Project management is a critical process when importing from China or any supply chain.
That’s why I will answer all questions about product management today.
Let’s dive right in.
- What is Product Management?
- What is the Role of Product Management in International Shipping?
- How does Product Management Work?
- What are the Three Models of Product Management?
- What are the Characteristics of Ideal Product Management?
- What is the Difference Between Product Management and Product Development?
- What are the Challenges you Face in Product Management?
- How do you choose the Best Product Management Strategy?
- What Comprises a Great Product Management Team?
- How do you Organize your Product Management Team?
- What is Enterprise Transformation?
- What are the Three Components of Enterprise Transformation?
- How does Enterprise Transformation Benefit your Business?
- What is the Role of Product Management in Enterprise Transformation?
- What is Product Positioning?
- How should you price your products?
- What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Product Management?
- How does Product Positioning Benefit your Business?
- What are the Different Types of International Product Positioning?
- Does Product Management Assist in Global Product Positioning?
- What are the International Product Management Best Practices?
- Who is a Product Manager?
- Do you need a Product Manager for your International Trade Business?
- How do you Find a Reliable Product Manager?
What is Product Management?
You are planning to venture into a local or international business, and you are wondering how to proceed.
At this point, you need the right product that assures your business profits and success in the long run.
However, you lack the necessary knowledge concerning the product you’ve chosen.
This is where product management becomes useful.
Product management is a broad concept that varies from one business to the other.
To define product management, we first must consider the size of your business, target market, that is, either direct consumers or other businesses.
In essence, product management refers to developing a product strategy, deciding on what product to build, and finally working out how to market and sell the product.
What is the Role of Product Management in International Shipping?
International shipping presents your business with a lucrative market that enhances your profits and your customer base.
However, to be able to excel in international shipping, you must have the right product.
If you are a foreigner, you should not think that entering the international market is easy-peasy.
Failure has a higher probability than success in this venture.
Product management serves your business right when it comes to international shipping by:
· Understanding the Customers
Different customers from different geographic regions have varied tastes and preferences.
Product management comes in handy as it helps your business determine these diverse needs.
Also, PM assesses the various competitors and impediments in international shipping.
Product management will help your business assess your market.
You will understand the different cultural variations, language, and purchasing power regarding customer variation.
Ultimately, product management serves to help you source and ship the right products for your customers.
· Recruitment and Hiring the Right Talent
When it comes to international shipping, every aspect of your business is crucial.
Product management helps you hire the right employees with the drive and enthusiasm for success.
After knowing what your customers want, you can match the available talents and align them to ensure minimal supervision with high output.
Here, you can recruit and train your employees to help achieve your customer’s demands.
· Date, Currency, and Measurement
You will witness different time zones, currency, and measurements depending on where your company ships.
With a robust product management strategy, you can analyze all these factors and define how to handle each of them.
· Rules and Regulations
Rules and regulations greatly influence international shipping.
For your company to import/export, your product must conform to the local government’s legal, environmental, and health standards.
Effective product management goes a long way to understand the intricacies involved in given importation/exportation.
Your product must conform to the laid down rules and regulations.
How does Product Management Work?
Product management process
Product management is multifaceted and a never-ending process.
It starts where a product idea is generated and implemented.
The product should be such that it serves; the customers, the business owner, and other stakeholders.
You should have the initial idea of developing a product.
Next, match the idea based on your prospective customer’s desire.
Finally, align your workforce to these needs before implementing the whole idea.
Successful product management can follow a set outline that includes;
- Idea generation
- Analysis and specification of the idea
- Communicating a roadmap that aligns with customer needs and the idea objectives
- Setting priorities on what will bring value to your company
- Delivering a high-quality product to the customers
- Constant analytics and quality improvements on the product
- Continuous monitoring and acting on customer feedback
Communicate your product objectives to your project teams clearly.
Let them understand that at every stage of product development, the customer needs come first.
What are the Three Models of Product Management?
These are the three models of product management.
· Business-first Model
In this model, product management pushes for more profits and growth of the business.
They do so by striving to be competitive and staying on top of the game.
· Consumer-first Model
Here, product management relies on feedbacks, past data, and requests to develop a product and sell it to the market.
· Technology-first Model
In the technology-first model, the concern is on efficiency, minimizing absolute work, and extensibility.
It works best when information is available, proven, and the whole process of product development simple.
Product management changes daily and no single model can work all the time.
Continuous research can give you the best model to adopt, depending on your business’s needs.
What are the Characteristics of Ideal Product Management?
Ideal product management features assure your business success and profits in the long run.
