4 Ways Product Managers Create Impact In Manufacturing Companies

  Sep 19, 2022

Product management is one of the most resourceful skills to master today. With the boundary between a product and a service becoming blurry by the day, every industry and company requires a stable product management team to develop sellable products and run a company that makes profits.

This is the age of Industry 4.0. Breaking away from conventional ways of manufacturing products and goods, we are fast moving towards processes and tools that have increased integrations of technology. Concepts like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), cloud computing, IoT and more are becoming integral parts of the manufacturing sector.

To put things in perspective, Industry 4.0 was valued at around USD 114.55 billion in the year 2021. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.3% to become a USD 337 billion market by the year 2029.

With so much advancement over the last few years, there is a dire need for qualified and competent product managers in manufacturing companies to better streamline processes and workflows – from ideation to manufacturing and ultimately take them to their end users.

The significance of a product manager in this ecosystem is crucial, and if you’ve been wondering about the impact product managers could have on your manufacturing unit, here’s a solid list for you.

4 Ways Product Managers Can Improve Efficiency and Performance in Industries

Product Managers Align Business Goals with Customer Needs
A product exists for a reason: to solve a real-world concern faced by a specific target audience group. Besides, the product should also make its business or organization profitable. A product manager stands at the crux of this, bringing in balance. They ensure customers get a valuable product that puts an end to their concerns and that organizations have a solid product that is sellable and fetches profits.

Product Managers Make Manufacturing Companies Future-proof
When a product is out in the market, two things can happen. Either they solve the problem, or they don’t. The product that solves the problem stays relevant, and what doesn’t quickly bite the dust. Skilled product managers firstly reduce risks associated with product failure, thanks to the efforts put in terms of competitor analysis, market research, MVP development, feasibility study, customer sentiment analysis and more.

Secondly, when a product fails to deliver the intended impact, product managers intervene and bring in changes as feedback for a rebooted rollout. This way, product managers not only reduce expenses associated with manufacturing but make organizations future-proof by letting them seamlessly adapt to market changes and sentiments as well.

Another aspect of future-proofing is making enterprises and units adapt to more powerful technologies. Product managers intend to stay abreast of emerging tech concepts and incorporate them into their workflows. Siemens AG, in 2020, rolled out Teamcenter X Software to integrate and scale its product lifecycle management functions at large. This also enabled teams to develop digital twins of their products.

Product Managers Streamline Processes and Communication Among Teams
A manufacturing company comprises several teams and units that operate in siloes despite them being required to function in tandem with each other. Without a product manager, there would be incredible data loss and a lack of communication. With no visual clarity of contributions of individual teams and siloed operations, there would be no unanimous progress towards organizational goals. Feedback from the customer support team would never reach the R&D team and vice versa, for a simple example. This not just stalls the product but the growth of the organization as well.

Product Managers Are Multicompetent
An engineer or a coder would not be good at understanding sales. A sales associate might not be good at digital marketing tools. An R&D engineer could lack finance or budgeting skills. The point is that many roles in an organisation have limitations in terms of interoperable competencies.

However, only product managers have a solid comprehension of diverse skill sets. This makes them ideal people to handle escalations, translate complex technical glitches to lesser non-technical professionals, and more. Product managers are the inevitable middle people in the entire spectrum, seamlessly donning multiple hats at the drop of one.

To quote Deep Nishar, VP Product, LinkedIn, “A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.”

Product Managers Are Competent At Adapting To Emerging Technologies Fast
Industry 4.0 is all about connected machinery. The Internet Of Things is here to stay and influence every technology it touches. With an increase in the incorporation of IoT in factories and the rise in manufacturing IoT devices, the need for niche sets of skills and competencies is inevitable. That’s where product managers come in as well. As we mentioned, with their ability to quickly adapt to trends, IoT product managers ensure seamlessness in the IoT product development lifecycle.

Final Thoughts
Product management is one of the most resourceful skills to master today. With the boundary between a product and a service becoming blurry by the day, every industry and company requires a stable product management team to develop sellable products and run a company that makes profits.

Product managers are the heart of this; they drive the performance and efficiency of teams in an organization and go beyond their call of duty to ensure a product is in demand in the market.

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