Location: The Printworks, Canada Water
Type: Part-time, 3-month contract
Salary: £30-40K pro rata
Hours: 3-days per week
Reporting to: Head of Product & Maker Relationships, Kathy Shenoy
Proposed start date: ASAP
The New Craftsmen is looking for a Production Manager to join the company to fully help strengthen the supply chains of our key collections to support the growth of the business.
Since its founding in 2012 The New Craftsmen, our offer and proposition have grown significantly - across makers, products, and services. We are now a dynamic platform with a multifaceted approach to bringing craft to market that is globally recognised.
We are now seeking to further capture the demand of our key collection and makers. The aim is to further build and grow exclusive and scale ranges for interiors (including furniture and lighting) which feel distinctive, unique and carry a strong sense of narrative.
Sensitive to a maker’s processes, materiality and sensibility, you will work with the Head of Product and makers to sensitively develop pieces and collections that are authentic and made with integrity.
You will be fluent in the commercials of product design for batch / scaled production, with a firm grasp of margin, minimum orders, and pricing. Hungry to take a our business to the next level, and play a key role in its future growth, this role is for someone with the passion and appetite to work with the very best making talent in the UK and take it to the next level.
Supplier management / partnership
- Examine existing batch supplier relationships and resolve hurdles and issues to increase efficiency; ensuring current product lines are coming into the business and fulfilling orders as quickly as possible
- Explore the batch manufacturing landscape in the UK and what opportunities are available for scaled production that would be suitable for our key makers; that have the sensitivity to realise work with integrity at the right and appropriate scale
- Negotiating with new batch manufacturing partners on costs, lead times, minimums, sampling to ensure we hit target margins; and developing clear SLAs thereafter
- Understand deeply the lead time requirements for key parts of the business, especially Trade, and the production partners that will help us reach our sales targets and meet customer demands (price and speed)
- Evaluate supplier’s production capability and make recommendations to Head of Product on which supplier could be suitable for particular makers and/or projects
- Respond to a commercial and creative brief (provided by the Head of Product and the Creative Director respectively) focusing on key makers within our portfolio, developing designs in partnership with makers that are suitable for manufacture and reach commercial goals (e.g. margin, production capacity and speed, retail price)
- Understanding what is distinct, unique and special about a key makers’ practice and materiality, and how that can be sensitivity translated into a design appropriate for batch level production
- Realise designs - 3D modelling, CAD, physical to-scale versions - that enable a manufacturing partner to implement and produce the design using their resources; working closely throughout to realise a final prototype that all parties sign-off on
- Ensure technical drawings meet TNC and supplier expectations, with timeframes agreed;
- Ensuring all products are well executed in terms of design, construction, finish, materials and assembly instructions are understood and adhered to
- Responsible for all stages of the product development, assessing and evaluating potential product performance issues, such as stability, safety, durability and functionality
- If suitable, develop a tight edit of ‘options’ (e.g. colour; finish, size etc.) that clients would be able to choose from that might be able to be updated seasonally
- Produce the corresponding samples with the maker and manufacturing partner, that show and celebrate the uniqueness of the piece, and the different design permutations to choose from
- Have a broad understanding and experience across multiple categories - lighting, furniture, wallpaper, and textiles.
- An understanding of what a luxury, high-end residential client is looking for in terms of quality and standards
- Working to resolve any technical problem arising during product design and development, proposing cost effective solutions balanced against maintaining design integrity
- Receive final packing list from supplier and work with the Warehouse Manager on the safe receipt of good
Reporting and documentation
- Excellent critical path management; working with multiple partners to realise various projects at any one time
- Contribute to central depository of product information, and answering any questions relating to PR, marketing, and trade that might arise
- Proven experience in product design and production management in interiors
- Strong technical grounding in the design process and/or manufacturing of furniture and lighting
- Strong ability to communicate design idea with maker through AutoCAD / Photoshop / Illustrate
- Collaborative approach, not ego-driven
- Strong understanding of materials and manufacturing processes
- Affinity and curiosity around makers’ materiality, processes and skills;
- Can anticipate production challenges and suggest alternative solutions
- Ability to think laterally and work collaboratively with other staff members; and work well under pressure
- Understanding of workshop and manufacturing landscape in the UK
The New Craftsmen curates, commissions and sells unique contemporary objects that are rooted in craftsmanship and narrative. Spanning furniture, lighting, textiles, gifts, ceramics and decorative accessories, our range is made by a network of over 100 makers across the British Isles.
We collaborate with our makers to refine and redefine the value of craft. We do this by developing exclusive collections that are available through our Mayfair space and online, by inviting leading talent of the craft world to develop bodies of work for shows and exhibitions, and by overseeing bespoke commissions.
Our ambition is to meet the growing appetite for contemporary craft and design internationally, and in doing so transform the market place for craft.
Please send a copy of your CV and a single page covering letter expressing your interest and why you might be suitable for the position to Fenella Henderson at [email protected].
Please submit your application by Friday 20th November.
We welcome applications from talented candidates. If you feel you have the skills and experience to enhance The New Craftsmen team please send a CV and cover letter to [email protected].