Every Monday we’d like you to meet someone new around here at JustBats.com. Get to know us a little better! Meet Jim! Jim makes sure we have the newest and hottest products to sell to all of our awesome customers! Here is what makes Jim tick.
1. How long have you worked here at JustBats.com?
A little over 6 years. 2. What is your favorite sport and team? The Royals. Although they have had a few down years (like since I was a kid ) they are still my team. 3. What’s your favorite thing about working at JustBats.com?
My favorite thing about working here: They let me spend money. They feed me. And I get to be around bats and gloves all day. How good can it get! 4. What kind of stuff do you like to do outside of work?
I play a bit of softball on occasion and we travel to scuba dive some. As boring as it sounds, I like to read. 5. Tell us a little bit about what you do here at JustBats.com in the Product Management Department?
I have a group of companies that I keep track of and buy product so we can be the number one provider of bats and gloves for the US market. What I really like to do is pursue the “deal”. 6. How do you stay on top of what products are new and hot items?
You can be sure the vendors will let you know what is the newest and greatest thing on the market, and you can bet it is one of their products. A lot of it is statistical analysis and looking for trends. Rule changes have been a big driver of what has been “hot” in the last couple of years. We have a good group in our Marketing department to help project trends for us also. 7. Any words of advice for people going in to your line of work?
In real estate the mantra is Location, Location, Location. For me it is Organization, Organization, Organization. 8. What’s your favorite memory of working at JustBats.com?
Winning Corporate Challenge and having the All-Star Game in Kansas City in one summer is hard to beat, although wiffle ball games in the D/C before the shelving went in was pretty cool also.
Every month we would like to introduce you to a department at JustBats.com. Each department around here plays a key role in making sure everything runs smoothly and you get your bats in a timely manner, while having a great experience shopping with us. Meet the Product Management team, this department is responsible for getting all of the awesome bats you see on JustBats.com, so now you can finally put a face to JustBats.com!
1. Tell us a little bit about Product Management.
Tradionally, the term product management is used in production environments and refers to a group of people who manage the development of their products, be it software, nuts and bolts, cars, etc… Since we are a retail company the Product Management team is responsible for the purchasing, pricing, maintaining relationships with our vendors, and communicating with everyone at JustBats.com. 2. What kind of responsibilities does each person in Product Management take on everyday?
Like I mentioned above, purchasing is a daily process performed by all but one member of the team. Pricing is also a daily exercise, we strive to offer our customers the best products at the best prices and we check out the market daily to make sure we stay competitive. Kris Gramlich is in charge of making sure the communication happens between the Product Management department and the Marketing, Customer Experience, and Distribution Center teams and he is relaying new product info, ship dates, and any other relevant info. 3. Are there any major challenges you and the Product Management team face daily, weekly or even monthly?
The major challenge we face all the time is keeping everything in stock. We are constantly looking for ways to keep products on the web site when our competition cannot. We have been through multiple classes and training sessions to learn how to become better at this and our currently piecing all of our knowledge together with the goal of having everything but not investing too much money in to inventory. 4. What would you say you look for the most in someone wanting to become a part of the team?
To steal a phrase from one of our consultants, a passionate curiosity. If you want to know more about the supply chain and the strategies we use to keep products on the site, and are willing to put the time in to educate yourself, you are well on your way to being part of the team. 5. We all know with work there has to be some play, tell us about some of the perks of being a part of the PM at JustBats.com.
One of the biggest perks is maintaining the relationships with our vendors. All of the people are awesome and usually old ball players that have tons of stories. We get a ton of opportunities to interact with them. We also get to play some golf, go to multiple sporting events, and travel to quite a few places I would have never been otherwise. 6. What are some of the ways you think JustBats.com and the PM go above and beyond to keep our customers happy?
Like I said before, we have used countless hours and dollars to educate ourselves in supply chain practices. We will use these concepts and our knowledge of the market and our business to make sure that we have the best stock of bats and negotiate the best prices for our customers.