Continuous Improvement & Product Development Manager

Corporate Monroe, Michigan Dayton, Tennessee Hickory, North Carolina High Point, North Carolina


This person will work with the suppliers on new product development for fabric, leather, and fully upholstered products. They will identify and implement Continuous Improvement projects with cover and fully upholstered suppliers that lower La-Z-Boy’s costs for purchased goods, while maintaining/improving quality and service New Product Development.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES (other duties as assigned):
• Establish, implement and maintain New Product Development processes:
• New product introduction process: work on New Product Development with La-Z-Boy suppliers, guide the external partners to ensure the new product meets La-Z-Boy performance and compliance standards, propose changes as needed
• Color approval process: establish standards, masters, retains, PU/split matches
• Testing process: work with La-Z-Boy and 3rd party labs to conduct performance and compliance testing for initial selections, market yardage/samples, and initial production runs. Monitor and evaluate the results. Work with the labs and suppliers to resolve failures
• Maintain New Product information databases to support strategic supplier management
• Collaborate with Merchandising and Sourcing teams on new product development
• Work with La-Z-Boy external partners to develop new color, yarn, finishing and performance applications
• Assist in the evaluation, selection, and development of partners to build a world-class procurement practice
• Utilize external and internal expertise in developing, implementing, tracking, and facilitating all activities associated with new product development. Partner with suppliers to improve their quality programs and delivery performance
• Conduct PPAP’s for New Market introductions and Product changes. Provide on-site training for the suppliers and LZB QC teams
• Responsible for market yardage/samples and initial production purchase orders for new product to be tested and shipped on-time
• Maintain PPAP assessment databases to support strategic supplier management
• Responsible to ensure inbound quality requirements are achieved for all new product introductions, including performance and compliance testing.
• Work with suppliers as needed to help achieve quality, delivery, and cost objectives.
• Drive continuous improvement in new product development practices across the relevant supply base to improve aesthetic value, quality, delivery, and cost performance over time. Develop and maintain the full business case for cost reduction projects, including all necessary information to accurately describe the extent and cost of the proposed changes
• Collaborate with USA and GTC Quality teams to assess supplier’s production quality and identify the needed improvements. Conduct on-site training and follow-up as necessary.
Partner with suppliers to improve their quality programs and delivery performance.
• Participate in developing sourcing strategies to meet the needs of the business from a design, cost, quality, and delivery perspective while driving year-over-year spend reduction.
• Act as project manager for assigned projects/suppliers
• Other duties as assigned

• Supports suppliers across the Enterprise - Branded, England, Casegoods., Thailand, Joybird and other business as required. Global responsibility including travel. Project management of cost reduction projects worth as much as $10 million annually. Suppliers supported with spend of approximately $100 million annually.

• Bachelor’s degree in Textiles, Supply Chain, Engineering, Operations or related field with 8-10 years of relevant experience or equivalent
• 5+ years of supervisory/leadership experience
• 8-10+ years of international sourcing/supplier management experience in Asia
• Knowledge of color management and a superior discrimination score on Fransworth-Munsel hue test
• Experience managing projects utilizing formal project management methodologies
• Subject matter expertise with upholstery fabric and leathers, and fully upholstered furniture
• Knowledge of best-in-class sourcing/purchasing/manufacturing and product development principles, including:
o Supplier Assessments
o Supplier Scorecards
o Strategic Business Reviews
o Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), AQL (Acceptable Quality Limits)
• Continuous improvement mentality, strong problem-solving skills, and an ability to effectively manage multiple tasks
• Ability to collaborate across functions, business units, and geographies
• Strong communications skills (written & verbal); fluent in English and Mandarin
• Experience with ERP systems and proficient in MS Office suite of products
• Travel Required: 30% including International

• Master’s degree
• Six-Sigma Black Belt
• Lean or Lean Six Sigma


Indicate any physical demands required to perform essential functions and/or work environments that the incumbent is subject to in performing the essential functions.

Communicate Transparently
Lead the Team
Impact and Influence
Deliver Results
Coach and Develop

OTHER DUTIES: Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the incumbent for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

An Equal Opportunity Employer
La-Z-Boy Incorporated and its subsidiaries are equal opportunity employers that support and subscribe to a policy of nondiscrimination in all aspects of employment. La-Z-Boy will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other reason prohibited by applicable laws.