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Director, Customer Engineering

Date: May 15, 2019

Location: Novi, MI, US

Company: HARMAN International

Requisition Id : 116136 

Additional Work Location(s) ​​​​​:  

A Career at HARMAN

We are ONE HARMAN. We are greater than the sum of our divisions or brands. We proudly talk about our many iconic brands and describe how our technologies are transforming the car, the workplace and everywhere in between.  We work hard. We create useful, playful, beautiful things. We strive for excellence and we aim to win as a team. No matter the position, every employee at HARMAN is expected to demonstrate our core competencies:  leadership, change-orientation, collaboration, judgment and a results-driven mindset.  At HARMAN, we expect brilliance.  You can expect a career full of brilliant possibilities. 

Position Summary:

The Director, Customer Engineering is responsible for the global product engineering of Lifestyle products specific to an individual customer.  Relating to engineering development issues, the director will ensure successful engineering customer interface and will be the escalation path for the customer.  With their direct and indirect team, they will be responsible for planning, managing, and completing development of the Lifestyle products.  The team consists of a core-engineering group in the US, Mexico, EU and China.  The Director will ensure that engineering development is properly executed to meet customer deliverables and prototype deliveries while managing the team to adhere to high quality processes that ensure zero customer defects.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This position has direct responsibility of Customer Engineering Managers, Systems Engineers and Mechanical and Electrical Application Engineers.  The position has indirect responsibility for all engineering-related functions (transducer, hardware, software, mechanical, acoustics, systems and validation) located in the US, MX, India and China.


Job Responsibilities:

  • This position owns the successful delivery of customer milestones related to all engineering activities from quote to post launch. 
  • Build and manage customer relationships in both the US and globally.
  • Build and maintain a customer interface team – responsible to manage the customer from the entry-level to the senior-level.  Responsible for evaluation and development of team members.
  • Ensure product costing targets are achieved for each product.  Maintain records of BOM costs compared to targets; escalate within Harman when targets are not achieved.  Ensure design actions are implemented to recover any cost variance in BOM cost target. 
  • Own and maintain the resource budget and cost of external resources. Ensure engineering resources are hired and qualified to meet the customer requirements.  This includes resources in NA, EU, and China.
  • Ensure engineering teams have equipment and facilities needed to meet customer requirements.  This includes budget as well as acquisition.
  • Make all decisions regarding product content, budget and timing to ensure the product is on-time, on-schedule, on quality, and meets all customer acceptance criteria (Performance and Features).
  • Manage product risk proactively, identify engineering risks and coordinate meetings with the PM and multi-discipline functions to address risks before they become issues.
  • Evaluate engineering processes and metrics to track and measure engineering success.  Update processes where needed to address customer-specific requirements.  Work with Engineering Functional Leaders to ensure all engineering disciplines are designing per Harman processes and customer processes.
  • Be the primary escalation point for both internal and external product communications for the dedicated customer base.
  • Ensure customer requirements are communicated throughout Harman engineering teams.  Ensure customer requirements are met with the product designed. Manage customer interface teams to clarify requirements when needed.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelors in Engineering
  • 15+ years related technical experience in developing automotive electro-mechanical devices
  • 10+ years in engineering leadership
  • Extensive experience in a client-facing role
  • Must have a general knowledge of automotive audio systems and their applications.
  • Must be able to articulate vision and influence decision making outcomes with internal stakeholders, external suppliers, and the customer.
  • Must have a "whatever-it-takes" attitude using diplomatic leadership skills within a collaborative teamwork environment to accomplish the necessary results.
  • Proven and effective communication, analytical, judgment, initiative and execution skills.


Preferred Qualifications & Desired Competencies:

  • Masters in Engineering and/or MBA preferred
  • Experience with OEM programs and product development systems
  • Expertise in driving complex cost reduction projects and program deliverables
  • Experience in audio product development
  • Business acumen
  • Analytical thinking
  • Drive for Results, Team Player, Change Orientation, Customer Focus, Self Awareness
  • Experience with managing distributed development teams


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Willingness to travel 15% of the time, including MX, EU, and CN
  • Willingness to work in an office in Novi, MI.  Frequent meetings in Dearborn, MI.
  • Any offer of employment is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background investigation and drug screen.

HARMAN ( designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things.  With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. HARMAN is an Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or Protected Veterans status.  HARMAN offers a great work environment, challenging career opportunities, professional training and competitive compensation. Looking for a challenge where your experience is valued? Come see what you can achieve as a leader with HARMAN!  (

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