5 Min

A day in the life of a product manager at SMS digital

The metals industry is a dynamic sector that is continually evolving, one where you need innovative and technologically advanced solutions to stay ahead of the curve. Consequently, intelligent production planning systems are indispensable tools when it comes to creating more efficient production processes that improve sustainability and save resources – especially at a time of great upheaval when entire industries are faced with the challenge of drastically reducing their share of global CO2 emissions.

Companies that have made digitalization part of their processes are a big step ahead of their competitors: green steel can already be produced right now. Using digital solutions in combination with renewable energy sources such as hydrogen can reduce carbon emissions by 100% and ensure that resources are utilized with maximum efficiency. To develop such smart solutions, you need smart people. At SMS, we combine digital expertise with technical know-how.

Let's take a closer look at the everyday life and challenges of a product manager who helps to develop our production planning solution further. 

Marvin Faust, Product Manager at SMS digital

Marvin is a product manager in our Technology & Products team and takes care of the strategic product management of our production planning solution. He is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of our production planning software to meet clients' needs in the metals industry. Working closely with developers, engineers, and designers, Marvin ensures that our software solutions are intuitive, easy to use, and meet the industry's specific demands.

What is the biggest challenge you currently face?

At the moment, the biggest challenge for me is evaluating the different and varied requirements for a new product and prioritizing them in the planning for the roadmap. In addition to managing the different stakeholders, we also have to deal with the needs of our project team. Therefore, it is always important to consider different perspectives and information as well as make the right decisions together with the other product managers and product owners, so that we can provide a future-proof setup for the market. 

How do you develop an innovative product? Where do you get your ideas?

Another essential skill for a product manager in the metals industry is an in-depth understanding of the industry itself. You need to be familiar with the various processes and technologies used in the production of metals, as well as with the challenges and opportunities the industry faces. This knowledge allows you to create customized software solutions that meet our clients' needs and help them stay ahead of the competition.

At the same time, you need to be constantly aware of emerging technologies and trends in the field. This requires a keen eye for innovation and a willingness to take risks to create new and innovative solutions that can help our clients to achieve their goals.

How helpful is cooperating with the customer?

Collaboration with the customer is essential for us. Identifying the customer's requirements at an early stage, understanding them, taking them into consideration when planning the roadmap, and ultimately fulfilling them with our products is the central component of product management for us. After all, our primary goal is to speak the "language of the industry" and, as a leading partner, to develop solutions together with our customers that facilitate their daily work and increase their efficiency and productive output. To take account of the customer as a key factor in the development of our products, we established our "design driven approach," which allows us to conceptualize and test our software from the user's perspective.

How long does it take to bring a product from idea to market maturity?

The period from initial idea to market maturity depends on many factors, so the conception and development phases can take more or less time depending on the complexity and scope of our products. It usually takes between 1½ and 2 years to evaluate, elaborate and conceptualize our ideas and develop innovative products and solutions.

What do you like most about your job?

Being at the forefront of such an exciting and challenging field and supporting companies in getting closer to production efficiency is what drives me. One of the key skills that you need as a product manager is the ability to understand the needs of your clients and to translate those needs into a clear and concise set of requirements for your development team.

What are the requirements for the job?

If you are interested in becoming a product manager in the metals industry, there are several key qualifications that you should have. These include a degree in computer science or related field, as well as experience in product management or software development. You should also have excellent communication skills, the ability to work well in a team environment, and a good understanding of the demands and challenges of the metals industry.

A career as a product manager in the metals industry is an exciting and challenging opportunity. If you have a passion for innovation, an in-depth understanding of the industry, and the ability to communicate effectively with clients and development teams, then this may well be an exciting career choice for you.

Sounds good?

Why not take the first step today and start exploring the possibilities of a career in this dynamic and rewarding field? Check out our job vacancies here.

Alice Idem
Communications Manager
SMS digital GmbH