This is because your product management strategy identifies with your target customers and endeavors to meet their needs.
Product management should:
- Have excellent marketing and selling ability
- Be able to develop a unique product fit for consumption
- Be time conscious and able to meet deadlines
- Have the ability to communicate and organize project teams
- Prompt reporting and proper documentation
- Be able to measure progress, reward efforts, and motivate
- Ability to foresee risks and manage them
Most of the mentioned attributes are easier said than done.
You should closely monitor your organization’s product and management aspects to increase the chances of succeeding.
What is the Difference Between Product Management and Product Development?
Product development vs product management
In a company, you will have product development and product management, all of which play different roles but are essential.
Product development is narrow and only focuses on the new product’s research, design, and engineering.
On the other hand, product management is broader.
It encompasses the research, management, development, and selling of a new product.
It also involves recognizing customer needs and hindrances that the product can face in the market.
What are the Challenges you Face in Product Management?
Product management is a complex process that involves numerous players in the implementation, execution, and monitoring.
Depending on your environment, dealing with international products can prove risky and challenging to you.
In the course of your operations, you can face the following challenges:
· Understanding the Consumer
Consumer needs form the core concentration in developing your product.
Your company should first carry out research and determine the needs of the target market.
After that, you should dwell on designing a product that addresses these needs.
However, the nature of consumer needs is dynamic from one geographic location to the other.
Striving to meet these distinct needs is challenging and often time-consuming.
Your company, in the long run, will face challenges relating to consumer needs.
To address this issue, you should have a flexible strategic product management team that can change and adapt to new customer needs.
· Adapting to New Technologies
Technology changes with each rising day, and you cannot predict tomorrow’s requirement.
Your business can address this through flexibility in research, mapping, and design of new technology.
Bots and other automated services make it easy to handle your organization’s customer feedback and response rate.
However, these bots’ expensive nature and the fact that they may not be accurate can pose a challenge to your company.
· Creating a Consistent Brand Experience
With new competitors in play, better and cheap products reach consumers each rising day.
As such, getting consumers a seamless and perfect product experience can be a bit problematic.
Consumers will opt to shift towards products that favor their needs.
Eventually, you will lose customers, run a loss, and even risk closure.
However, you need not panic.
With adequate investment in product research and development, you can ensure the right products reach your consumers at the right time.
This way, you are assured of maintaining a competitive market share of the customers.
Most of these challenges are inevitable.
You cannot deviate from experiencing them.
You only need to prepare and strive to avert them as much as you can.
How do you choose the Best Product Management Strategy?
Product management strategy
Your product management strategy should not be one that concentrates on many efforts, costs, and time.
It should be simple with a clear roadmap that shows what to do, by whom, and at what time.
Developing a product management strategy is not simple.
You should treat each product differently and design a perfect fit design that meets the ultimate objective of developing the product.
Here are some tips to help you choose the best product management strategy:
· Customer Needs First
Your product management strategy should put the needs of your target customers first.
In doing this, you should do proper research through surveys and conducting questionnaires to determine what customers need.
· Understanding the Problems
Your strategy should address customers’ needs and provide them an immediate solution.
From the onset, you need to understand the particular problem your customers face.
After that, your customers must be willing to pay for a solution to their problem.
· Define your Product Vision
Before embarking on product development, you need to have a clear vision of where you want the product to be in a particular period.
A vision motivates you to keep going, while a strategy is a roadmap to achieving the vision.
All your employees should understand the company’s vision and the strategy in place to achieve them.
· Define Success Metrics
Your product management strategy cannot be complete if it lacks the means to measure success.
You can measure success based on achieved objectives and goals.
Success helps your company track progress and determines if you need to keep going or realign your strategies.
A good product management strategy makes you focus on the final goal.
his is delivering the right product with the right features to the right consumer.
What Comprises a Great Product Management Team?
A product management team forms the brain-work behind the strategy’s implementation.
It creates a roadmap and defines the product features.
Great teams build great products, and in doing so, your company’s overall morale can improve significantly, leading to success.
Product management team
It is not easy to have the dream team every employee would desire.
However, with coordination, trust, and training, you can have one of your perfect dedicated and focused teams to ensure your business’s prosperity.
Such a great team should:
· Have a Shared Vision
In the beginning, you should be able to communicate the company’s vision to the team.
This team should master, understand, and strive towards meeting this vision.
In the long run, all team members should identify themselves to the vision and work harmoniously to achieve its objectives.
· Proper Communication
Your company should have a precise communication method informing the team members of what you expect of them at all times.
