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Day In The Life: Product Manager at SMG

Day In The Life: Product Manager at SMG

At a time when supply chains are behind, raw material costs are up, and the market demands continue to persist, Product Managers are faced with more challenges than ever.

We recently sat down with one of our very own to understand the world of Product Management, it's challenges, and what makes it all worth it.


Mike May, Python Covers Product Manager at Suburban Manufacturing Group


Mike May has been with Suburban Manufacturing Group for ten years. Within the last three years, he has taken on the role of Product Manager for the Python Covers Division. Despite owning a fast-paced-high-stress role, his calm demeanor and charming smile make him one of Suburban's best-kept employees.


What brought you to Suburban Manufacturing Group? 

Ten years ago my wife and I knew we wanted to move north of the cities so I began looking for job openings. When I interviewed at Suburban, I could feel the family environment and knew it was a culture fit.


How did you become a Product Manager?  

I received the opportunity for this position after spending seven years in Customer Service. I had the product knowledge, supplier relationships, and experience with our customer base to transition into Product Management.


"Keeping a pulse on the competition is pertinent in the success of our brand."


What does your day-to-day job entail? 

I check in on my new product development projects first thing in the morning, making sure they are on task and troubleshooting any that aren't. For existing products, I monitor the life cycle and work with marketing and sales to make decisions on future iterations, or discontinued versions, of those products. At any given time I'll have three to four active product development projects that require engineering, sales, and marketing to contribute their expertise in designing, building, improving the products -- constantly making changes based on market needs/wants. Keeping a pulse on the competition is also pertinent in the success of our brand.

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What do you most enjoy about your role? 

I love the versatility and ability to develop anything -- especially customer requests that help them succeed in their business.


"We're a small company, we work as a team and everyone's opinion matters."


What do you enjoy about working at Suburban? 

We're a small company, we work as a team and everyone's opinion matters.


How do you see yourself growing with Suburban? 

As we bring on more new products, I will become more knowledgeable in targeted industries. This will give me the ability to know the specific aspects, target market and consumer demands of each industry. The more products I develop, the more understanding I will become of the stake holders requirements and market needs for success. I also look forward to contributing towards the growth of a New Product Development Department.


What golden piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming a Product Manager? 

Be a forward thinker, lead with IMPACT and be confident in your decisions. You are the voice of the customer.


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