanding manufacturing capabilities, anticipating issues, problem solving, and timely resolution.
- Manage and own Materials’ seasonal development calendar and lead innovations in process creation and execution. Support other team members in the execution of seasonal deliverables.
- Manage and lead all seasonal development toolbox work – Inline, MRA and Pre-Development.
- Recognize and evaluate the risk factors associated with all material developments and communicate and influence with the product teams to ensure adherence to seasonal calendar dates
- Lead the team to continually create and build a knowledge base and stay informed about vendor capabilities and performance, factory relationships, quality issues, materials pricing and lead times
- Anticipate downstream effect of decisions as it relates to product and project management. Be proactive in solutions in order to mitigate delays.
- Lead and collaborate with product teams in the development of materials specifications for product functionality, durability and aesthetics, including identifying needs and researching solutions.
- Self-initiate and contribute to research of emerging materials trends by attending material shows, machine shows, industry conferences, and staying informed with literature and industry news. Identify viable opportunities to bring in-house to Brooks and lead implementation of new processes/technology to advance the footwear creation process or improve cost/quality or reduce environmental impact.
- Lead, own and manage projects having the biggest impact on the business and with new technology/ manufacturing techniques (franchise product, new technology, sustainability initiatives, etc.)
- Mentor material development and other Footwear teammates; may manageup to 1 direct report.
- Build and maintain strong relationship with T2 partners. Act as a key voice and representative of the Brooks’ Materials Team.
- Serve as the materials subject matter expert for members of the project teams
- Oversee coordination and review with Asia materials testing team, to ensure that all materials pass Brooks Sports commercialization process by the specified dates on the seasonal calendar.
- Develop and maintain an organized materials library, complete with up-to-date material resources, testing history and specifications.
- Continuously build advanced materials expertise and work to create a network of contacts within the industry.
- Lead, recommend, specify to product team the material options to meet pricing targets and product’s functional goals, as well as assure product performance integrity through product testing (physical and field testing)
- Initiate and lead meetings with product teams during various phases of development to review, evaluate, update and ultimately drive the decision-making process that leads to on–time production confirmation and margin goals
- Collaborate with Research, Design, Development, Marketing, Costing and Color in order to show sample materials that meet the criteria for the category based on material performance data
- Organize and communicate new process and techniques to the cross functional teams
- Assist with advanced materials R&D projects (when needed).
- Lead trips to suppliers 3 or more times per year and additional travel as needed.
- BS in Textile Engineering, Textile Design, Materials Engineering, Textile Chemistry or related field; may be substituted with relevant work experience
- 7+ years of experience in footwear textile development/ design, material development
- Deep understanding and proven success working with footwear construction methods, a range of material constructions, and material processes.
- Proficient in PLM system to build, support and maintain digital material library.
- Computer proficiency with office software; MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Key Note, and Illustrator.
- Demonstrated ability to lead and influence in a collaborative, cross-functional group without command/ control to meet strategic objectives.
- Effective project management skills and experience, including the ability to articulate goals and objectives, manage projects independently and the ability to network and utilize internal and external resources.
- Keen attention to detail in planning, organization and execution of tasks (self and through others), while still seeing the big picture and understanding how all the pieces fit together and affect one another.
- Outstanding communication skills, verbal and written. Advanced ability to communicate new ideas, concepts and functional expertise within project teams and to external stakeholders.
- Ability to anticipate how a decision made can affect our customers, our partners, our products or other departments’ operations and/or morale; “connecting the dots.”
- Curious and open minded; always open for a challenge, inventive, creative. With the ability to challenge the status quo – always looking at improving our products and processes while also displaying a willingness to dive into the details.
- Demonstrated ability to develop highly positive relationships with individuals and teams that are made up of diverse disciplines and cultural backgrounds resulting in effective working relationships across the company
- Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed (15-25% travel time)
- Passionate participation in Brooks’ sports activities a plus, overridden by the ability to understand and empathize with the runner in order to develop loyal, engaging relationships with our customers and the Brooks community.
- Embraces and lives the Brooks values!
The pay range for this position, based out of the Brooks Seattle HQ, is $119,059 - $178,640 per year. Base pay offered will vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.
Brooks is proud to offer a robust benefits package to our employees and their families!
Benefits- including medical, dental, vision, life and AD&D insurance, disability insurance, HSA and employer contribution, FSA, family & fertility assistance, 401K Savings Plan and match, employee assistance program, and transportation assistance.
Paid Time Off- Brooks offers generous time off including three to five weeks of paid time off, eleven paid holidays, paid sick and parental leave.
Bonus- in addition to base pay, Brooks employees may also be offered an annual bonus based on company performance.
Perks- including product discounts, a home office stipend, employee recognition, fitness discounts, volunteer and donation benefits.
At Brooks, we celebrate diversity & equity. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment, and encourage people of all backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and skills to apply. Brooks is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, two-spirit identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, sensory, physical, or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), honorable discharge or military status, protected citizen status, actual or perceived victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, HIV or Hepatitis C infection, political ideology, use of a trained guide dog by a person with a disability, or on any other basis protected by federal, state or local law, or any other non-merit based factors.