Bugaboo is a design and engineering company at heart. We view ourselves as mobility concept creators with an inherent and strong drive to innovate. In the coming years we will broaden our horizon into new areas which will take us beyond strollers. As a fast-growing company, we always look for bright thinkers, smart designers, and highly skilled engineers to join us on our journey. With seventy employees, the Product Development department is the engine of our company. We have developed a flexible way of working, based on the idea that product developers can take on different roles depending on the project they work on. This not only enables the organization to think lean, but it also gives opportunities for personal growth and new challenges. We distinguish nine complementary roles, each corresponding to several senior, medior and junior jobs. Please have a look and get inspired!
In the department of Product Development, we distinguish three different phases corresponding to the three main sections: New Concept Development (NCD), New Product Development (NPD) and Sustaining.
NCD is the first phase starting from design concept to engineered prototype. In NCD, we believe in the strength of what we call integrated design. Here, technique and design, function and form must seamlessly come together in new iconic and archetypical products. This somewhat holistic approach requires high-level technical and conceptual creativity.
In NPD, it’s all about translating the approved and engineered prototype into a feasible and consumer-friendly product that is fit for mass production. Here, engineering teams at HQ Amsterdam work in close collaboration with technical teams at our own production plant in China, to get product and processes ready for manufacturing.
In Sustaining, we keep a close eye on the quality and continuous improvements of in-market products, dealing with changes in consumer needs and international regulations. In doing so, we assure ourselves and our consumers that our products meet and exceed the highest quality standards.
Check out the available roles in our teams below.
What drives Bugaboo?
‘‘Our products are all about mobility, about making people’s lives easier on the move. Despite what people might think, we never target babies or even parents - we speak to adults in general. We are a design and engineering company at heart, as opposed to a marketing-driven organization. Our goal is to invent and create highly technical products that appeal to people's latent and somewhat subconscious needs. So far we have made strollers, but we’re also working on completely new mobility concepts.’’
What's the biggest challenge in design and engineering?
‘‘Designing a great stroller is very complex. It’s a highly technical, functional and aesthetical puzzle. Semantic qualities are also very important: you have to be able to see how the product works at first glance. We believe in integrated design in NCD, which means technique and design must seamlessly come together in a product that’s unique and impossible to copy; formis function. High performance alone is not enough: the product has to look nice and smart and appeal to the emotional experience of the user without sacrificing performance.’’
What DNA do Bugaboo product developers have?
‘‘We always look for designers and engineers who can think highly creative and conceptual. What else do you need? Passion, enthusiasm and sharp critical faculties. We really want people who participate and contribute ideas, and who dare to have an opinion. Free spirits that aren’t scared to take the road less travelled. In the end, it’s all about creating products that – once in-store - look like they’ve always been there.’’
How do people react when you say you work at Bugaboo?
‘‘It’s funny. People often say: 'Huh? What do you do then?' I studied Material Science at the Technical University of Delft. With this background it would be more typical to work at a technological company like Philips, where I worked before, or a large chemical company like Shell for instance – rather than a product design company like Bugaboo. But people forget that there’s a lot of technique hidden in our strollers.
As MPP at Bugaboo, I’m one of the few that works through all the phases of new concept development and new product development, and that makes it really interesting. My team is made up of experts who specialize in different areas: metals, fabrics, thermoplastics, composites, and so forth. Half of the team is based in Amsterdam and the other half in our factory in Xiamen. So I get to travel a lot and learn about Chinese culture and working habits.’’
What challenges do you see in the near future?
‘‘The coming years the challenge will be staying ahead of the curve. The great thing about Bugaboo is that there’s huge scope for development. We need to keep innovating in the fields of lightweight technology and durability. In order to achieve that, we keep a close eye on developments in the automotive and aviation industries, and stay on top of university research into new materials and applications. And because we are successful and growing as a company, there are very few limiting factors. If you have good ideas, anything is possible.’’
What characterizes Bugaboo as a company?
‘‘There are definitely opportunities for personal development and growth - if only you are proactive about it. In that sense, we are anything but a standard corporate company, where career paths are fixed or rigid. We’re a flexible organization where it’s all about the content, and one of the very few Amsterdam-based technical companies, which I considered advantageous. People who work here are mostly young, creative and highly ambitious including many women too, which is a nice change from a typical engineering company.’’
What is the difference between Bugaboo and other design companies?
‘‘Our products have a genuine impact on people’s lives. I myself have three kids, so I know. I came to work here four years ago after working in the automotive industry and in aerospace. As an engineer in these more traditional technical companies, your work is not so visible: you work on the inside of the back of an exterior mirror. At Bugaboo, you can really make your mark on a highly visible consumer product of which thousands will be sold every month and people will use day in and day out! ’’
What is the leading principle of the company?
‘‘Bugaboo is still much like a start-up, when it comes to creativity and dynamics. Ever since we started off fifteen years ago, our business has been growing. This has enabled us to be financially independent and to work inside out, without letting external market demands or competition dictate us what to do. We always take the time to make things right. We never compromise on quality. That's why we ourselves are in control of the whole production chain, from concept development to final product, to sourcing, to marketing, to sales, and service. We don’t outsource key business. We have our own factory with 800 Chinese employees, not only assembly line operators, but also engineers, designers, quality assurance engineers, etc. - it’s a complete organization controlling all parts of the business.’’
What is the biggest challenge for the coming years?
‘‘We are in a period of transition right now, as we are transforming from a teenager to an adult. In the past five years the company has been growing at great speed and the next years Bugaboo will evolve and transform into a mobility company by adding new product categories to our stroller portfolio. All these products will carry out the same DNA: modularity, integrated design, multifunctionality, durability and premium quality. To put it mildly: we are entering a new and very exciting era.’’