Business of the Backcountry: Product Line Management at

Chase Anderson

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Andy Fletcher with
Andy Fletcher, Head of Owned Brands at

Students who aspire to work in product management had the opportunity to learn from, Andrew Fletcher, who is the head of Owned Brands and Alicia Applegate the product line manager, from ecommerce leader Backcountry. The two industry leaders spoke to students in the Outdoor Product Design and Development program and pulled back the curtain on the role of a product line manager.

Fletcher and Applegate spoke on the opportunities that exist in the design industry for those looking to work as conveners within a company. Product line managers bring various teams together including design, development and sourcing to deliver great products for the customer.

Product line managers are often asked to be time travelers or fortune tellers, trying to decipher trends and market needs as they develop products to release years in the future, as well as someone who can communicate, manage and coordinate with multiple projects that involve various individuals and teams. It’s clear that product line managers are fortune tellers and jugglers considering how they need to multitask.

Students learned that project line managers are responsible for keeping all teams on track in order to deliver good product in a timely manner. In order to do this, managers oversee brand and design concept generation, category strategy, financial planning and creating briefs that inform how designers and developers should work.

Industry collaborations made possible through the Manufacturing and Outdoor Products Support Hub, a partnership between Utah Manufacturing Extension Service and Outdoor Product Design & Development.