Design Research Manager

Crown Equipment Corporation

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New Bremen, OH, US, 45869

Company Description:

Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest material handling companies, with a reputation for award-winning product design, advanced engineering and technology, and superior after-sale service. Crown produces a broad range of forklifts and automation and fleet management technologies that are revolutionizing the material-handling industry. More than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Crown forklifts. With over 15,000 employees, 19 manufacturing facilities, and 500 retail locations across 84 countries, Crown has a vast global presence. Crown’s global headquarters is in New Bremen, Ohio USA, with regional headquarters in Australia, China, Germany, and Singapore.


Location:  This position is based in our New Bremen, Ohio USA global headquarters.


Job Responsibilities:

Crown is looking for a Design Research Manager to play a leading role in surfacing insight to drive new products and services, develop our pipeline of forward-looking strategic research, and develop a high-performing research team doing work in ethnography, user experience (UX) research, participatory design, business model innovation, and strategy. This position is responsible for leading people and projects to develop user, customer and market insight that shapes strategy for products, services, and beyond.


What’s the work of a Design Research Manager?

  • Work cross-functionally as a trusted advisor with design, engineering, and business teams across the company to help surface fresh perspectives, clarify thorny problems, and engage executive stakeholders
  • Play a hands-on role leading research as well as supervising projects led by your direct reports
  • Apply creative approaches to find, reframe, and communicate insight, including the use of prototyping and other design thinking techniques
  • Make research come alive for stakeholders using techniques like workshops, diagrams, or visual storytelling that engages them as participants in shaping the results
  • Identify and scope a portfolio of research projects at varying points on the product development process - from discovery to evaluation

You can:

  • Build rapport with customers, internal stakeholders, and executive audiences
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, sharing wins and successes
  • Communicate with clarity and poise in person and in writing
  • Synthesize qualitative and quantitative data to drive to meaningful insights
  • Use non-linear, design thinking / systems thinking skills and have an aptitude to explore, experiment, iterate, and pivot when necessary
  • Facilitate groups (large and small) and design engaging workshops that produce results
  • Articulate the difference between traditional market research and design research


You’re a good fit if:

You’re passionate about shaping new insights and motivated to develop others. You have previous experience with design research-related work in a business environment in-house or with a consulting firm. You are experienced in guiding and mentoring direct reports. Your academic background includes a bachelor degree in a related field like human-centered design, business strategy, or a social science like anthropology, psychology or sociology.  Valid driver license, good driving record, and ability to travel frequently (10-20%) including overnight stays and international travel required.


We are Crown Design:

Design is valued at the highest levels of the company, which makes it a rewarding place to be for designers and design researchers. The Design Research team is part of the larger Design organization with a mission to create human-centered innovation and help the company develop fanatically brand-loyal customers. We regularly ask “Why, What if, How might we?” and spend a lot of time with customers – looking deeper to go beyond the obvious and create new ways to surprise and delight. We dream up the future for Crown products and services AND we help make it happen! The Design team at Crown is an integrated part to our product development process and is involved from the fuzzy front end shaping strategic direction, all the way to product launch – ensuring we deliver our vision.


Visit YouTube to learn more about

Crown Equipment – Defining the Future of Material Handling



Related Terms:  Design Researcher, Design Strategist, Product Strategist, Research and Insight, Service Design, Business Design, Strategic Marketing, Market Insights


Work Authorization:

Crown will only employ those who are legally authorized to work in the United States. This is not a position for which sponsorship will be provided. Individuals with temporary visas or who need sponsorship for work authorization now or in the future, are not eligible for hire.

No agency calls please.


Compensation and Benefits:

Crown offers an excellent wage and benefits package for full-time employees including Health/Dental/Vision/Prescription Drug Plan, Flexible Benefits Plan, 401K Retirement Savings Plan, Life and Disability Benefits, Paid Holidays, Paid Vacation, Tuition Reimbursement, and much more.


EO/AA Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

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