Product Managers Know That EVERYBODY Must Be Green

by drjim on May 13, 2009

Product Managers Need To Make Their Suppliers Go Green Also

Product Managers Need To Make Their Suppliers Go Green Also

Product mangers who decide to turn their products “green” in order to make less of an environmental impact need to look beyond their own shop. The initial challenge in taking a product green is to get the processes that you control to become more environmentally sensitive. The next step is to look at your suppliers.

How Far Does A Product Manager Have To Look?

Final assembly is what most product mangers are involved in. No matter whether it’s a router or a shrink-wrapped piece of software, generally a   product manager is only responsible for the last few steps. However, innovative product managers know to look farther.

Your suppliers often have an enormous capability to improve your  product’s green image. However, as a product manager you have to convince them to do so. The simplest way to do this is to make it part of the initial supplier selection process.

Getting suppliers to participate will also require a product manager to marshal internal forces. This will include shipping & receiving as well as finance in order to confirm that the supplier has gone green and that any cost changes end up saving the company money in the long run.

That’s Not Waste, That’s A Product!

One green area where a product manager is especailly well-suited to proving help is in determining what to do with the waste that is produced by his / her product. A great example of this can be found at a Subaru plant in Indiana where a wall of water is used to catch paint that misses a car as it is  painted. The paint lands on the racing water, falls to the floor and is then separated from the water and reused.

Going Green IS A Competative Advantage

In the end, the main reason that any Product Manger would go green needs to be because it  provides his / her  product with a competative advantage. This advantage can be gotten in two different ways: cost savings and regulatory advantage. Going green should cut down on waste and scrap, this will directly improve your product’s contribution to the company’s bottom line. Additonally, as global regulations regading waste and recycling become more and more strict, already having a green product is a key advantage.

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