The Field Test Operations Manager (FTOM) oversees full-system testing, enabling Blue River Technology to confidently launch new products into the market. FTOM hires, trains, and manages the personnel that carry out field testing plans; owns the Deere, dealer and customer relationships that provide access to the needed testing environments; and partners with Product and Engineering colleagues to create, test, verify and adjust plans as-needed.
The FTOM must have row and specialty crop market knowledge (construction a plus!), conceptual understanding of the complexities of agricultural mechatronics, a high degree of interest in and passion for ag technology, and willingness to learn about other industries as the need arises. FTOM should be comfortable working in rural and urban environments while interacting with a broad set of professionals including farmers, agronomists, construction workers, researchers, engineers and others.
A successful Field Operations manager will have high energy, be intellectually curious and passionate about problem solving. With an emphasis on teamwork, they will have a passion for developing both people and process, and strive to achieve our mission to create intelligent machinery that solves monumental challenges for our customers. Reporting to the Head of Field Operations this role will manage permanent and seasonal direct reports (Field Application Engineers, Field Techs, etc.).
- Seeks and maintains a deep understanding of the goals, roadmap, and requirements of the projects and products that require testing
- Advises Product and Engineering colleagues of the types of testing that will be of highest value in meeting program objectives and timeline
- Advises product teams on timing and operational options available for testing
- Creates and executes plans including
- Hire, train and lead the testing field team
- Source tools and equipment: vehicles, lodging, and other necessary staff resources
- Track and report out productivity and accomplishments
- Evaluates testing results and metrics in-season to make sure goals are achieved
- Adjusts plans as-needed
- Tracks and improves costs, quality, and efficiency of testing activities
- Maintain appropriate level, type and frequency of contact with market access partners (regional Deere and dealer personnel)
- Assure that all work is documented clearly and communicated in a timely manner
- Designs and improves upon testing tools and processes
- Meets with the Safety Team regularly to bring insights and concerns from the Field Team, as well as to understand the latest safety policies and ensure the Field Test team is observing all relevant safety practices.
- The position is home office based and requires some travel in the main crop growing regions, as well as to company HQ in California. There is a 40% travel requirement, and will vary seasonally.
- Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Engineering, Business, or other relevant fields preferred. Master’s degree is a plus.
- 10+ years’ work experience, including:
- 3+ years in a customer-facing role
- 7+ years in an agricultural technology and/or machinery related role
- Experience leading and coordinating a team of workers
- Proficient with basic software tools including G-Suite, Jira, Confluence, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
- Ability to understand and interact with agricultural technology and machinery
- Ability to set targets, create and execute plans, and deliver results
- Ability to communicate with colleagues that have limited understanding of agricultural and construction industry settings and realities
- Capacity to positively interact with varied personality-types, creating trusted professional relationships inside and outside the BRT and Deere organizations
- Exhibit a high level of personal and professional integrity
Other Great Experience:
- CCA, state pesticide licenses, and other certifications related to market knowledge
- Safety training and certifications
- Agricultural production experience
- Construction industry experience
Other responsibilities could include assisting the product teams, where needed and practical, in areas such as identifying customer collaborators for testing, demonstration feedback purposes, and providing agronomic/customer insights. This also includes organizing and managing extended season plantings with growers.