Knoll Inc. Director of Product Development in East Greenville, Pennsylvania

Director of Product Development

Tracking Code 1360-056

Job Description


Knoll is a constellation of design-driven brands and people, working together with our clients to create inspired modern interiors. Since 1938, we’ve been thinking about how people interact with their environments, and how their environments impact what they do. Our strength in office systems, seating, furniture, textiles, leather, architectural accessories allows us to compose integrated solutions from products and services that naturally work together.

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The Director of Product Development is responsible for the development and direction of an effective engineering team dedicated to leading products through all aspects of their expected life cycle. The core engineering team is comprised of personnel in East Greenville; it provides technical support to Operations, Product Management, Sales and Service across the globe. This team will oversee assigned product-lines, supporting product marketing, quality, and operations to remain competitive by maintaining and improving product performance and reliability throughout the product Life Cycle.

The team will have primary responsibility for New Product Development (NPD) and new material and process technology activities necessary to meet both regional and global product needs. A focus on rapid innovation and expanding the footprint of product differentiation through materials and process technology is core. This position works with external designers across a range of different backgrounds and industries, and must work in concert with those individuals to evolve ideas and concepts into commercial products.


  • Develop and manage effective sustaining engineering practices to support released products. Supervise work for accuracy and assure any requested design changes do not compromise original product performance or durability.

  • Manage concept development through execution of new product design projects at all complexity levels. Assure engineering designs are always in compliance with appropriate internal and external standards, regulations, and procedures.

  • Effectively support New Product Development (NPD) activities necessary to enhance product performance or extend the product line to meet the needs of the regional business. Coordinate product development activities between functions and external service providers

  • Manage departmental, project, and third party costs within functional budget

  • Manage key internal and customer quality issues through team members who will actively participate in review boards. Prioritize and resolve any product integrity issues with an appropriate sense of urgency.

  • Consistently balance team and business priorities between NPD, new technology, quality/reliability, and productivity

  • Work closely with the Plant Managers to assure sufficient engineering support for resolution of production interruptions.

  • Effectively identify and establish agreements with outside service providers to increase both bandwidth and capability based on product development needs

  • Manage the active development of personnel to assure constant improvement in departmental skills and capabilities as well as assure a robust succession plan

  • Provide updates to all levels of the organization, including senior management, on project status, milestones, risks, etc.

Required Skills


  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and lead multiple concurrent projects and key initiatives based on the distinct needs of the business

  • Capable of meeting technical project challenges within specified time frame and cost targets. This overall task requires careful guidance and direction of various levels of subordinates on both detailed technical issues and overall project coordination and integration.

  • Prior experience with furniture or ancillary products, including an understanding of applicable design requirements, codes and standards to meet specific applications is preferred

  • Expertise in design and manufacturing principles, with preferred experience in machining, casting, injection molding.

  • Strong business acumen, including experience with financial reporting and tracking systems.

  • Ability to communicate and work collaboratively across all levels internally and with external organizations (customers)

  • Negotiation and conflict resolutions skills.

  • Experience leading and overseeing the design and support of mechanisms, linkages, and multi-part, dynamic assemblies

  • Experience working with industrial design or outside design resources required

Formal Education Requirement:

Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or related technical discipline required; Professional Engineer (PE) license preferred.

Minimum Years of Experience Necessary:

10+ years of experience in a similar or emerging new product development Engineering role is required, including at least 5 years in a technical leadership capacity, such as Engineering or Operations Manager

Required Experience


  1. Position requires an ability to work effectively in a matrix organization, leading by influence rather than direct authority.

  2. Individual must be a self-starter, willing and able to work effectively towards defined objectives with minimal direct day to day supervision.

  3. Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively with others toward mutual objectives.

  4. Flexibility to work virtually and outside of normal office hours as necessary

  5. Excellent verbal, communication and presentation skills.

  6. Ability to communicate at all levels – Up, down and across the enterprise organization

  7. Results oriented with a strong customer orientation.

  8. Strategic thinker capable of balancing long term objectives with daily, tactical level work

  9. Track record for delivering on innovative products or solutions

  10. Demonstrate high personal energy, integrity and ethics.

  11. Both domestic and international travel will be required. Estimated travel time < 15%

  12. Ability to identify team needs and to both grow and bolt on key learnings and competencies. Keen focus on developmental planning and ability to put self aside for greater goals of the team

Job Location East Greenville, Pennsylvania, United States

Position Type Full-Time/Regular

We are an equal opportunity employer.

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR §§ 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status or disability.