Job Details

Innovation/Product Development Manager

Location:   Cincinnati, OH

Salary:   based on experience



Our client has been in business over 30 years and has a strong emphasis on living their core values. The company is built on a culture of quality, innovation and excellence and live by their core values of Collaboration, Grit, Growth Mindset, Innovation, Ownership, and Passion for a Better World. These values guide how they treat each other, their customers, and how they tackle their work. They are continuously looking at innovation, sustainability and continuous improvement initiatives to foster strategic growth into new markets. Starting in 1985 as a small envelope company, with the help of a dedicated innovation team, our client is actively entering new markets in the packaging industry with a sales focused approach.



Our client is looking to hire an Innovation and Product Development Manager to drive incremental gross profit objectives through the development of unique packaging solutions that solve customer problems or create new opportunities. This customer-facing position will lead R&D/innovation projects from concept to completion, including ideation, product development, technical feasibility, manufacturing qualification, and testing. Manage and continuously improve the company’s Innovation Process to push innovations to market faster.

This position plays a critical role in driving innovation and is the “face of Innovation” in the company and to their customers. The successful individual will have product development, technical project management, and product testing experience.



  • Lead the development of creative solutions for new and improved packaging and processes

-       Create new products and enhancements that meet the defined needs for customer acceptance, quality, functionality, and manufacturing capabilities

  • Drive forward all innovation projects to expected deadlines and gross profit targets, ensuring each project receives the necessary attention and resources

-       Generate project scope/charter, product requirements and specifications, and timeline/project plan

-       Facilitate project meetings; identify and communicate issues and statuses to drive decisions and manage stakeholder expectations

-       Ensure project deliverables are met, and hold team members accountable for managing project issues, escalations, and problem resolution

  • Ensure the company’s Innovation Process is followed as designed with complete and clear documentation of each stage/phase

-       Collaborate with customers, Sales, and other internal functions to ensure every problem/ opportunity input into the Innovation Process has a clearly and completely defined Problem Definition and Target condition

-       Collaborate with customers, Sales, other internal functions, and/or 3rd parties in the identification/ development of potential Innovation Concepts

-       Collaborate with team members to ensure potential Death Threats are identified for each Innovation Concept

-       Collaborate with team members to construct structured PDCA test cycles to determine if each Death Threat can be overcome (prioritized by magnitude)

  • Direct Packaging Designer and internal functions to develop, design, and redesign solutions until target conditions are met
  • Analyze and prioritize Innovation projects to ensure customer needs and gross profit objectives are achieved
  • Define and track KPIs to evaluate and monitor R&D productivity and development cycle time
  • Draw conclusions and lessons learned from innovation project outcomes to recommend improvements for individual project performance, innovation cycle time, and overall Innovation Process refinement

-       Identify successful and unsuccessful project elements as well as productivity benchmarks

-       Evaluate innovation project data to determine predictors of success

  • Research market trends and R&D/innovation best practices to continuously improve company’s Innovation Process

-       Improve and enhance ideation tools/techniques/practices

-       Improve and enhance the application of the Scientific Method to conduct scientifically sound PDCA test cycles

-       Contribute expert content for customer engagements and case studies

  • Facilitate specific customer Innovation review meetings
  • Coach and manage Structural Packaging Designer



  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering
  • 10+ years experience in a product development or R&D role, preferably in a manufacturing or industrial category
  • Experience in small organization in order to be nimble to change and job responsibilities
  • Demonstrated experience managing multi-functional projects
  • Experience working in a laboratory setting defining test methods, conducting tests, analyzing results and bringing them through the process to commercialization
  • Local candidates preferred – Lebanon, OH









Julie George, Partner