Principal Product Manager – Control Systems

Ocado Technology are building the software which powers our next generation robotic picking and storage solution. This solution is a core component of our Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs) which are offered as part of the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP). OSP is being marketed to retailers globally as a world-class platform for grocery eCommerce and we are looking for Product Managers to help shape our automation solutions and keep them at the forefront of the logistics industry.

Our Warehouse Automation Control Systems area is responsible for the software systems which control and maintain our swarm of 1000s of robots and control our peripheral conveyor systems within our CFCs. We make extensive use of simulation techniques for testing our control algorithms and researching new ones. Once in production, data analytics play an important part in understanding our system’s performance. Alongside the control systems is a suite of web apps which aid the operational teams in the smooth running of our warehouses. All these applications are critical to our warehouses reaching their maximum capacity and efficiency.

The Principal Product Manager role is a strategic role within the OSP Warehouse Automation department, focus on coordinating and aligning the direction of our automation products. You will focus on the products within the Control Systems area (as detailed above) and will work side-by-side with the Head of Engineering for Control Systems, being jointly accountable for the delivery of your products. You will be required to build up and maintain a healthy level of trust and collaboration with your engineering counterpart, respecting the boundaries of your individual roles and responsibilities. You’ll also work within our product team to define our strategy and roadmap, transforming this into feature definitions which will fit into the product’s wider vision, ensuring the product we’re building is in-line with the company’s needs and strategy.

You’ll be a line manager of other product practitioners within the Control Systems area, guiding their work and career through Ocado Technology. As the department grows, you’ll play a role in growing the product team through the hiring of other product managers and product owners. You’ll work closely with the other product managers to ensure that the product team is in-sync and able to do their best work. This may involve pioneering initiatives that support product owners in the OSP Warehouse Automation stream to work as effectively as possible and help roll-out successful initiatives elsewhere.

Outside of the OSP Warehouse Automation stream you’ll work closely with the product management team looking after our OSP CFC WMS and infrastructure systems on the overall OSP CFC product. Along with your engineering counterpart, you’ll be a go-to person for insight and information. This will require you to be able to gain a good technical understanding of the entire Control Systems area, including real-time control systems, discrete event simulation and data science, with an emphasis on how the different areas tie together into the larger system. This will enable you to oversee key decisions, work out any disagreements and get everyone to commit to a plan which is agreeable to all. Whilst you will be expected to understand, contribute to and influence technical decisions, you will trust the final decisions made by our engineering teams.

This is not an ivory tower role – all of this will be done in close collaboration with the rest of the Product, UX and Engineering teams both within and outside of OSP Warehouse Automation. You’ll need to be a great communicator and influencer who can build an atmosphere of cohesiveness and focused collaboration between all the members of the team, all with the shared goal of driving the product forward.