Proper communication allows you to discover hidden talents and contributions that your team members can bring on board.
Your team members should value the contribution of others and not belittle them in any manner.
Trust in a project management team ensures harmony and improved outputs.
In the course of working together, your team can face numerous problems.
They should understand that unity is key to solving problems and minimize risk in times of distress.
Problem-solving in a team involves putting personal differences aside and working in unison.
Your project management team consists of humans.
The team should understand that at one particular time, one of them may need help.
Your team members should rise beyond their employment mandate to help each other, customers, or the society the business operates in.
How do you Organize your Product Management Team?
Organizing your product management team entails informing them of what role they are to play and what you expect from them.
It begins with deciding the number of team members you want depending on the project’s size, recruiting costs, and timelines.
You can organize your product management team through:
- Encouraging your team to be entrepreneurs
- Focusing on the right skills and not the right
- Setting the right chain of information reporting
- Hire product managers, not owners
Your product management team must be dedicated, goal-oriented, and, most of all, conscious of your vision.
What is Enterprise Transformation?
Enterprise transformation refers to the radical changes that your organization has to make to meet the ever-changing customer needs.
The transformation goes beyond implementing new ideas.
It involves rethinking how you can serve customers better by being closer to them in every aspect.
What are the Three Components of Enterprise Transformation?
The need to meet customer’s expectations and retain your business’s existence will drive the process of enterprise transformation.
These components determine the direction in which your business will take during transformation.
· Digital Transformation
Your business will invest in having proper technology and processes to facilitate customers’ requirements.
· Data Transformation
Data is critical when it comes to analysis and problem-solving.
Enterprise transformation relies heavily on available information.
· Solutions Transformation
You should be able to provide the ultimate options for your customers when a new problem arises.
This will include your distribution, pricing, and feedback assessments to help address your customers’ needs.
How does Enterprise Transformation Benefit your Business?
Competition is a common phenomenon, and eluding it means quitting.
Nevertheless, there is no business entirely composed to handle these changes.
All you need to do is adapt to each change, roll your sleeves, and keep going no matter what happens.
Enterprise transformation helps you reinvent your business objectives and work together with your product management team to meet customers’ needs.
Enterprise transformation also offers your business an opportunity to exist in the future.
By adopting new technologies, you become relevant in the global competition and assure your customers continued supply.
What is the Role of Product Management in Enterprise Transformation?
When it comes to enterprise transformation, product management helps you assess customer needs, market trends, and costs incurred.
Product management focuses on the long-term needs of the customers.
This way, your enterprise can transform strategically, having customers’ needs incorporated into the bigger picture.
With this in mind, product management advises on an appropriate enterprise transformation strategy to ensure minimum costs and maximum sales.
What is Product Positioning?
The primary purpose of your business is to deliver goods to the final consumers where they need it.
To achieve this, you should adequately communicate your product’s values and solve the customer’s needs.
Product positioning is a marketing strategy that presents the benefits of your product to specific target customers.
It clearly defines what makes your product superior to other comparable options on the market.
How should you price your products?
When it comes to pricing a new product, nobody can claim to be a pro.
We all get stuck at some point. You should note that the pricing of your product determines nearly every operation in your business.
So don’t be in a hurry or worried because pricing is not a one-time thing.
You can change your prices at any time.
If you want to set a price for your product, you can follow the steps below:
· Add Up Individual Product’s Variable Costs
Start by knowing the exact costs you incur in producing or buying your product.
Buying for reselling is straightforward since the cost will be the purchase price plus transportation costs.
However, suppose you are manufacturing the product.
In that case, your variable costs will include costs of raw materials per product, costs of shipping, packaging, promotion, among others.
· Add a Profit Margin
After adding all the variable costs, it is now time to add the profit you expect.
You can decide to add profits based on time spent or profits in a given production period.
Beware not to add too much profit as you want your products to maintain a competitive market price.
· Fixed Costs
In pricing your products, you should not forget to include other fixed costs that you must incur regardless of the number of units you sell.
You can price after calculating the fixed costs and determining the number of commodities you have to sell to offset these costs.
What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Product Management?
Inbound product management focuses on understanding what the product needs to be.
It involves understanding market needs and your business position to meet them.
Also, it defines the product strategy to meet the needs and documentation requirements.
Outbound product management, on the other hand, ensures that the product reaches the market and succeeds.
It involves familiarizing your marketing team with the product and supporting the team by focusing on multi-customer activities.
How does Product Positioning Benefit your Business?
With proper product positioning, your business can benefit in the following ways.
