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Lead Product Developer

Job ID: 1450 Location: Paddington Category: Product Development Salary: Competitive + Benefits Hours: Closing date: December 20th 2019, 10:55 AM

Job Description:

M&S Food is changing and fast. We are transforming our M&S Food business to be more relevant, more often to more people. Given the scale of the opportunity ahead of us there has never been a more exciting time to join our business.

Reporting into you Head of Product Development your role will be to formulate, direct and deliver commercial product development in line with Category & Project Plans and Food Business strategy.

Key accountabilities and measures

  • Comprehensive, relevant and up to date understanding of food ingredients, lifestyle, retail and packaging trends that influence the customer, the market and potential product direction
  • In depth understanding of M&S and competitor product categories and the products within them - covering existing M&S range, the retail competition
  • Understanding and ability to clearly articulate good, better, best tiering where relevant with clear product values against each tier in line with the M&S product strategy
  • Set and deliver the product strategy agreed buy the food division, developing products/ranges in line with range values defined by yourself or Head of product
  • Input into category strategy with Trading Manager, Lead Product Developer, Brand & Marketing, Technologist and Buyer
  • Interpret internal and external sources of data and customer insight to create product proposition plans, demonstrating leadership in product quality, thinking and innovation
  • Clearly articulate product requirements and work in partnership with relevant supply base colleagues to deliver ‘best in class’ innovative products
  • Identify commercial product development opportunities within own area of responsibility
  • Follow Stage and Gate development process, managing projects to ensure critical path targets are met, communicating with internal and external stakeholders
  • Write packaging design briefs in collaboration with key stakeholders capturing external benchmarks, relevant customer and market insight
  • Continually monitor performance of new product development in the marketplace and agree appropriate action with category team
  • Continually ensure personal behaviour reflects the vision and values of the business
  • Lead on product quality standards setting the benchmark for the industry, identifying relevant benchmarks and centres of excellence
  • Proactively uses tools, data and insight to driven actions and decisions – these can include: Campden, Store tastings, Wirral, One Pulse/VYPR, Brand insight, Home evaluation, Customer feedback, CIU, Awards feedback
  • Identifies opportunities to bring on board new suppliers to deliver market leading innovation, ensuring protection for M&S development through relevant legal documents and agreements
  • Fully conversant with M&S systems to ensure new products are delivered against the relevant critical paths. Additionally, can coach and mentor others and act as a superuser
  • Ensure continuous personal development and learning, coaching and mentoring product developers to further develop technical and business competency skills
  • Continue to develop a direct and positive relationship with internal and external stakeholders, working collaboratively to deliver results
  • Can represent function or head of product at internal/external meetings, presentations & events
  • Co-ordinate complex multi-source information into relevant internal documents for meetings and stakeholders

Key skills

  • Active interest in food, culinary trends and food development
  • Excellence in product innovation with the ability to apply culinary knowledge and skills to product development
  • Ability to apply strategic thinking using market and customer data to develop product propositions that ensure we lead
  • Ability to demonstrate commercial acumen
  • Ability to coach and mentor colleagues to drive a high-performance culture
  • Relevant systems knowledge
  • Highly organised at managing projects
  • Influencing and communicating
  • Positive and self-motivated mind set
  • Self-starter / able to work with autonomy



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