US Non-profit Careers – Product Development Coordinator at Akola Project

Organization: Akola Project
Duty Station: Jinja, Uganda.
About Akola:
Akola Project
is a non-profit, social business that empowers women by facilitating vocational
training, employment opportunities, savings and loans associations, education
programs, support groups and leadership development.
Job Summary: The Product
Development Coordinator will be responsible for sourcing all design materials,
assisting designers with creating trending, cost-effective and feasible
products, and for transitioning approved designs into production. They will
also manage material libraries, cost of goods, product line sheets, bills of
materials and quality control specifications. The Product Development
Coordinator will also be responsible for maintaining and improving profit
margins and troubleshooting material quality or costing issues. They will also
manage any procurement staff or contractors. This position will require a
strong connection with the mission of Akola Project and a willingness to give a
complete effort for the organization to meet its production, sales and
developmental goals.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:  
Work closely to establish relationships with local
suppliers of craft materials
Serve as an advocate for Akola Project, promoting
the vision, mission, and goals of the organization amongst the community at all
times to ensure Akola Project maintains a positive public standing
Seek deeper understanding with and unified
leadership alongside the Akola Project leadership team in the spiritual
development, social development and economic development of Akola women
Product Development:
Receive new designs from US-based designers and
ensure that they are able to be produced by Akola Project facilities and women
Photograph all new designs and prepare online
surveys for voting and feedback from the design committee
Serve as the middle man between US-based designers
and the Uganda-based production team to ensure that new designs can be made in
Uganda at the quality expectations of the designer and Akola Project
Work in liaison with Uganda-based production team to
produce functional samples of new products, per the designs given
Send design samples to Akola Project’s US office for
review and approval
Offer the Supply Chain Manager with all required
material information, product specifications and quality control information to
assist designs to transition into production
Create detailed costing information for all products
and maintain up-to-date costing worksheets for all product lines
Actively participate in brainstorming for new
product lines
Assist with writing and maintaining technical
specifications, marketing product descriptions and care instructions for all
Develop new designs and samples per designers’
Material Sourcing:
Research and source East African materials to be
used in Akola Project jewelry, handbag and home good lines
Research and source internationally when quality
and/or cost effective-materials are not available in East Africa
Oversee all raw material-related processes and
programs, including material technical specifications, and contracted
procurement staff
Independently explore local suppliers and resources
that can be used in design and production
Manage sourcing, purchasing, inventory planning and
delivery logistics to achieve low cost of goods, minimize stock outs and
maximize inventory turns
Use material sourcing to establish ways to
differentiate Akola Project products from competitors
Work closely with US-based designers to forecast new
trending colors, functions, textures and designs and incorporate this into
material sourcing
Create design kits with newly sourced materials to
be sent to US-based designers
Create and maintain material libraries for the
Uganda and US offices
Create and maintain a cost of goods tracking system
for all incoming materials
Troubleshoot any material costing issues to maintain
and improve profit margins
Troubleshoot any material sourcing or material
quality issues
Work with production/sales to repurpose old
materials and products
Fulfill design projects as determined by Country
Director and Design Committee
Keep records of all contacts, designs, documents,
agreements, and any other necessary records pertaining to Akola Project
Keenly track all expenses with appropriate
supporting documentation including contracts, receipts and invoices
Provide written activity reports to the Country
Director upon request
Assist other Akola Project staff as needed
Perform any other duties as assigned
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
The applicant should preferably hold a Bachelor’s
degree from four-year college or university in business management, marketing
or related field
Professional experience in product development,
supply chain management or related field
Advanced proficiency in MS excel essential.
Past exposure and experience working in a cross
cultural context preferred (ideally within an African nation)
Prior non-profit/small business experience preferred
Hyper organized and high attention to detail
Proven ability to think analytically and plan
Creative and resourceful; able to ‘think outside of
the box’
How to Apply:
All candidates
should send the following by email with subject line “Application: Product
Development Coordinator ” to Applicants are
encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Only shortlisted candidates will be
contacted for an interview.
Updated Resume/CV highlighting your education and
work experience
Names and contact information for at least one
personal and one professional reference
1-2 page cover letter that outlines
Why you are interested in the position, Akola
Project, the mission/vision and Uganda specifically;
Relevant work experience for the position and why
you believe you are the best candidate for the job. Be sure to cite specific
personal characteristics and specific work experiences that you feel make you
qualified to fulfill the required responsibilities;
The role your faith plays in your work.
Deadline: 31st December 2015

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