Footwear Operations Dir, Vietnam (Expat)

Posted on Nov 16, 2018 by Columbia Sportswear

Portland, OR 97201
Leisure & Sport
Immediate Start
Annual Salary
The Footwear Operations Director will oversee and lead the Footwear Development, Engineering, and Quality team located in Vietnam for Columbia and Sorel branded sourcing operations. This team is responsible for development of new projects, upper and tooling engineering coordination from bulk sample review stage through commercialization and into production, and on-time delivery of quality finished goods. The role maintains connectivity with both Liaison Offices and HQ teams while coordinating Vietnam footwear operations, managing and providing local team members with mentoring and assistance. Responsible for driving positive, effective change and efficiency improvements throughout the development & manufacturing process. This is an expat role based in Vietnam for 3 years.


  • Provide the Product Development teams with solid development & engineering support in the Asia product creation process from receipt of initial Tech Pack to bulk sample review, commercialization trials and onwards.
    • Be available to support the product development teams during initial stages of development.
    • Ensure the Engineering team is able to work with factory pattern and tooling engineers in converting initial design renderings into successful and profitably commercialized product.
    • Be available to support Portland and local last makers during new last development.
    • Accurate fit is of paramount importance at Columbia and will need to be addressed continually by you and your team.
    • Ensure the Engineering team has the skills and ability to review blue prints and other drawings to ensure accuracy and functionality of mould details along with the ability to review wooden models and upper patterns to ensure design integrity.
  • Manage development, engineering, production & delivery information, ensure its accuracy and lead meetings when key subjects, projects, or performance are under review.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and engage in all phases of the Columbia product process. Support the development team in ensuring that projects are proven and tested, completed on time to development calendar, are manufacturable, meet design intent, performance, costing and sustainability goals.
  • Constantly review and evaluate the project status with LO or HQ development / engineering counterparts and keep them continually in the loop regarding issues which may take projects outside of their predetermined track.
  • Utilize footwear technical skills to achieve project objectives and communicate any deviation from the projected course with appropriate counterparts in LO and/or HQ.
  • Technically oversee prototyping and sampling across designated partner bases and advise on any material, construction, or technical performance shortcoming by project or factory partners.
  • Support and coach brand development teams by applying and sharing experience and knowledge to meet product and category objectives, quality and fit goals, best practices, testing and consumer requirements.
  • Where applicable, recommend and specify all material, component and construction options needed to meet key features and product performance goals.
  • Ensure your team maintains current files on all assigned models designated to them. Files should include all technical issues and sampling sequences throughout the process along with relevant laboratory test results and testing history
  • Training and mentoring of Developers, Engineers, Technicians, and QA staff is a core accountability of this job and is a key function against which job performance will be measured.
  • Coordinate the seasonal calendar with technicians and engineers as product moves from T1 through T4 stages of development and into full scale manufacturing, ensuring the brand teams in LO and HQ are fully updated on any concern and progress.


  • Bachelor's degree in a technical, engineering, or industrial design field
  • 10 years footwear experience in a footwear engineering discipline or product creation with a global brand
  • A strong understanding of the principles of pattern engineering, costing, quality implications, model making, part drawings, and manufacturing processes
  • Demonstrated leadership capability including the ability to motivate and mentor others within the working group
  • Demonstrated skill in problem solving and results orientation
  • Possess thorough knowledge of footwear business processes and functions including a strong understanding of multi-brand sourcing & costing strategies
  • Requires working knowledge of Planning, Lean, Materials, Development, and Manufacturing operations, including supporting information systems to maximize synergy between all departments
  • Requires strong leadership, influencing, and interpersonal skills to navigate footwear teams through complex situations and objectives to enable the seasonal introduction of new product to the market on-time and to cost
  • Possess excellent analysis and problem solving skills
  • Requires ability to troubleshoot, make difficult decisions independently, operate autonomously, manage multiple deadlines, and work effectively under pressure
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English

This job description is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities, but constitutes a general definition of the position's scope and function in the company.

EEO/AA Employer/Vets/Disabled/Race/Ethnicity/Sex/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Age

Reference: 561335712

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