Director, New Product Planning, SKU Strategy & Brand Optimization

Kenilworth, NJ, US
March 13 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: GLO001154

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck’s Global Human Health (GHH) Division abides by a “patient first, profits later” ideology. Results-driven and ambitious, this team of individuals represents a functional balance between meeting company objectives and the needs of people around the world. The organization is comprised of sales and marketing professionals who are passionate about their role in bringing Merck's prescription medicines, vaccines, and other medical products to our customers worldwide.

The Director will lead the New Product Planning process, development and execution of supply and SKU Strategy and Brand Optimization across franchises for Global Marketing, Global Human Health (GHH).

New Product Planning: Launch Supply Strategy and ROW Filing Process:

While there is currently a Launch Supply Strategy and Rest of World (ROW) filing process framework in place, there are several optimization opportunities that the cross divisional organization agrees are required to improve risk assessment, resource planning and overall profitability, including:

  • Assessments of ROW country-level revenue and profitability earlier in the development process
  • Augmented commercial assessment process with early, informed insights from the regions and countries and cross-divisional inputs for early identification of viable ROW countries.
  • Clarity and consistency around the business opportunity (ROI/ profitability) and commercial viability within each market (vs. region as a launch strategy is being developed.
  • Clear roles and responsibilities and decision-making between the Merck Research Lab (MRL) Product Development Teams (PDT), Merck Manufacturing Division (MMD) and GHH.
  • Defining an escalation/ negotiation pathway and decision-making for resolving filing and launch strategy conflicts.

In addition to process improvements in commercial assessments, the Director will work on cross-divisional teams to improve PDT education of ROW filings and launches (case studies, training tools), optimize Integrated Filing & Launch Supply Strategy Team operations and New Product Planning Capabilities and onboarding.

SKU Strategy:

Over the past few years, the organization has made significant strides in optimizing and rationalizing the Product SKU Portfolio.  We have moved from “passive” management of SKU complexity to a more “proactive” approach with solid business results and established governance (IEO / Region Governance).  The Director will:

  • Drive continued optimization opportunities and process improvements for Global Marketing by strong collaboration across all franchises and partnership with key markets and region, and the Corporate PSO Team
  • Co-Create related objectives and KPIs across divisions functions
  • Prepare and coordinate for Global Marketing President and / or Global Marketing Operations Leader IEO reports and  updates on SKU performance (Revenue/SKU, SKU Count, Low-Value SKUs); ensure that the cross divisional teams have completed the required due diligence at an enterprise level for critical risks and opportunities.
  • Provides oversight across Global Marketing for Life cycle management (LCM) SKU planning, execution, and performance; SKU registrations and performance monitoring; business case development for SKU creation; SKU harmonization reviews and execution.
  • Serve as key point of contact in Global Marketing for over-arching process adherence and issue resolution.
  • Cascade objectives/timelines and ensure engagement within the Global Marketing Franchises.
  • Function as a “coach” to enable change in behaviors across Global Marketing (includes training for new Global Marketing members)

Brand Optimization:

Brand Optimization is critical to focused execution of our strategic priorities and must remain an important and regular operational imperative.  While progress has been made in recent years there is work to be done to further optimize the large number of brands contributing limited revenue, integrate assessments into the current annual planning process, and make timely decisions for earlier and higher value extraction.  The Director will define and establish an (annual) “end” of product life-cycle process that proactively addresses above opportunities and make recommendations that improve enterprise efficiencies and resource allocation choices.  Strong partnership with BD will be critical to success here on divest decisions.




  • BS/BA or equivalent required
  • MBA Preferred


  • Minimum of 10 years of industry experience or experience in a highly related area (e.g. commercial, marketing, life cycle management, supply chain management)
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively across functions and divisions and influence process and decisions at all levels of the organization
  • Demonstrated ability to set strategic direction for teams and effectively drive rapid disciplined decision making
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills with experience in interacting with colleagues at various levels are required
  • Broad-based knowledge of the Global Supply & Operations (S&OP) process, supply planning and risk management, portfolio management


  • Business Development
  • Project Management Experience
  • People Management

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to


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Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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Job: Global Marketing
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Number of Openings:
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Company Trade Name: Merck

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