Launch Specialist III

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Job Summary:

Responsible for overseeing all Contract Manufacturing (CM) launch related activities and ensure projects are delivered on-time, in-full and in compliance with all quality standards and expectations. This individual will collaborate with cross-functional partners throughout the organization to coordinate on-time task execution, resolve bottlenecks, and proactively mitigate all launch related risks. This individual will be expected to work collaboratively at all levels of the organization and develop strong relationships with internal and external partners. They will also need to work with a high level of autonomy and demonstrate strong leadership and influencing skills but may require some support from a manager and/or a Level IV Launch Specialist on more complex topics.

About the Role:

1.            Manages and oversee all launch activity for every new product development initiative within assigned product/technology category. Interfaces with all departments involved in new product development from the initial idea phase to final approval. Responds to frequent changes and resolves bottleneck to ensure new products are delivered on-time, in-full and at the expected level of quality. Maintains strong working relationship with Contract Manufacturing partners and collaborate closely with their new product development teams on development activities. Develops and establishes supply chain parameters for new product innovations (safety stock strategy, batch size, etc); ensure parameters are correctly setup in system and ensure vendor is aligned prior to production start. Works with Procurement Specialist to establish procurement strategy (campaign or monthly orders), leadtimes, & MOQ tiers that support ongoing production and optimize the supply chain. Works with Supply Analyst to ensure PO’s are issued on time to support launch production; work with supply analyst on phasing of ongoing PO’s to support the production until launch handoff is complete and project is fully transitioned to Supply Analyst for ongoing replenishment. Maps launch production requirements with CM partner and ensure sufficient capacity during and after launch to support the product lifecycle.

2.            Responds to purchasing requirements and changes in the ERP report for all new products. Ensures seamless handoff with supply analyst and completion of all requirements when launch transitions to non-launch replenishment lifecycle status. Manages all new product development tasks including timelines, production, purchase, & delivery plans. Partners with the CM and all internal Mary Kay teams involved in the launch to ensure projects are executed on-time in-full. Addresses all launch issues that may arise during new product development by partnering with appropriate teams to drive resolution (issues may include production, regulatory, stability, cost, delays, shelf life, quality issues, etc).

3.            Provides expertise and project management in development of modified tooling or stock pack development as applicable for the project.

4.            Secures a production schedule with the CM that meets the project timeline and track production daily, weekly, and monthly as needed to deliver project on-time.

5.            Reviews vendor capacity to support launch and ongoing supply chain requirements and ensure capacities are sufficient; oversee production plan smoothing as needed to keep launch timelines on track.

6.            Recommends tooling and capex investments as required.

7.            Cross-functional teams should request any needed launch paperwork from Category Manager directly, but this individual will provide support to push category management teams in situations where responses are not provided in a timely manner. Ensures 1st production is reviewed and approved by brand team via Marketing Authorization and quality team before additional production is made. Escalates any launch risks and propose action plans to resolve bottlenecks and ensure launches are delivered OTIF (Bottlenecks may include regulation changes, stability or compatibility issues, production delays, supply chain constraints, etc); launch specialist must address bottlenecks and establish backup plans to deliver new launches on-time despite unforeseen challenges. Acts as the critical communications link between Mary Kay teams and CM technical and supply chain teams during launch development and execution. Ensures new launch codes are setup in the system and BOMs are finalized by data team for POs to be cut. Be effective at proactive risk mitigation and establish a risk mitigation plan for all high complexity launches. Creates proactive risk mitigation assessments for new launch development activities and build action plans to avoid risks and implications. Reports Launch OTIF KPIs and deliver annual Launch OTIF goals. Informs leadership team and cross-functional stakeholders of any launch risks and propose solutions to help avoid business implications; escalate risks in a timeline manner to ensure sufficient time to respond to any potential issues. Works with Procurement Specialist to support the onboarding process for new CMs when launches are managed at a new CM for the first time; acclimate CM to Mary Kay launch processes. Begins to see the bigger picture as it impacts the business and works to take an active role in influencing positive outcomes and developing solutions to unusually complex problems which require a high degree of ingenuity, creativity, and innovativeness.

Skills & Experience:

Education:  Bachelor/University Degree in Supply Chain, Business, Engineering or Operations

Experience:  5+ years’ experience in Project Management, Launch Management, NPD and/or Manufacturing/Production. PMP (Project Management Professional) Preferred

Additional Skills & Abilities

              Strong leadership and organization skills; must be comfortable leading large-group meetings and collaborating cross-functionally to deliver complex projects

              Must have prior experience managing timelines and complex projects (ideally new launch projects)

              Must have the ability to effectively interface with internal and external contacts and monitor delicate situations tactfully.

              Must have ability to understand business needs and strategically plan the most effective solutions for delivering goals and objectives

              Must understand end-to-end business processes and financial considerations

              Must be a quick learner with ability to learn and understand systems and technology

              Must have excellent decision-making and risk mitigation skills; failure to deliver launches on time in full will have significant business implications including lost sales and credibility with the Independent Beauty Consultant teams

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