· The Successful Introduction of a New Product
By pointing out your product’s strengths and benefits, you can quickly gain entry into the market.
· Win Interest and Attention of Consumers
Product positioning can capture potential consumers’ attention.
It helps pin issues that affect the consumers and how the product will attend to them.
· Communicating New Product Features Added Later on
Product development arises from research and changes every day.
Product positioning can help you communicate these new features to your customers.
· Match Competition
The truth is business competition is inevitable.
However, the competition should be healthy for your business as it keeps you on your toes.
Proper product positioning gives you the upper hand ahead of your competitors.
What are the Different Types of International Product Positioning?
There are different strategies that you employ to position your products in the international market.
You can base your strategies on the following elements.
You can position your products in contrast with those of other producers.
This way, consumers can decide to settle on buying a superior product based on the comparison.
International product positioning can be challenging due to perception from consumers based on the country of origin.
· Application and Use
The use of a product can differ from country to country.
A product can have completely different uses in one country compared to another country.
This strategy enables you to communicate to users why they should choose your product for particular applications.
· Price-quality Comparison
You can also base your product positioning on the price-quantity comparison.
Here, highly-priced products can be said to have higher quality and value than other alternatives.
This strategy can be beneficial if you deal in high-end goods.
However, this may not work in the international market, given some countries’ association with high-end products.
· Product User
This is another approach to take when positioning products.
You can base your strategy on the specific or representative consumer.
This way, you make customers understand the particular benefits they can enjoy if they use/consume your products.
Whatever approach you choose to take, ensure that it communicates your message to the market clearly.
You can even combine two or more of the strategies above when positioning your products.
In this case, be careful not to deviate from the mission. Combining positioning strategies should be done carefully to avoid confusion.
Does Product Management Assist in Global Product Positioning?
Global positioning is complex and requires exemplary skills relating to the needs of the ultimate consumers.
So yes, product management is crucial when it comes to global product positioning.
You must understand your customer problems and offer them solutions.
This way, they will buy the product that you are offering.
What are the International Product Management Best Practices?
The following best practices can make your product management effective in the international marketplace.
· Understanding Customers Need
The happiness of your customers is essential.
You need to find out their needs and expectations and provide a product solution that can satisfy them in the best ways possible.
· Market Analysis
You need to determine whether your product will succeed or fail.
This involves doing a weakness-risk analysis to determine what probability you have of succeeding and failing.
· Form a Strategy
Your chances of thriving in the market entirely depend on useful frameworks.
These should focus on both the long-term and short-term objectives of your business.
· Grasping your Company’s Objectives
Your company aims at achieving some goals after a specific period.
The objectives define what success means, allowing you to focus on customers’ needs in conjunction with your own business needs.
· Run Short Feedback Surveys
Learning from peers, customers, and employees within the business provide you with the necessary knowledge on market demands.
Other practices that can ensure the success of product management are;
- Not being afraid to make changes
- Speed in evaluating and implementing ideas
- Commitment to the product vision and mission
- Hiring the right team
Who is a Product Manager?
A product manager is a leader in the product management process.
The product manager analyses customer requirements to decide what product to produce assembles a team and defines the scope of success.
Do you need a Product Manager for your International Trade Business?
Yes, you do.
A product manager knows the needs of customers and represents their interests during product development.
Moreover, a product manager generates product ideas, implements them, launches the products, and presents them to customers.
A product manager has the following roles:
- Strategy formulation
- Execution of the strategy
- Market analysis
- Lead the product management team
How do you Find a Reliable Product Manager?
When it comes to recruiting and hiring a product manager, you should only consider the best.
Here are some insights to help you decide on the best product manager.
· Ability to Solve Problems
A good manager goes out of his comfort zone to propose a solution when a problem arises.
In determining the ability to solve problems, you can allow prospective candidates to sell themselves instead of proposing technical questions.
· Great Communication Skills
Even if your prospective candidate ticks all other qualifications, drop them if they cannot communicate effectively.
A product manager should assign tasks, file reports, and communicate appropriately with product team members.
· Leadership Skills
Natural leadership is vital when choosing a product manager.
In many cases, other members of the team may be highly qualified than the product manager.
The product manager must handle all the other members without fear of education or experience to coordinate and deliver.
Other essential traits that define a reliable product manager include;
In many cases, your product manager will communicate the values of the product to interested parties.
As such, you should have a product manager fixated on delivering customers’ demands while keeping the company’s objectives in mind.
At BanSar, we can help you with all your product management strategies.
Contact us now for any inquiries or questions on product management.