Toilets Flush. Lights On.

“I make sure the toilets flush and the lights come on.”  This is the way I described my job to the Girl Scouts who visited Target headquarters for career day.  I am sure they were not overly impressed with my job at first.  After I explained the technical planning that goes into making sure the plumbing and electrical systems work properly, they nodded in agreement at how important this role is for Target. My name is Renae, and my team is responsible for the maintenance strategies for the plumbing and electrical systems at nearly 2000 stores.  Nearly everyone who shops at Target will recognize the systems we manage; the exterior signs, the lights inside the store, the neon that greets you when you walk in, the hot water used to make the coffee, the restroom fixtures like toilets and hand sinks.  We also manage the systems that go un-noticed to […]

A New Role

For the past two years, I’ve been working as a product engineer developing picture frames and limited time only products. I have been largely focused on the item-level details of our various assortments. I reported to a product development manager (PDM) whose job it was to lead us through the process of product development, and ensure every member of the team (buyers, packaging, engineering, design, leadership) were all producing the right deliverables at the right time. He managed our development calendar in order to anticipate obstacles, secure resources and create strategy. He facilitated the correct conversations at the correct time to create alignment with other teams and leaders. He was a program manager at the core, with additional responsibility for team and technical strategy. It was his job to keep the cross functional team running smoothly, producing great product and getting it to stores on time.  (He did great, btw.) […]

Feed + Target

I hope by now you’ve seen that Target has partnered with Lauren Bush Lauren to bring a collection of products to shelves on June 30th. (FEED + Target is yet another example of Target’s commitment to giving back because the FEED + Target collaboration hopes to donate over 10 million meals through the FEED Foundation.) This collection has a ton of great items, some of which I was fortunate enough to help develop. In some instances, PD+D teams will collaborate with design partners and help bring their product ideas to life or work through details. For Lauren’s collection, I worked on the bicycle, water bottles, iPhone 5 case, ceramic tumblers and baking dishes to name a few. At least, those are the products that have been made public at time of writing! Lauren is showing off the product in this video here.We were also lucky enough to meet Lauren and volunteer […]

From CAD to Ad

Product Design & Development delivers value to the corporation when we create products that delight our guests, and that they can’t find anywhere else. Unfortunately, the table frames that you saw in stores earlier this month were not unique in any way. They were old, tired, and frankly, weren’t delighting anyone. Furthermore, our guest had no reason to buy these at Target, because they could have gotten frames like these anywhere. As of this week, this has all changed! We just set close to 100% new table frames in the Room Essentials brand. Our new items are unique, exclusive to Target (’cause we designed them), deliver great style, great quality, and all at a tiny price point. Now, with these items on the shelf, I want to show you some of the behind-the-scenes design process. Most interestingly, here is a complete set of 3D models I made when we were […]