The Tools and Supplies Trial Technician, reporting to the Product Manager of Tools and Supplies at our facilities in Albion and Winslow, Maine, is responsible for helping to develop new, exclusive products and evaluating prospective new resale products by means of a rigorous and selective internal and external trialing process, leading to a superior, profitable product line that meets high quality standards and the needs of Johnny's customers.
Key Duties & Responsibilities
- Work proactively and collaboratively with Johnny's Tools and Supplies Product Manager and Tools and Supplies Product Development Engineer, and outside consultants, engineers, machine shops, expert growers, and vendors, as needed, to help develop new, exclusive products to drive Johnny’s brand as an innovator and leader in unique, highly efficient, scale-appropriate tools.
- Devise, write, and implement trials for prospective new tools and supplies, including trial protocols, data spreadsheets, and trial reports.
- Field-test prototypes for new tools under development; provide feedback and reports.
- In order to maintain a diversified number of crops on which to test tools, manage the Tools Test Garden by overseeing crop planting, succession planting, and crop maintenance for tools and supplies trials.
- Coordinate offsite trials and focus-group tests, including the gathering of trial results and feedback.
- Enter photo requests and help facilitate photo shoots with the Marketing department that will portray these products in the best, most useful light.
- Work with Marketing to write, lay out, and maintain instruction manuals for selected resale products and all developed products. (This may be a shared task for materials that are more difficult or involved.)
- Occasionally write Advantage e-newsletter articles on specific products and/or growing practices.
- Collect and analyze scientific and sales data to support development needs.
- Travel to various vendors, field days, workshops, conferences, and other industry events in order to stay informed of the newest trends and drive better product development.
- Provide technical support through hands-on field training, fielding questions from sales staff often asked by customers, developing literature, conducting internal presentations (Field Forums, etc.), engaging in direct contact with customers, etc.
- Prep equipment and materials and provide support at speaking engagements and workshops as needed.
- Maintain pertinent product information and data in an efficient and manageable format.
- Support the development of sales and marketing literature, including the catalog and website content.
- Enter website copy and photo-edit requests as needed.
- Perform all other duties as assigned.
Required Education & Competencies
- Product development experience and/or horticulture background. B.S. (in science discipline) preferred.
- Ability to work effectively in a team environment within a goal-driven matrix management structure.
- Proven ability to work effectively with others in an organization to influence overall strategy.
- Ability to develop key relationships internally and externally and focus on project details.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively manage time and multiple projects.
- Working knowledge of standard office software (MS Word, Excel, etc.).
- Technical writing ability.
- Ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple projects and goals, while being responsible and accountable for meeting deadlines and assignments.
- Ability to actively communicate with teams and internal and external customers in a timely manner, both verbally and in writing.
- Ability to flexibly adapt to change and new ideas.
- Ability to recognize problems and respond as necessary, assessing the issue and seeking the route cause.
Essential Physical Requirements
- Ability to constantly focus on safety while conducting field work that involves walking on uneven terrain.
- Ability to perform physically demanding work in all types of non-severe weather.
- Ability to travel as needed.
- Ability to freely access all areas and locations of the business.
- Ability to sit and work at a computer workstation for periods of time.
- Ability to bend over and lift up to 45 pounds.
Johnny's offers a great benefit package: Health Insurance (HMO, PPO & HSA), Dental Insurance, Life Insurance, Short- and Long-Term Disability, Medical and Dependent Care Reimbursement, Tuition Reimbursement, and 401K — and we are proud to be an employee-owned company!