Director Quality Assurance
J.Jill is a premier omnichannel retailer and nationally recognized women’s apparel brand committed to delighting customers with great wear-now product. The brand represents an easy, thoughtful and inspired style that reflects the confidence of remarkable women who live life with joy, passion and purpose. J.Jill offers a guiding customer experience through more than 280 stores nationwide and a robust e-commerce platform. J.Jill is headquartered just outside Boston.
The Director Quality Assurance ensures J. Jill merchandise meets or exceeds the brands’ and customer’s quality expectations. In this role you will evaluate QA processes and procedures, and determine acceptable standards that ultimately define ‘quality’ for the brand. You will create guidelines for testing protocols, vendor/mill training and calibration, and reporting on the same. The Director Quality Assurance partners cross-functionally with peer stakeholders and regularly advises on issues and/or processes, assesses new suppliers and provides input to inform and influence sourcing strategy decisions. This role is also responsible for hiring, developing, and retaining talent in this specialized and important area of the company.
- Leads the Quality function, consisting of Tilton, NH quality control team, Quincy, MA Quality assurance team, and overseas-based quality lead.
- Directs the evaluation of vendors’ operations and products for compliance with company quality standards.
- Establishes standards for quality control plans, audits, metrics, testing, and specifications.
- Partners with key stakeholders of the brand to understand QA needs and facilitate alignment with the business goals.
- Provides strategic direction for the department, leading change.
- Oversees vendor performance improvement initiatives.
- Establishes guidelines for risk assessment of new projects (includes raw materials review, garment production, performance standards and expectations, supplier capability, etc).
- Supports and counsels team throughout risk assessment activities, providing opportunities to introduce newness while developing contingency plans when needed.
- Develops and implement QA programs needed to support company growth and direction.
- Oversees and guides team through issue resolution occurring in development, pre-production, or bulk stages as it relates to fabric, washed products, garment production and construction, ultimately assuring commercial acceptability.
- Assures clear process for investigation of failures and product deviations and implement corrective actions.
- Develops and facilitate Quality Assurance policies and procedures for distribution throughout the supply base as well as internal cross-functional partners.
- Assesses vendor performance and troubleshoot issues to drive continuous improvement.
- Works closely with team to regularly assess, train, mentor and develop talent. Creates individual development plans and actively provide coaching and feedback to promote growth and talent retention.
- Assesses organizational structure and make recommendations as needed based on business needs.
- Acts as a key representative of all quality related matters internally and with the vendor community, regularly engaging and collaborating with peer leader stakeholders internally and externally.
- Creates, manages, and communicates reports that are timely and actionable for all relevant metrics of quality for internal and external partners. This includes comprehensive hind-sighting to inform future direction.
- Partners with fabric suppliers, fiber, and chemical companies and testing labs to maintain fabric related awareness of technical trends, innovative fibers, new technologies, and finishing techniques, etc.
- Gives guidance and feedback on sub-standard test reports of fabrics and garments during development and bulk stages to help guide quality performance decisions.
- Maintains awareness of industry standards to ensure compliance to safety standards while meeting brand aesthetic.
- Creates and manages budget for any quality related equipment, testing, third party assists, etc.
- Possesses strong written and verbal communication skills to deal with various levels of management and employees internally as well as vendors.
- Thorough understanding of quality control standards and methodologies.
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Strong supervisory and leadership skills, able to coach, train and mentor associates on the team.
- Strong Technical skill and judgment to assess risk and provide proactive solutions.
- Strong understanding of testing protocols and industry standards for independent lab tests and ability to make judgments and risk assessments based on those tests and fabric specifications.
- Strong understanding of FTC rules on care labeling.
- Proficient in quality processes in the production environment (factories and mills).
- Understands the product creation process and the fashion retail processes.
- Understands manufacturing realities and constraints.
- Excellent problem-solving skills and continual innovation ability.
- Liaisons with suppliers; understanding supplier’s needs and capabilities & maintaining a professional relationship at all times.
- Knowledge of garment wash techniques/ processes; and strong understanding of garment production systems.
- Ability to collaborate with cross functional teams to influence and gain desired outcomes.
- Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel/Textile technology.
- 10+ years of relevant experience in Quality Assurance including material and garment development, product sourcing and/or related field.
- Prior experience managing others in Quality related roles.
- Demonstrated technical experience and expertise working with overseas mills, suppliers and manufacturers.
- Strong background in textiles, apparel, with a focus on product and material quality assurance.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by associates assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of this position.
About Us :
At J.Jill, our success is guided by a culture that values the intrinsic art of creativity and the data science required to drive our future growth. We are collaborative and data-centric, with every associate focused on creating our customer’s unique experience and delivering results through our omnichannel business model. We embrace each other’s differences and unique perspectives and consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, gender identity and expression, marital or military status. We also provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and applicable state and local law.