Our client is a long-established, nearly $1 billion manufacturer of electric power equipment and related products for the utility sector. With approximately 3,000 employees here in the US and another half dozen production facilities around the world, the company already has a strong market presence and maintains profitable relationships with several of the largest utilities in North America. Our client holds strong financial standing and enjoys several competitive advantages, but their focus always lies on what’s next. In recent years especially, business unit leadership has fostered a relentless passion for innovation, empowered numerous product groups to dominate their market segments, and has ingrained the attitude that “we don’t abide by the rules, we make them.” Add to that an unyielding commitment to Quality and Customer Service, this company is poised for even greater success.
Our client is already a market leader in utility construction products, specifically pole line hardware and anchoring equipment. This particular business unit has achieved a string of recent product innovations that is resulting in dramatic consolidation of market share on their part. To keep up momentum and generate future growth opportunity for these products, the company is committed to hiring a Business Manager who will champion innovation and develop an action-oriented product marketing strategy.
RSMR Inc., a leading member of TRANSEARCH International, is a global executive search firm with more than 20 years experience around equipment manufacturing. Our firm has been retained exclusively to recruit and assess candidates for this role.
The Business Manager, Construction Products will manage and grow a product portfolio that is currently an estimated $140 million. While the primary function of the role is to develop and lead the high level commercial strategy for selling pole line hardware and anchoring equipment to utilities, the underlying mandate for the Business Manager is to cultivate numerous product innovations within his/her group. This individual must champion their products internally, which are often the most sizeable orders in any major utility contract. Reporting to the Director of the largest business unit in the company, this role has high visibility within the organization and fantastic mid-term upside. The Business Manager shall be directly responsible for all product marketing, application engineering, and sourcing decision-making as it relates to pole line hardware and anchoring equipment. This individual will directly manage two Marketing Managers and an Engineering Manager.
More specifically the Business Manager, Construction Products will:
- Develop and implement a product-driven strategy to notably increase market share, gross revenues, and/or profit margins.
- Define pricing and deliver regular sales forecasts.
- Sponsor interactions with VIP accounts and maintain value-driven utility relationships.
- Offer high level sales support encapsulating industry trends, utility value-drivers, product benefits to the customer, and consistency of brand message.
- Motivate sales force; evangelize pole line hardware and anchoring equipment.
- Coordinate RFP and other technical responses among Marketing Managers.
- Provide technical support to customers on product applications and specifications.
- Drive value engineering and overall cost reduction in product design.
- Conduct market studies and scrutinize direct competitors including their product specifications, production capabilities, quality thresholds, and service parameters.
- Lead Voice-of-the-Customer initiatives to conceive of and design product innovations, and manage the technical development of such innovations along with the Engineering Manager.
- Perform make-vs.-buy analysis (considering both cost and quality) for various production opportunities, especially as it pertains to new product introductions.
- Partner with Materials Department to achieve superior customer service and safety ratings, along with stock and inventory levels.
- Coordinate with the Senior Operations Manager for production planning, quality assurance, inventory, and on-time delivery.
Our client needs the Business Manager, Construction Products to be a passionate winner who, from a customer-solutions perspective, looks around the corner and is an industry pace-setter. He or she should be a product marketing veteran who combines a deep understanding of utility technical requirements with a keen insight for product engineering. This individual must be willing to challenge the status quo and able to initiate tough conversations, internally and externally of the company, and can do so while maintaining a respectful and productive exchange. As a leader the Business Manager must support the team by striking a balance between the 50,000 foot view and delving into day-to-day tactics.
More specifically, the successful candidate shall exhibit:
- Unrivaled passion and drive for succeeding in a highly competitive product segment, where a seemingly simple product innovation can be a game-changer.
- Proven track record of product marketing with related experience in engineering and sourcing, preferably all within the utility sector. Additional career experience outside the utility sector is acceptable but the individual must be well-versed with major utility players, common technical requirements, and key product benefits.
- Credible experience with a heavy equipment manufacturer, preferably metal fabrication shops.
- Reasonable knowledge of and proficiency of business management skills, design/application engineering, sourcing thought-process, and production best practices.
Specific Education and Experience Required:
- Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or a related technical field. MBA is highly desirable.
- Minimum 10 years of experience, with a strong inclination for 15 or more years of experience, preferably all within the utility industry. Three (3) or more years of experience in product marketing strongly preferred.
- Minimum one (1) year of experience in supervisory or management role overseeing multiple direct reports, ideally involved in product marketing and/or application engineering.