- Product Designers/Developers in wood manufacturing companies conceptualize, design, develop, and test prototypes of new products.
- They are involved in research and development to improve existing product lines.
- The Product Designers’/Developers’ creative role supports the innovation initiatives and diversification plans of the organization
- Product Designers/Developers perform a variety of duties including:
- Assist in evaluating the feasibility, functionality, value, market fit and niche of a new product before its launch
- Assess competitors’ products for comparison and benchmarking purposes
- Keep abreast of the latest trends and technologies in the industry that align with market demands and fit in with organizational strategies and goals
- Conceptualize and design products
- Ensure products are designed for manufacturability
- Collaborate with Marketing, Sales and Product Knowledge Facilitators to ensure the accuracy and market relevance of chief product attributes; addressing features, benefits and competitive advantages
- Implement quality standards in product design and development, and ensure that finished product meets industry standards
- Provide customer service
- Identify and participate in continuous improvement opportunities
- Serve as public faces of their companies, meeting with customers to determine the requirements of a project and representing the company at trade shows, conventions and similar events
In large organizations, the work setting of Product Designers/Developers may be a part of the plant facilities with a separate wing or building for research and development. They may shuttle back and forth between the research and production facilities during the progressive phases of product design and development. During the production and testing phases, physical activities such as standing, bending, lifting, and walking may be expected of Product Designers/Developers as they inspect, test, troubleshoot and become immersed in product development through to completion.
Personal characteristics suitable for the Product Developers/Designers include:
- Manual dexterity
- Hand and eye coordination
- Ability to be creative
- Ability to communicate
- Ability to conceptualize
- Open to change
- Be a team player
- Aesthetic sense
- Attention to detail
- Mathematical skills
- Multitasking skills
- Time management skills
- Willingness to learn continuously
- Willingness to listen to others
- Willingness to think outside of the box, experiment and look at other people’s ideas
- A university degree in industrial design, architecture, engineering
A college diploma in industrial design is required.
- Creative ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, is required.
Essential Skills including numeracy, working with others, document use, reading text, oral communication, continuous learning and thinking skills have been identified as necessary skills for entry into this occupation.