Product Innovation Manager

California Olive Ranch, Inc.

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Position Summary

The Product Innovation Manager key responsibilities is to act as a project manager for all Product Innovation projects and a process manager for the software used to manage all projects. Additionally, to manage the document and record control for the product development facility operations and co-manufacturing facilities and lead new innovation projects.

Essential Functions

  • Develop and maintain all project types in Accolade software, including but not limited to: New items, artwork reviews, discontinuation items.
  • Act as project manager for all Product Innovation projects including: creating timelines, setting up deliverables and tasks, ensuring accountability of all team members on their tasks, scheduling and running meetings for PD team and Operations.
  • Be Company expert on all new product development projects.
  • Manage the maintenance of document control of key documents for product development- product specifications, raw material specifications, etc.
  • Facilitate document control for oil, ingredient, and raw material vendors.
  • Facilitate inter-departmental discussions and meetings related to new products to ensure we are keeping on time and on task to deadlines required.
  • Develop and Manage raw material samples and custom sample requests.
  • Participate in new vendor evaluations for raw materials, oils, ingredients, copackers, etc.
  • Manage new products from ideation to launch using product development software and working with product development team. Key products involve oil, dressing, sauce, and vinegar categories in the Consumer Packaged Goods sector.
  • Participate in vendor management of new product development including but not limited to: annual documentation requirements, new samples, quotes, and transition to Operations teams.
  • Participate in company oil sensory and food sensory teams.
  • Manage and maintain all raw material, ingredient and finished product specifications on the S drive and in Navision.
  • Develop and manage item process in Navision.
  • Develop and manage First production run process, finished product spec process, artwork review process, and others as they relate to Product Development
  • Support the Compliance manager for new item related projects to ensure full regulatory compliance is evaluated.
  • Communicate a positive image of the company to the entire staff and customers.
  • Participate in facilitating market consumer research, product testing, etc.
  • Maintain continuing education and knowledge base of food regulations, innovation in food industry, and packaging materials as it relates to COR. 
Knowledge & Skills
  • Ability to work extended hours throughout the year and flexibility on schedule.
  • Ability to work in a very fast-paced environment, with multiple moving deadlines and action items.
  • Team player as it relates to a strong, positive and diplomatic enforcement of policy and procedure
  • Willingness to travel 20-30% of time to various co packers internationally and domestically.
  • Assist in problem solving and in making this a more effective organization.
  • Demonstrate strong verbal and written communication skills including read and write the English language.
  • Manage details of multiple projects in an efficient and organized method.
  • Must have proficient computer skills with Microsoft applications; word, excel, outlook.
  • Knowledge of food technology systems and food manufacturing process a plus.
  • Culinary drive for innovative product design. 
  • Statistical analysis and data trending experience a plus.
  • 4 year Bachelors degree, preferred in Food Science or related field
  • Experience as a project manager for new product development for 3+ years min
  • Experience at a food manufacture in some capacity, not having to relate to product development
  • Experience with an internship or full time job at a food manufacturer.
  • HACCP Certified or a strong knowledge of HACCP based systems a plus
  • Valid California Driver’s License