Product Research & Development Manager

Koala’s mission is to become the smartest way to buy high-quality furniture online. Combining customer-centric products, a world-class technology and fulfilment platform, and incredible customer service, we are changing the way people buy and enjoy furniture.

Why we have this role @ Koala

You will help us tackle hard technical product development and design challenges by identifying, scoping and directing more efficient R&D solutions and methods to enhance our current and future furniture product ranges; while overseeing a small team of product design engineers involved heavily in prototyping and testing.


What key responsibilities does this role have @ Koala?

  • Plan, scope, organise and direct research and development activities across our furniture product design department
  • Determine and implement R&D product design engineering methods and strategies
  • Assess the benefits and monitor the costs and effectiveness of R&D activities; including product quality performance, supply management and material sustainabilities
  • Interpret results of new R&D implementations and recommend associated product design innovations
  • Provide subject matter expertise regarding furniture production techniques, materials and engineering solutions
  • Keep up to date with leading-edge developments and technologies in the furniture industry and assess implications, as well as provide recommendations back to the business
  • Communicating effectively with key stakeholders across the business including communicating the rationale of design engineering decisions, sourcing required as well as identifying, escalating and resolving issues arising from the design process
  • Development and mentoring of design engineering team members

Ideal background…

  • Tertiary qualified with 10+ years experience in an innovative furniture R&D or product design/engineering environment and exposure to high volume manufacturing
  • Experience with consumer products and user centric design engineering
  • Experience leading and inspiring small teams
  • Experience in the following:
    • Developing solutions to problems / obstacles that arise through R&D, product development and concept generation
    • Familiar with production techniques such as injection moulding, extrusion, timber machining, and fabrication
    • Optimisation of new and existing products and materials to improve cost, performance and reduce environmental impact
    • Coordination and management of external lifecycle and product performance testing


Treehouse Perks and Privileges…

Koala is only as good as its employees are happy - and we’re one happy mob!

We offer our teams flexible working options and the freedom and autonomy to do their best work in a way that works for them. Whether that’s working your own version of 9-5, working from home in your trackies from time to time or hanging out at our Treehouse (this is what we call our office digs), you decide whatever helps you find your flow! The Treehouse also has a fully stocked Koala Kitchen with an emphasis on healthy, local and organic produce - VB fridge, our ever-changing selection of Grifter Brewing Co beers, Mecca Coffee Co. beans and the famous Koala Kombucha on tap with new flavours every week. And there's more than just tasty treats - the Koala Treehouse is as dog-friendly as they get, there are also plenty of social activities to get involved with and help you get to know your fellow Koalas better as well as free Koala products for all employees - who better to shout from the tree tops how awesome our products are, right?! We also recognise that we can’t grow as a brand unless we support the growth of our teams so this is a strong focus for us. All in all, the Koala Kommunity is a great place to hang out in and belong to!

Koalities we look for…

At Koala, we do things a little differently and we don’t shy away from the fact that we expect a lot from our employees! We want you to challenge expectations, always look to make a difference and give us something different from the norm. We want people that bring great energy, that have a long-game focus and are always curious to find new angles and approaches to the way we work. We're a team full of entrepreneurial spirit and have a relentless focus on 'what's next' but while always reviewing 'what's been done' and learning, growing and adapting. We're bloody confident, but NEVER arrogant and we adapt to change like Steve Smith under a short ball. Honesty and selflessness drive everything we do, as well as a total focus on exceeding our customers’ expectations. So if you feel like this could be you... well what the bloody hell are you waiting for? Drop us a line, and let's see what you've got! ;)