The Business of the Outdoors: Browning Product Management

Chase Anderson

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Students from Utah State University’s Outdoor Product Design & Development (OPDD) program have no shortage of  learning opportunities from leaders in the outdoor industry. Brian Hobert, product manager for Browning, visited students in the Intro to Product Creation class to discuss roles and responsibilities of a Product Line Manager (PLM).

Hobert took the students through the product life cycle to understand how a PLM is involved in the product creation process from concept to store shelf. Students learned that the roles of a PLM not only include the initial product assortment planning, including customer and market research, but supply chain, demand planning, and keeping everything moving on time and within budget.

For students interested in being a part of the product creation process, but who may not feel as design inclined, product management offers a way for students to be involved with product creation, while channeling more analytical skills like creating cost schedules and product timelines.

Hobert described that the  role of a PLM ultimately comes down to being the advocate and voice of the consumer, taking in information from the customer, suppliers, and factories as well as internal stakeholders like design and development, to create a product that ultimately fits the needs and desires of the customer.

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