Product Development Manager

Founded in 1898, Bullard is a leading manufacturer of high-quality personal protective equipment and systems that are marketed worldwide. Product lines include hard hats, firefighter and rescue helmets, respiratory protection equipment, and thermal imagers. In 1919, the son of our founder invented and patented the world’s first commercially sold hard hat. The quality of our work helps determine whether a worker in a hazardous work environment goes home safely to his or her family each day. We do important work, and we do it in a team-oriented environment. Bullard is privately held, so we have the luxury of thinking and planning beyond the next quarter’s results. One of our competitive advantages is speed, and the pace of our work is therefore fast, challenging, and rewarding. Bullard’s headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in a small community near Lexington and Georgetown, Kentucky. We offer a competitive salary plus bonus, benefits including tuition reimbursement and 401(k) with match, and great colleagues.

The Product Development Manager will lead the Product Development team to plan, develop, research, and document all aspects of Bullard’s product development lifecycle.  The ideal candidate will be a thought leader for the future of product designs and development, while meeting and exceeding regulatory, customer, and field application requirements.  This role will be responsible for shaping the industries we serve through technology and new-to-the-world products and designs.  The position reports to the Director of Technical Services.


  • Bachelor’s in Mechanical, Electrical, or Industrial Engineering; advanced degree a plus
  • 10+ years of Product / Program Management-related experience
  • Highly experienced in new product development programs and processes
  • Proficient in Program and Project Management methodologies, processes, and tools (IE: Lean manufacturing, Design for Six Sigma methodology, and / or overall knowledge of manufacturing processes and procedures)
  • Adept at communicating technical and non-technical concepts clearly and at all levels
  • Experienced in developing, implementing, and improving project and portfolio reports and tracking metrics
  • Experience in Risk Management is a plus
  • Strong analytical skills and business acumen desired
  • Proven Leadership skills - capability to lead change in an Integrated Team environment across multiple sites and customers globally
  • Ability to question to validity, accuracy of data, and assumptions at all levels in the organization to find the best solution

General Responsibilities:

  • Plays a key role in developing new business proposals and executing the overall program plan
  • Establishes objectives and goals and provides direction to the project teams in areas of customer concerns, potential changes in scope and risk assessment
  • Coaches, develops, and mentors team providing feedback on performance needs and accomplishments
  • Responsible for overseeing direct reports, including new product development engineers, sustaining engineers, designers, project managers, and laboratory technicians for production lab and Thermal Imaging lab
  • Responsible for maintaining ongoing compliance with various regulatory agencies (ie, NIOSH, NFPA, ANSI) for currently certified products
  • Assists Product Management team with development of product roadmap
  • Utilizes experience with state of the art project and portfolio management practices and tools, including project start-ups, project planning, execution & tracking, Product Development Process, Design for Six Sigma [DFSS], Project Reviews, etc
  • Ensures adequate support to the cross functional project teams by coordinating project management reviews, preparing & publishing project management metrics and reports
  • Works closely with all levels of the organization, including sales, marketing, manufacturing, sourcing, as well as senior leadership, to understand business priorities, processes, project progress, and time/cost constraint
  • Oversees establishment of metrics for projects including value, quality, technical performance and delivery through all program stage gate phases
  • Provides periodic project portfolio updates including milestones and identification of problem/high risk areas (e.g., technical, cost, and schedule)
  • Seeks team input to promote rapid resolution to issues
  • Captures and communicates Lessons Learned from current / past projects
  • Proactively addresses process improvements in response to business and market changes Analyzes key performance management metrics and performs regular, periodic reviews to evaluate results and establish action plans to close the gaps
  • Other duties as required

Bullard is proud to be a Tobacco-free property.

Bullard is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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