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Director of Product Development

Are you looking for a place where you have the stability of an established company without the red tape of established processes? Are you searching for a role focused on delivery where you can lead a team and help bring an industry into a new age of automation with advanced robotics and AI?

Who Is ODI?


ODI (Ontario Die International) has been a leader in developing new technologies for decades as the world’s largest manufacturer of quality cutting dies for the automotive sector. Over the past few years, ODI has evolved beyond its traditional roots and the leadership team recognized an incredible opportunity for investment in new technology to create a competitive advantage within their industry. 

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In order to achieve this, ODI developed an innovation-focused group called EdgeWise Robotics that has been tasked with finding new ways to automate some of the fundamental aspects of their core business, with solutions that leverage advanced robotics and AI.


They now have a portfolio of products (and more in early stages of development) that assist with vision and bending to automate the highly skilled die-making process, including: 


  • Autobender (their current generation of steel-bending robotics)

  • AKAI (“Advanced Kinematics, Artificial Intelligence”, their new generation of robotics in development that use AI and machine learning)

  • DieTrackRT (vision-based software for parts and performance management)

  • DieInspection (a new vision-based software to aid ODI and their customers in determining die specifications and requirements) 

  • DieAnalysis (software that has been in market for years, used for analyzing, quoting, and driving manufacturing equipment).


Each of these solutions leads to significant cost savings, but also the ability to more quickly and effectively address customer demand - beyond anything the competition can deliver.


The results are in, and the team needs to grow in order to bring their state of the art innovation through development to delivery. With a team that has grown to 14 passionate engineers, they are now looking for a strong technical leader and people manager. 


How Do I Know This Is For Me?

You are driven, action-oriented, and enjoy the challenge of project planning for new solutions. You are motivated by making an impact on the technological and commercial trajectory of the company you work for. You eat complex problems for breakfast and your dessert is documentation. 


You crave autonomy, backed by the enthusiastic support of leaders who have a big vision and an appetite for educated risk.


You are a strong communicator, lead with transparency, and motivate others by setting the direction.


How Will I Make An Impact?

Reporting to the President, and working closely with the VP Engineering and General Manager, you will lead ODI's industry-disrupting development program that is changing fundamental aspects of their core business with solutions that leverage advanced robotics and AI. 


​With demonstrated success in leading development teams in the design and implementation of technical solutions aligned with company strategy, you will have a significant influence on the continued success of ODI and help build upon their established position as a niche supplier to the automotive industry.

Key Responsibilities:

Team Leadership​

  • You will lead by example to encourage and instill a sense of pride, enthusiasm, work ethic and ownership.

  • You will foster a culture of technical excellence and develop, mentor and manage employees to feel connected and important to the business.

  • You can adapt your leadership lens to the situation at hand exhibiting good judgment as to when to step back to a high level and when to dive into details to achieve deliverables or reallocate resources effectively. 

  • You solicit team feedback as an input into development initiatives and engage them as appropriate in implementation. 

  • You are a valued team partner interacting collaboratively with operations, sales and administration. 

Product Development

  • You will develop, own and know when to adjust a goal-oriented technical product roadmap that connects tasks into product concepts, helps set and clarify priorities, motivates the team to move on to the next step and gives visibility to stakeholders of the business.

  • Through close interaction with operations and the President, you will develop a clear understanding of the direct impact that ODI's game-changing product automation in their production facilities will have on their ability to rapidly adjust to end customer needs and expectations.

  • You will evaluate, recommend and own the technical solutions/designs and vendor partnerships that will best support the product strategy.

  • You will ensure coverage of the full product development life cycle including requirements gathering and scoping, prototyping, development, testing, solution deployment and training. You will leverage the appropriate development methodology (e.g. agile, waterfall or other) for each project.

  • You will establish and maintain Project Management disciplines including management of project budgets, schedules, resource allocation, identification of risks and opportunities, progress reporting.​


Does This Sound Like You?

  • Graduate degree in Engineering or Computer Science.

  • 10+ years of experience working with robotics and/or industrial automation.

  • Good understanding of manufacturing systems and their software dependencies. 


  • You enjoy staying on top of recent developments in robotics and software design. 

  • Excellent communication, organizational and prioritization skills. 

  • Ability to inspire, motivate and manage teams. 

  • Significant scrum or agile software-centric leadership experience.

  • Developed and deployed .NET/C# and WPF based software and C++ based applications in demanding environments for non-technical users, on time and on budget. 

  • Nice-to-haves would be ROS Experience, C++11/14 or industrial automation such as PLC/IPC programming – Beckhoff, Allen Bradley


Does this sound exciting to you?
Get in touch with Leigh!

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