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Sr. Manager, Creative Operations

Location Phoenix, Arizona ID 2019-1392 Apply Now
About the Team:

Our Product Development group focuses on delivering customer-centric innovations that are available only at PetSmart. This allows us to create products and solutions that our pet parents are asking for that they can’t find anywhere else. This team partners with Merchandising, Brand Management, Product Design & Integrity, and Global Sourcing to bring the product from vision to reality.

About the Job:

The Manager of Creative Operations is responsible for delivering operational excellence within the Proprietary Brand Creative Studio. The ideal candidate is a highly driven individual and project management leader with a strong passion for developing workflows and project plans that drive the team to achieve our creative vision on time. This includes interacting with cross functional teams to develop and optimize best practices while also managing the day-to-day project management of all projects. This role will develop and oversee project timelines and tasks within the design, production and copy development team. The ideal candidate for this job has extensive experience in online project management software (such as Workfront) or something similar as well as data asset management libraries.

This candidate must have a solid understanding of how to develop training materials, organized and efficient project plans and clearly articulate them to cross-functional teams gaining alignment. Candidate will lead cross-functionally and work with other team leaders within the Proprietary Brands Creative Studio, Brand Managers, Product Developers, Merchants and external Vendors to develop timelines that are efficient and drive projects forward. This role traffics work through the total Creative team, ensuring workload is executed with maximum balance and efficiency. Ensures project status is communicated to all stakeholders early and often. This role must lead cross-functional conversations that identify the workflow and recommend adjustments that fit the needs of the team and are efficient.

The ideal candidate must be detail oriented with strong organizational skills, maintain documented tracking and timeline records. This person will be a self-motivated go-getter/team player who can manage multiple projects and deadlines in a fast-paced retail environment. Must have knowledge of project management software and experience in packaging execution, packaging production art and pre-press for packaging. The candidate must be able to think on their feet and bring solutions within their area of expertise.

This role will be required to directly oversee all projects managed with external agencies and also manage all of the projects running through the Product Development portion of the team.


This role manages a Senior Project Manager of Packaging workflow, projects and tasks developed in-house. In addition, this role will manage the production teams for both Packaging and Product design to keep the work moving efficiently and maintain balance within the resourcing of Projects to individuals. As the supervisor over these two key areas, Packaging and Product production; the candidate will deliver timely and accurate updates within the team as well as with cross-functional partners.


  • Proven success in leading the operations of a team.
  • Proven experience working cross-functionally; able to work equally well with people in business, creative and technical positions.
  • Collaborate with business partners to ensure alignment of goals and deliverables.
  • This role will ensure that all projects and key initiatives are tracked, project managed and follow an agreed upon timeline.
  • Support the Design team by ensuring that briefs are complete, contain quality content, and are organized as it enters the packaging development process.
  • Utilizes Workfront Workflow tool, assigns appropriate people to tasks, time durations and keeps up-to-date and accurate.
  • Oversee Production Designers responsible for adapting design and producing high-quality artwork and preparing assets for release to development and printers.
  • Thorough understanding of the Design development process for Product and Packaging Design.
  • Continually evaluates packaging process and collaborates with Director or Product Design and Sr. Package Design Manager on areas of opportunity.
  • Thorough understanding of Production Design responsibilities, process steps and understanding of color management.
  • Proved ability to identify areas of improvement, institute best practices and lead in problem solving discussions to drive for effective and efficient change.
  • Ability to present training materials in a clear and concise manner.
  • Thorough understanding of Print Buying requirements.
  • Fanatical about continuous improvement; experienced in the development and adoption of processes and procedures for optimum operational efficiency.
  • Highly organized with the ability to manage multiple projects on time while maintaining high quality standards.
  • Exceptional data tracking, gathering, reporting and analytical skills.
  • Product sample evaluation process and tracking.
  • Ability to think critically, problem-solve and adapt quickly.
  • Resourceful and forward thinking.
  • Ability to drive for results and keep projects moving forward.
  • Proven leader in managing people.


  • Collaborate with business partners to ensure alignment of goals and deliverables.
  • Support the Creative and Visual Merchandising teams by ensuring that briefs are complete and contain quality content and that brand/signage guidelines are executed consistently.
  • Project manage the creative design process for product design (including cut & sew and technical products) and agency work (packaging and product); scheduling and managing those projects through the in-house Creative Studio and with external partners.
  • Manage Production Designers responsible for adapting design and producing high-quality artwork including but, not limited to, product design and packaging. Manage team that prepares assets for release to printers.
  • Manage the Senior Project Manager responsible for facilitating job kick-off and creative review meetings, scheduling and tracking design projects, trafficking them through the Creative in-house studio and reporting on job status.
  • Provide leader with regular updates including, but not limited to, Creative KPIs, project/campaign status and team goals, capabilities and performance.
  • Identify continuous improvement opportunities and proactively develop and implement workflow processes and procedures for optimum operational efficiency.
  • Manage direct reports; defining clear roles and responsibilities, developing individual and team capabilities and measuring results.


  • 7+ year’s experience in project management of creative design projects.
  • 5+ years experience in managing design adaptation and artwork development of printed assets.
  • 3+ years experience in managing and developing individual and team capabilities.
  • 2+ years experience with Workfront or like project management workflow tool
  • Experience in a Retailer, CPG, in-house Creative Studio or Agency.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.


This position will be required to review and approve invoices as well as help track budget as needed.


This scope requires an individual with drive and desire to improve processes and lead a team.  Responsible for a team performing multiple functions on various businesses and levels of project complexity. Leads major process initiatives, mentors, assigns, and monitors work for the team.  This position willl have direct report experience. Prior supervisory experience is required. Bachelor’s Degree required.


The ideal candidate must be able to work in a fast-paced retail environment on multiple projects with changing deadlines and priorities. Major challenges lie in changing deadlines, priorities and communicating the timing impacts out to cross-functional teams in a timely fashion. Candidate must have the ability to develop, communicate and drive timelines, give accurate updates to cross-functional team members as well as gather all relevant project information from and cross-functional partners.


  • Proficient in Workfront with Administrator experience required.
  • Solid Excel, Word and Outlook skills required.
  • Understanding of the Adobe Creative Cloud and Indesign a plus

About the Culture:

Our home office offers outstanding amenities in a fun and rewarding workplace including:

  • Pet friendly environment, bring your pets to work!
  • A work-life balance and family events such as movie nights, art events and holiday festivals
  • “Top Dog” gym with equipment, fitness classes, massage therapists and personal trainers
  • “Sit & Stay” Café serving fresh breakfast and lunch options
  • Starbucks cart—productivity at its finest!
  • “Lil’ Paws” learning center and onsite daycare facility
  • Volunteer events with PetSmart Charities
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    As the leading pet specialty retailer, innovative product development is a major key to our success. Ideas for new toys and tasty treats are continually being created by our product development team to support our future strategic needs. Interestingly enough, some of our most fun ideas are inspired by our own associates and their pets!

I love to see the product & assortment that our teams create come to life and see it on other dogs in stores, restaurants and dog parks. Brings a big smile to my face!


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