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Introducing Jens Niermeyer

The New Lead Product Manager of Collections at Coulisse

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Jens Niermeyer brings over three decades of experience and a profound dedication to innovation to his new role as Lead Product Manager of Collections at Coulisse. Let's delve into Jens' journey and explore his insights into the world of window coverings.

Can you tell us about your background from when you started in this industry to becoming Lead Product Manager of Collections at Coulisse?

Jens began his career in September 1992 as an export sales apprentice at Blöcker in Bremen. After graduating, he advanced from customer service to internal and external sales. Jens was part of a development project, creating a hardware system for pleated blinds. He recalls, “It was an exciting time, working with cutting-edge technology. I learned so much about the industry and the development process.” Later, Jens became the key account and product manager for pleated blinds, responsible for selling components, textiles, and machinery to blind makers in Germany and Europe. As a product manager, he was involved in all hardware and textile developments. Jens reflects, “It was a challenging but rewarding role. I used my earlier experience to drive innovation and improve our offerings to customers.” Jens collaborated with Bennie Lienesch and Klaus Germes, leading to the creation of the Honeycell brand in 2012.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

Jens responds, “I have never had a typical day yet. While there are some weekly routine meetings to exchange project-related topics, my role is very varied and full of new opportunities every day.” During his working week, Jens checks the status of projects related to every department at Coulisse, including supply chain, engineering, marketing, and sampling. He sees himself as a project manager, keeping a helicopter view to detect opportunities. Jens is often out of the office, spending time seeing what his team, customers, and the market are doing. “I am a team coach, using my commercial drive to lead project management directions with Product Managers Esterel Roetgering and Fenna Haaksma, and Creative Director Catharina Idema,” he explains. Jens is always looking for new customers and inspiration, keeping an eye on what competitors are doing and evaluating latest ideas for fabrics. “I look with a commercial eye,” he says. “And I am looking forward to visiting our other offices worldwide. I am going to Miami in June and Sydney later in the year to really see how I can help these global teams.”

Can you walk us through the process of bringing a new product to market, from ideation to launch?

Jens explains, “The process of bringing a new product to market begins with a deep dive into market trends, customer feedback, and inspiration from various industries and areas. We consider the entire supply chain to enhance production efficiency, streamline fitting processes, and optimize blind operation. As a product manager, I rely on a vast network of conversation partners and diverse influences to shape our product roadmap. Collaboration is key in our product development process at Coulisse. I work closely with cross-functional teams, including engineering, sales, supply chain, and marketing, to ensure that our products resonate with our target audience. Leveraging our longstanding partnerships with customers, we tailor our offerings to address specific market demands. From ideation to launch, a successful product typically takes around 1.5 years to materialize. This timeline allows for meticulous planning, prototyping, testing, and refinement to ensure that we deliver innovative solutions that exceed expectations.”

How does Coulisse ensure that their textiles meet customer expectations and align with market trends?"

Jens confirms, “At Coulisse, we prioritize direct communication with all relevant stakeholders, including our sales colleagues and customers. By understanding the 'why' behind customer requests, we can innovate solutions that truly meet their needs. We recognize the importance of thinking beyond the obvious and envisioning what customers truly desire. Our job as project managers is to find out the question behind the question. Why does our customer really want another fabric – what is wrong with what they have? By asking these questions, we can really find out what our customers need. My favorite saying is from Henry Ford, 'If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.' This quote embodies our approach to product development, where we strive to exceed customer expectations by delivering innovative solutions that address their underlying needs.”

What are Coulisse's key goals in the short-term and long-term?

According to Jens, Coulisse's goal is to establish itself as the leading authority in textiles and become the go-to partner for customers. In the short-term, the company is constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation, with exciting developments on the horizon, including an innovation that is completely new to the market. In the long-term, Coulisse is expanding its portfolio with new collections, building on its expertise to meet evolving market demands.

Lastly, what are your favorite textiles or collections at Coulisse?

Jens reveals, “I am drawn to textured fabrics, so Melbourne, Salamanca, and Prato are among my favorites in roller blinds. In pleated blinds, Milan, Palermo, and Salerno stand out, while Hudson and Hamilton are top picks in Honeycell. At home, we enjoy a mix of pleated, honeycomb, and wood blinds for both style and functionality.

Jens Niermeyer's appointment as Lead Product Manager of Collections at Coulisse marks an exciting chapter for the company, combining decades of industry experience with a forward-thinking approach to product development. With Jens at the helm, Coulisse is poised to lead the way in textile innovation and customer satisfaction.