The position delivers expertise on the full range of Yakima products across the entire brand portfolio and their vehicle interface to internal and external customers. Working with the Brand Management team and members of the Fit Team, this position will implement a structured vehicle fit strategy that will enable all vehicles determined as “target” to be fit in the most efficient amount of time. The Product Fit Specialist will follow and understand automotive industry trends, consumer needs, and the competitive environment communicating relative vehicle and rack industry information to the appropriate functional areas. This position requires a unique entrepreneurial aptitude for business, product development, marketing and an intimate hands-on knowledge of Yakima products, their use and their vehicle interface. Other key aspects of this position contribute to achieving and sustaining the Yakima Strategic Business Plan and Initiatives, global competitive advantage, and profitable market growth strategy.
Scope & Responsibilities:
- Work across and with Global Fit Team to ensure fit and safety of Yakima products.
- Maintain a comprehensive database of all vehicles, in multiple markets, that Yakima currently fits, and identify future fit targets.
- Develop fit applications for target vehicles using current inventory and aid in development of new inventory for current and future fit applications.
- Research, maintain, and distribute technical information and industry trends that relate to new and existing Yakima fits and products.
- Collaborate with fit team members to support product development team with fit and consumer interface investigation for new and existing products.
- Interface with our international partners to ensure quality of fits and data.
- Evaluate and document the fit of new and existing Yakima products that attach to the roof, factory-installed racks, custom installations, spare tire, strap rack, truck bed or hitch of vehicle in accordance with Yakima’s sustaining requirements.
- Work with the Product Fit team to maximize the number of vehicles fit with current tools (clips, pads, etc) while reducing development and delivery cycle time.
- Inform regional fit manager of new vehicle fit opportunities that are unobtainable with current tool inventory for the Yakima brand.
- Participate in the development of new vehicle fit products (towers, bars, etc.).
- Contribute to development process by insuring that Fit interface and detailed product requirements are considered and communicated to PMs and the Product Development teams.
- Collaborate with Product Development through the critical stages of new product development to insure that new products meet Yakima’s fit standards of safety, quality, performance, and ease-of-use.
- Coordinate with international fit teams in development of new vehicle fit and target vehicle fit lists as well as assist in insuring accuracy of vehicle fitment globally.
- Develop and maintain relationships with local automotive dealerships for purposes of performing fit work on their inventory of vehicles while simultaneously promoting Yakima and Whispbar brands.
- Understand and use computer and digital technology to develop fits.
- Interface across business unit to develop and prove fit quality.
- Accumulate, organize and maintain data in Fit Management System.
- Collaborate with Product Fit Specialist II or project lead to develop printed fit list and ensure content accuracy.
- Ensure quality and accuracy of fit data across all channels.
- Assist in product clinics for in house staff, outside sales and key accounts as needed.
- Execute on-site sales; perform installations, and product education for in-store end customers when applicable.
- Collaborate with the Warranty / PI Specialist and Quality Assurance department to ensure sustaining quality of vehicle fit applications.
- Review for accuracy all needed fit information to the Brand team for the creation of product instructions and the Fit List.
- Participate in the creation of useful and efficient instructions by documenting and reporting consumer research usability, functionality and instructional test.
- Provide technical and research data upon request and at regular intervals to the Sales and Marketing teams.
- Preform and document gear to mount and mount to rack fit investigations for Product Development as requested.
- Capture images for use in a photo and physical library of Yakima products installed on vehicles for CS/DS, Product Development, Sales, and the Brand team.
- Partner with other Product Fit Specialist II to organize and maintain the Fit storage area with inventory of all competitive benchmark samples and historical and current product, to support Product Development, Testing and Customer Service needs.
- Carry out other duties, responsibilities, and projects as may be assigned in an effective and timely manner.
- AA or BA degree in mechanical/structural engineering, technology, product marketing related field, or the equivalent experience required.
- Written and Oral Skills: English mandatory, Mandarin Chinese desirable.
- Knowledge of MS Office suite required. Proficiency in Excel.
- Minimum two (2) years experience selling and installing both Yakima and Thule products preferred.
- Must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license and a good driving record.
- Eligible for or in possession of a valid passport allowing domestic and international travel.
- Documented track record of good business acumen.
- Demonstrate oral and written business communication skills including public speaking.
- Able to multi-task with special attention to follow through with detail & accuracy.
- Independent, creative-thinker, self-starter, and ability to work independently without direct supervision.
- Minimum two (2) years experience working in specialty retail sales environment preferred.
- Cycling, ski and snowboard, paddling, camping and general outdoor experience preferred.
- U.S. citizen or must possess valid INS Green Card.
- Able to sit and work at a computer keyboard for periods of time.
- Able to stoop, kneel, bend at the waist, stretch, and reach on a daily basis.
- Able to lift and move up to 75 pounds.
- Must have vision corrected to 20/30 .
- Must be able to safely operate a motor vehicle and sit for extended periods of time.
- Use hands to handle or manipulate objects, tools or controls; operate hand tools and machinery in a safe manner and in accordance with OSHA Standards.
- Must be able to travel domestically and internationally via commercial carrier.
- Must be able to work weekends and evenings as required.