As I've indicated in other posts, I understand the importance of strategy and planning. In particular, the importance of having the right tools to manage development and easily communicate updates. These tools serve as a common language for cross-functional teams (domestic and abroad) to use to insure everyone is on the same "page" and a clear mutuality of goals have been established.
These tools can serve as a database; help in creating timelines for development and production; keep a record of changes which occur in the development process; provide costing information; as well as provide reporting across teams and to upper management. We can't do our job without these tools or at the very least our "best" job is hampered without the use and management of various development and production tools (Excel, PDM, PLM, ERP, etc.).
But this post isn't really about all that...take a look at strategy and planning for more about how I've used these tools to manage various functions in the product development process.
The purpose of this post is to highlight my sales presentation skills. A couple of years back, I had an opportunity to interview with a company that builds all sorts of applications to help companies plan and manage their development or production supply chains. The company was looking for a product manager experienced in product life cycle management. An individual who would be able to interface with different fashion organizations to help design product life cycle software that would be responsive to the specific needs of the firms as well as build symbiotic relationships with these companies in order to develop new software or upgrade existing software.
As well as interfacing with potential and current clients, the product manager would also work closely with technical, sales, design, and marketing teams in managing timelines and communicating clearly to teams specific customer needs or requirements.
I was asked to create a sales presentation that would be used to help sell the company's PLM software to potential customers which explained what was PLM and how PLM could potentially be used to improve a company's supply chain planning and ultimately improve margins. The goal of the presentation was to convince fashion companies that the expense and time requirement to implement a PLM system was integral for their organizational structure.
The overall response to the presentation was positive, but the technical team wanted someone with a more technical emphasis. My presentation, in their opinion, was too marketing focused...the position was offered to someone else. Yes, a disappointment...but I love the research and development involved in sales presentations; I enjoy crafting a message based on research that is responsive to the specific customer's needs; shares relevant information; bridges gaps in understanding; creates a bigger picture; and ultimately sell the product. Product that our customer is confident will contribute to the success of their company and reflect the wants or needs of their final consumer.