Director R&D

Date: Jul 2, 2019

Location: Chicago, IL, US, 60609-2699

Tennant Company is a recognized leader of the cleaning industry. Since 1870 we have been passionate about developing innovative and sustainable solutions that help our customers clean more spaces more effectively, addressing indoor and outdoor cleaning challenges. Our products include equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial and outdoor environments; detergent-free and other sustainable cleaning technologies; cleaning tools and supplies; and coatings for protecting, repairing and upgrading surfaces. With more than $1B in revenue, Tennant Company operates in three geographic business units including the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific. Join the company committed to empowering our customers to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world with high-performance cleaning solutions that minimize waste, reduce costs, improve safety and further sustainability goals.



  • Drives innovation, creating high value products that position Tennant Coatings as a leader in performance floor coatings via the brand product strategies
  • Leads technical service, Quality and training, positioning Tennant Coatings as the premier technical support channel partner in the market
  • Ensures products are compliant with pertinent regulations



The Direcor of R&D is a key leadership role in Tennant Coatings Organization.  In this visible position, you will directly affect the organization's top and bottom lines through functional leadership of a team of professionals and support personnel.  Position has direct input into the development and definition of Coatings functional strategies and is the primary for deployment of these strategies into action for the Tennant Coatings products business.  Successful candidates will have strong chemistry knowledge with a people centric approach to leading a team and working cross-functionally.   Strong business savvy and a focus on providing a world-class customer experience are essential.  Key responsibilities include:


Product Development

  • New product innovation, driven by market opportunity and customer need
  • Appropriately balanced short term and long term product development
  • Working with Marketing, create and execute against Multi Generational Product Plans
  • Scans the horizon for new pertinent technologies and incorporates into innovation portfolio.


Product Optimization

  • Make minor upgrades to products as field experience dictates
  • Benchmark competitor products as a basis for subsequent product development, creating data to underpin sales growth
  • Work with Supply Chain to value engineer existing products and remain competitive through product life cycle


Technical Service and Training

  • Investigate and solve field problems, embed learning in the organization
  • Train contractors, distributors and sales team, binding channel to the brand.


Quality Control and Regulatory

  • Implement SPC and SQC, creating data supporting product and process capability
  • Working with corporate regulatory, ensure that all products meet appropriate regulations
  • Support best HSE practice in the field



  • Bachelor’s degree from top university in Chemistry, Ph.D. preferred
  • 10+ years of experience in related area
  • Lean Six Sigma training, Green Belt minimum, preferably Black Belt
  • Extensive experience with Statistical Experimental design
  • Proven ability to interact proficiently with customers
  • Strong leadership skills, comfortable in a matrixed environment
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate and deliver to tight frames
  • Experience with creating balanced product portfolios
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally approximately 20% of time with sales and interact with customers

Let us introduce you to Tennant Company. We’re everywhere. In your sports clubs, shopping malls, office buildings, parking lots. We make things that make things look like new.  We bring new cleaning ideas to market. There is new dirt every day and our machines clean it up. With manufacturing operations and sales, service and support functions across globe, your journey at Tennant can take you places you never expected.  If you want to get your hands dirty on a project, step up with your own ideas, or maybe even explore talents you never knew you had, Tennant Company is a place where that can happen. Because at Tennant, we like to think like new. Begin your journey with us. Let's reinvent how the world cleans.


Equal Opportunity Employer

Tennant Company is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are made on the basis of individual skill, ability, reliability, productivity, and other factors important to performance. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, veteran status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or any other basis protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

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