Product Manager – Search

Website Grainger

Company Overview

Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.2 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products such as safety gloves, ladders, motors and janitorial supplies, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with more than 1.6 million products stocked in Grainger’s distribution centers and branches worldwide.

Position Description

Primary Function:

At Grainger, we are building systems that will extend our market leadership for another 90 years. While lots of companies talk about “digital revolutions” or “delightful experiences”, we’re focusing on building the stuff that matters. Our expertise is borne of a profound understanding of our customer and their needs and how our products and services do and should create value for them. It’s borne of sweat and toil and dealing with complexity and scale problems that few companies are privileged enough to enjoy. We are looking for exceptional product managers to help guide and chart a course for Grainger’s enterprise systems and application development so that Grainger continues to be the destination for “the ones that get it done”. The Product Manager contributes to the product strategy, vision, and roadmap of future products, with high degree of ownership over critical features and the customer experience. This role will work closely with engineering, design, and operations to develop and launch innovative aspects of a product. The Product Manager is creative and highly analytical, able to work effectively in a matrix organization, adept at synthesizing a variety of technologies and capabilities into products and applications that customers love. The Product Manager is customer focused and technology savvy – with experience creating successful products and services. The role will solve complex, cutting-edge problems and be part of a team that gets things done. The Product Manager will be accountable for portions of a technical product.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Define, develop and deliver Grainger’s product search capability. This includes search on both external and internal applications.
  • Adopt holistic approach to search which can be applied across channels such as the website, printed catalogs & internal customer service applications.
  • Build a search capability that will span across thousands of categories and millions of products with minimal response times.
  • Understand and articulate customer needs, conduct on-going customer research, leverage internal knowledge and expertise, and prioritize market requirements.
  • Retrieve and analyze search analytics to identify and solve business problems with the search algorithm or the display heuristics.
  • Develop a search strategy utilizing data to make recommendations that create advantage for Grainger.
  • Build relationships and identify stakeholders across the organization.
  • Conceptualize the needs of the business and build portions of the product roadmap and requirements.
  • Assess the needs, opportunities, and pain points for the platform within Grainger’s evolving systems landscape. Contribute to a cross-functional process for prioritizing, delivering and launching major product releases and incorporating enhancement requests to existing features. Deliver in a consistent cadence of releases. Translate customer needs into product requirements.
  • Ensure consistent execution of product lifecycle processes from concept to launch. Be the internal and external authority and advocate for your given area of focus.
  • Communicate and coordinate launch across all stakeholders including business and engineering teams. Define, deliver (or update) readiness materials, FAQs, etc. as required to support launch.
  • Track and report on planned activities for each product release.
  • Facilitate and develop content for meetings up to the VP level landing the appropriate message for the audience.

Position Requirements:


  • Willing to design a search experience form scratch and use off the shelf products only if they meet the needs of Grainger.
  • Demonstrated ability to design solutions to complex problems.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and presentation skills; excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Superior process design skills and operational orientation.
  • Continuous improvement and innovation mindset that results in the understanding of emerging technologies and how they might apply within the organization, as well as driving creativity, acting with agility and thinking outside current boundaries.
  • Strong ability to participate in cross-functional teams and navigate a matrix organization.
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills; ability to use hard data and metrics to back up assumptions and develop project business cases.
  • Comfort with ambiguity.
  • Thrives under pressure and working to aggressive timelines.
  • Insatiable will to get stuff done.


  • BS/BA degree in computer science, engineering, science, math or related field. MS or MBA preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience conceptualizing, designing, building, or significantly modifying a large-scale search system for customer facing channels.
  • Experience building a search experience for internal applications is a plus.
  • Experience building search indexes for printed catalogs is a plus.
  • Experience using Elastic, Solr, Endeca or other search engines is a plus.
  • 3-5 years experience as a product manager or related occupation. Experience must involve: conducting strategic business and financial analysis, retrieving and analyzing large and complex data sets; synthesizing business insights through advanced excel modeling, data retrieval and SQL/SAS; working cross-functionally with engineering, design, and project management counterparts to deliver digital products or services.
  • Demonstrated expertise within industrial distribution a plus.
  • A track record of successfully managing products through entire life cycle – from inception to launch.
  • A track record of delivering business results and managing a product or product line P&L.