This job contributes to the success of REI Adventures through the strategic management of a regional adventure travel program assortment, designing and managing unique adventure travel programs operated through an international and/or domestic vendor network and marketed through REI.
The Regional Program Manager (RPM) serves as a subject matter expert on adventure travel, develops strategic assortment plans, negotiates contracts with new vendors, builds and manages ongoing vendor relationships, designs new programs, and manages the program quality assurance process, maximizing customer satisfaction, sustainable tourism efforts, sales, and profitability. The RPM also researches and informs work to develop new product lines and provides key support for marketing and promotional efforts in the form of subject matter expertise, consultation, negotiation and experience execution.
The RPM reports to and works closely with the Supervisor of Program Management and Operations on strategic assortment planning to ensure that all financial goals in assigned regions are met or exceeded. This includes negotiating all product pricing and annual inventory planning, as well as identifying targeted product development opportunities, identifying and onboarding new vendors and assuming a lead role in risk management, due diligence, and the RFP process to ensure that the REI brand is protected. The RPM is responsible for crafting itineraries that meet or exceed REI Adventures program standards and provide a unique and brand-appropriate experience.
The RPM conducts formal quality assurance assessment and reporting, closely monitoring field operations, program quality, sustainability feedback, and customer feedback on all programs within assigned regions on a regular basis. The RPM works to maximize the quality of the customer experience and create unique value for the business and the brand. All REI Adventures’ programs must meet or exceed high-quality standards and goals.
Strategic Assortment Planning, Program Development & Vendor Management:
Work with the Supervisor, Program Management, and Operations to recommend, develop and create regional assortment strategies.
Align plans with growth targets and organizational strategic priorities.
Monitor industry trends and competitors.
Participate in industry events and attend applicable trade shows.
Formulate new product recommendations including destination selection, program type, activity, activity level, target net cost and retail price, and initial sales forecasts.
Research and design unique and compelling adventure travel programs to support regional strategies.
Adhere to REI Adventures’ New Trip Development processes and timelines.
Continually seek out new vendors capable of creating unique and compelling products.
Recruit, screen, select, and onboard new vendors in compliance with REI Adventures’ standards.
Negotiate new vendor contracts and ensure compliance with REI standards and insurance requirements.
Assess vendor field and office operations and itinerary quality via destination-specific site inspections and effectively oversee this work when assigned to others supporting program development.
Negotiate supplier pricing and determine retail trip pricing in accordance with market trends and budget goals.
Act as a subject matter expert, communicating program information to applicable stakeholders as needed.
Brief marketing and public affairs on new and existing product and product line value proposition and key differentiators.
Quality Assurance & Sustainability:
Manage and execute the formal quality assurance process for all programs in assigned regions, including customer satisfaction, program quality, sales, profitability, and sustainability assessment and reporting.
Set goals and evaluate vendor progress toward enhancing customer satisfaction, program quality, and sustainability.
Identify creative and innovative solutions to enhance program quality, uniqueness, and sustainability
Continually execute product innovation to enhance program quality and sustainability
Maintain and enhance REI’s position as a market leader in quality and sustainability
Understand, fully use and continuously improve processes and systems.
Financial Management and Planning:
Create strategic financial planning documents outlining regional growth goals, inventory requirements, and financial/profitability goals within assigned regions.
Negotiate with vendors for best net costs, terms, discounts, sales, and marketing support.
Develop sales forecasts based on objectives, past performance and company guidance.
Monitor program sales, margin, trends and variances and make necessary adjustments.
Emergency On-Call Support:
Required to be on-call and respond to REI Adventure’s emergency phone calls when scheduled.
Responds appropriately to urgent customer and field partner questions, issues, and situations.
Use sound judgment and decision-making to positively affect the welfare of guests and the business needs of REI Adventures in situations potentially involving serious illness or injury.
Complies with established legal and ethical parameters.
Serves as the sole decision maker during “on-call” schedules. Escalate urgent issues to Adventures leadership.
Bring your passion and expertise
5+ years of product development experience in the adventure travel, wholesale travel, tourism, or outdoor education industry
Ability to analyze and present data, summarize findings, share insights and propose recommendations
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Highly developed negotiation skills
Ability to travel extensively and independently both internationally and within the U.S.
Bachelor’s degree in Business, Recreation Management, Tourism or closely related field, or equivalent work experience
Comprehensive understanding of MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook
Strong ability to initiate and build business relationships with global vendor network
Strong understanding of financial information and budget management
Actively participates and collaborates with others on one's own team and across REI for the achievement of business goals.
Flexible in one's viewpoints and positions in order to support the direction taken by others at REI.
Uses business knowledge, innovative thinking, and sound judgment in the solution of problems or the pursuit of business opportunities.
Consolidates information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.
Considers the ultimate impact of decisions and actions on internal and external customers.
Works smart by setting effective work goals, establishing priorities, and planning well in order to produce quality work.
Executes effectively by using resources efficiently, meeting deadlines, and keeping others informed of work plans and progress toward goals.
Clearly conveys and accurately receives information by a variety of methods and in various situations.
Builds rapport with all kinds of people inside and outside the organization.
Acts upon opportunities and involves and influences others in the accomplishment of worthwhile organizational goals.
Challenges the status quo, champions change and influences others to change.
At REI we offer an enviable work environment that has been recognized on the "100 Best Companies to Work For" list since the award's inception – 22 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.
With more than 150 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 13,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.
REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Internal Number: 14858
REI Adventures is the adventure travel company at the REI Co-op. Based in Kent, WA, REI Adventures has offered trips worldwide for REI Members for 30 years and is a leader in active adventure travel. The REI Cooperative, Recreation Equipment, Incorporated, has been a leader in outdoor retail since 1938, with over 6 million active members and well over 100 retail stores throughout the United States.