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Regional Product Manager Vehicle Refinishes

2018-11-19 AkzoNobel | Sassenheim | WO | Fulltime | Sluit 2019-01-18

Have you acquired the experience and extensive skill set necessary to perform sophisticated and forward-thinking product portfolio management?

Drive the ongoing success of a world leading product portfolio

Vehicle Refinishes (VR) is part of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business unit (BU) and provides innovative paints, color technologies and value added services to bodyshops and repair professionals worldwide. VR succeeds by understanding our customers’ needs and working with them as partners. Among our products are leading brands such as Sikkens®, Lesonal®, Wanda® and Dynacoat®.

Within this context, your mission in this role is to actively manage the VR product portfolio for EMEA across activities including new product introductions, product maintenance, rationalization, etc. In doing so you focus on creating customer preference as well as identifying and acting on opportunities for technology/range harmonization. You also act as Project Manager for new product development projects, including coordinating the business case creation with Sales and R&D. At all times you operate in alignment with our Integrated Business Planning (IBP) guidelines.

Is this a challenge that matches your profile as a highly analytical professional with strong financial instincts? Have you acquired the experience and extensive skill set necessary to perform sophisticated and forward-thinking product portfolio management? Can you work with Marketing and Pricing Excellence teams to develop a deeper understanding of our customers and profitability, and contribute to the creation and sharing of best practices in product management? Above all, do you have what it takes to make a real difference within our dynamic, multinational and multicultural business environment?

If you offer all this and more we invite you to apply for the position of

Regional Product Manager VR

The role and its responsibilities
This role is based at our large site at Sassenheim, the Netherlands, from where you perform a wide range of activities that will help VR to retain its leadership position. In particular you:

  • Ensure the effective planning, communication and progress of new product development and launches into the market;
  • Benchmark competitors’ portfolio offerings;
  • Create convincing sales arguments for products including competitive comparisons;
  • Coordinate and support roll-out on market level with the relevant stakeholders (incl. pricing).

At all times you maintain and manage the specified product ranges by customer to ensure compliance to specification set by each manufacturer or market. You also report progress via the IBP process.

Product positioning and customer needs
This is central to the role and you contribute to a culture of customer centricity and value proposition thinking. In doing so you create new value by:

  • Identifying new customer needs and create specification for new products in liaison with R&D, using the stage gate process;
  • Creating relevant value propositions for customer segments and providing ideas for product positioning;
  • Providing product branding/naming guidance in coordination with BU segment manager.

You also provide input for tradeshows/events as required and develop new literature and collateral with communications managers.

Key liaison to R&D and Sales
In this capacity you:

  • Regularly reviews with lab teams to manage regional technical activity with respect to Stage-Gate and LWRs;
  • Ensure that relevant and up-to-date product information is provided to the sales team;
  • Maintain close dialogue with sales team regarding product performance and market needs.

Key liaison to the region(s)
In this capacity you:

  • Work with the Regional Portfolio Coordinator to optimize all aspects of the product range;
  • Provide meaningful product portfolio briefings on regional level or input for briefings on global level for the Communication Department and technical training development team;
  • Manage Regional Supply Issues Re-labelling, inventory monitoring, stock outs, etc;
  • Monitor Regional product complaints and activate product recall notifications to the market.

Candidate profile
To apply for this position you must possess all the following attributes:

  • University degree in in Marketing, Business Administration, Economics, Chemistry or a related field;
  • 3+ years working experience in commercial environment;
  • Ideally you have experience in more than one area of marketing and/or sales;
  • Work experience in a tech/tech service role is an advantage;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills including a high standard of written and spoken English.

Our offer
You will work on challenging, innovative projects as part of a team with a collegial atmosphere and in a working environment that warmly welcomes original ideas and creative solutions. We offer numerous training opportunities that support your personal and professional development, which can be used as a foundation for your further growth within the organization. In addition to a good salary, you can expect excellent terms of employment including group insurance, 8% holiday allowance, travel allowance and a generous amount of vacation days. You will also have the flexibility of working remotely as and when it is appropriate.

Application details
We welcome your online application via www.akzonobel.com/careers, reference 1800044K or click on the 'Apply' button. Please note that applications via mail will not be considered. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ariane Kräutner, Senior Talent Resourcing Partner, phone +31 (0)88 0106789, option 2.

An employment screening might be part of the selection process. Feedback is expected to be given by December.

Agency or sales calls are not appreciated

About AkzoNobel
AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We’re experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Flexa, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we operate in over 80 countries and employ around 35,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high performance products and services our customers expect. The sale of our Specialty Chemicals business is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. For more information please visit www.akzonobel.com.

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