Tackling the world problem as a Product Manager, one story at a time

From world problem, to business use case, to user story.

Image by Haynie C. from Pixabay

Background

Back in 2016, I chose Supply Chain Management as my main focus going forward, I aimed to be a consultant on this field, because I saw the opportunity to apply my knowledge in optimizing the business process of the company that I am in.

“What is Supply Chain Management?”

Supply chain management is a management of goods and service from the source to the end customer. In a nutshell, it involves these chain:

  • Planning
  • Sourcing the product
  • Manufacturing the product
  • Storing the product
  • Distributing the product

“Okay, then how does it correlate with your current job as a PM?”

Honestly, I was always a PM in the heart wherever I work, even when I started my career as a technology consultant back in 2014, I knew that actively listening to clients problem and figure out how to solve that had always been what I’ve wanted to do.

I got an opportunity to implement all of those knowledge as a PM of Supply Chain in Indonesian eCommerce called Blibli.com, specifically in the product distribution part, in which I constantly look for improvement, understand customers concern, and prioritize solution that bring the most impact to our end customer’s delivery experience.

Product Manager vs Real World Problem

Every product team need to constantly be up to date regarding the ever changing world. Even the smallest team in the business will have a significant impact to the customer.

As a PM, I get to choose which world problem I want to address, let’s dive deeper on this.

Delivery Experience

Based on Convey 2019 review, 98% of shoppers will stake their brand loyalty on their delivery experience. A reliability & arrive on time become the most important aspect of customer that orders from eCommerce, much like customers enjoy ordering from Amazon, Walmart, and Target, because the customer knew what to expect.

The survey indicate that there are major delivery needs from customer:

  1. Setting initial expectations by defining strict delivery expectations, as early in the customer journey as the shopping cart.
  2. Following through on brand promises with communication, especially if the delivery goes sideways.

eCommerce wants to tackle the most pressing needs from customer, which is expectation. Customer expect their delivery promised date is met without delay, and if it does, they need to know that so that they can manage their expectation.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Meeting customer promised date is a tipping point for being a trusted brand, especially now.

This year, our world were hit with an unprecedented event, COVID-19. It brought a major disruption to the global supply chain:

  • Sudden reduction in manpower.
  • Inventory build up in warehouses or merchant places.
  • Building & multiple major services closed.
  • Ultimately, delayed package delivery to end customer without knowing why.
Photo by Nick Bolton on Unsplash

Unexpected event as big as this actually have a positive side to it, it skyrocketed the eCommerce industry as people need to rely on online shopping.

We already knew that eCommerce demand increase significantly for the past 5 years, yet the last mile delivery was never in the spotlight until now where the on time delivery is a definite requirement from end customer.

Imagine that during this unprecedented time, customer may have different urgency from eCommerce:

  1. Medical equipment for patients.
  2. Groceries shopping that requires punctual pickup and delivery for it not to be damaged.

So, I believe that the competition change from who had the highest traffic to who had the capability to deliver as promised.

The eCommerce must work with logistic partner to provide high visibility of package delivery, so there won’t be any package left behind, stranded in the logistic no-man’s land.

How do I handle this as a PM?

Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

Being a PM means being in the center of all the action; understanding business, design, and system is a super important aspect of it. There are already a lot of article about what being product managers will entails, you can read some of the article written by my friends here , here , and here!

In my delivery management case, system integration with 3PL (3rd Party Logistic) is the key to unlock the best result for our user/customer, it opens up tons of data flow that are required for business decision. Work with them and liaise what are the key problem that our user are facing, and also what are the current and future business need.

All that while also gain an understanding on how the API between our eCommerce and 3Pls works, so that we can identify the product gap.

Ultimately, make feature backlog and constantly communicate with operation/business development team on the feature priority.

References

straitstimes.com/opinion/online-retail-logistics-must-go-the-extra-mile

If you’re interested in applying for a full-time position or intern, Blibli is currently hiring! Send your resume to recruitment@blibli.com and get the chance to work with our PM and UX team and our own unique stories.

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