Springs Window Fashions has been part of the window treatments industry since 1939. Headquartered in Middleton WI, we have over 8,000 associates and 14 locations in North America. Our products are available in nearly every major retailer, in thousands of designer showrooms and showcased in large commercial buildings. Our company is privately owned with products marketed across a broad portfolio of brands including Bali, Graber, SunSetter and Mecho. We pride ourselves as "The Best Experience Company", striving to provide the best experience for our consumers, channel partners, and associates.
The Marketing Team develops and executes the SWF residential marketing strategy to position our brands as market leaders, drive brand awareness and consumer engagement while continually improving the consumer’s purchase experience. Marketing at SWF is a fast-paced and dynamic group providing a vital role with our work often being the first impression consumers have of our brands. This is a group of home décor enthusiasts who are motivated by a passion for providing our consumers a Best Experience.
Sampling & In-store Merchandising Specialist Mission:
The Sampling & In-store Merchandising Specialist is responsible for the development and execution of in-store / showroom materials including fixtures, displays and product sampling vehicles and consumer "swatch" sampling programs. This position will coordinate efforts to deliver product sampling and in-store merchandising to the organization on time while working to control costs and manage all projects within budget. The Sampling & In-store Merchandising Specialist will enforce processes to facilitate efficient workflow and production, and be responsible for communicating the progress of key projects to the organization.
1. Collaborate cross-functionally to define objectives and deliver best-in-industry sampling and merchandising materials
- Facilitate defining the objectives and content of the sample book.
- Help Product Managers understand the sample book implications of their assortment.
- Coordinate with cross-functional team members to provide sample book information and materials on-time.
- Be accountable for the quantity of sample books and the specs that impact cost.
- Ensure team members understand the financial implications of their decisions.
2. Optimize sourcing: Quality, cost, service, support
- Ensure quotes are sent to vendors on time and prototypes are received on time.
- Ensure information to order sample book material is available, permission is obtained, and sample book materials are ordered on time; assist with material calculation for sampling and swatching as necessary.
- Ensure material swatch master is provided to the sample book vendor on time.
3. Ensure brand consistency
- Ensure in-store materials have a consistent brand look across the deliverables.
- Work with the Creative Director and Channel Marketing to ensure sampling and merchandising materials represent and position SWF brands appropriately.
- Elevate SWF in-store materials ensuring differentiation across the portfolio and consistency across brands.
- Manage vendor relationships and lead project execution; travel is required to oversee production of in-store materials, including some travel to Asia.
- Work with Sampling & Merchandising Manager to source and establish new vendor partnerships.
4. Executes graphic design and production of high impact product sampling, retail displays and merchandising solutions
- Meet with, and participate in, key meetings serving as a creative resource to analyze customer needs and provide solutions that enhance sampling and merchandising items.
- Manages internal and external resources in design and production of materials on time and on budget.
- Presents concepts and rationale to internal initiators.
- Works with internal creative staff to ensure integrated brand presentation at point of sale.
5. Oversee benchmarking and market research activities
- Ensure benchmarking of competitor / peer sample books and swatching is completed in a timely manner: assess construction, quality, cost, functionality, features, etc.
- Coordinate benchmarking of adjacent products / channels for new ideas to reduce investment, increase effectiveness and decrease lead times.
- Work with Channel Managers to get feedback on effectiveness for continued product improvement.
- Coordinate with market research firms to validate design concepts
6. Execute process and process improvement
- Effectively coordinate resources, inputs, outputs and timing for total project, total lifecycle of a sample book and/or merchandising program.
- Coordinate the material collection and inspection to ensure the correct materials get to the sample book vendor on-time.
- Execute and enforce process to ensure any changes to the sample book assortment is agreed to and communicated appropriately; including to associates responsible for consumer swatching.
- Execute and enforce process to communicate and execute swatching needs, including a process to have any new fabric swatches scanned for our websites and microsites on time.
7. Own cross-functional communication for assigned projects
- Communicate sample book and consumer swatching schedules to cross-functional team members, as well as any other appropriate project details / changes.
- Communicate progress of key NPD sampling projects to the organization, including appropriate SLT members, i.e. critical sample book launches.
- Responsible for effective and timely communication with transportation to ensure merchandising produced overseas is tracked appropriately and arrives on schedule.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
* In-depth knowledge of printing technologies, papers, plastics, substrates, glues, and manufacturing technologies used for creating merchandising materials is required.
* Excellent communication skills for internal teams, internal customers, external suppliers of materials, vendors for sample books and swatching.
* Must have the ability to effectively lead and coach others cross functionally.
* Must be a proactive problem solver; not afraid to jump into the details of an issue.
* Organized work habits, familiar with office automation products, i.e. Lotus Notes, Microsoft Office (including MS Project).
* Must have the ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of associates from various disciplines.
* Must conduct themselves professionally; frequent contact with vendor partners and customers.
* Must have an analytical approach towards the business; ability to track project tasks and performance to budget.
* Must have the aptitude to manage multiple projects at the same time.
* Bachelor’s degree required; Industrial or Packaging Design with business emphasis, Merchandising, Marketing or Business education preferred with 3-5 years of experience.
* Experience with designing or managing the design of 3-dimensional / structural design for product sampling, POP merchandising and displays is required.
* Experience in home décor or custom consumer products preferred.