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What is a Product Coordinator?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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A product coordinator often works in the product management or sales office of a distribution or manufacturing firm. He or she is responsible for all aspects of product life cycle management. The primary task of the product coordinator is to track and manage all the distribution of the product, sales, returns, and consumer interest.

All product launches include a significant amount of paperwork, electronic documents, files, meetings, and plans. The product coordinator is the person who keeps track of these documents, ensures that communication is ongoing to all the relevant parties, and makes sure surprises are limited.

There is no specific training program to become a product coordinator. Many people in this role have completed formal post-secondary education in a related field, such as business administration or management. There are specialized courses available from a wide range of schools on long-term project management, including the importance of administrative processes.

Product coordinators often work closely with the product development and marketing team. Their primary role can be organized into three main tasks: change management, file organization and retrieval, and planning. In addition to these project-focused tasks, many product coordinators are responsible for the operational administration of the unit. This may include ordering supplies and tracking attendance.

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Change management is a large part of any project and is usually the responsibility of the product coordinator. He or she must review the requests, determine the relevance, risks, benefits, and costs associated with the request, and then present this information to the product manager. Any decision must be communicated back to the requester and proper authorization achieved before the change in incorporated into the project. The coordinator must also ensure that all the relevant product details or specifications are changed to reflect this request, and keep a copy of the request on file for further reference.

The product coordinator must ensure that all paper and electronic files are archived and stored properly, complete with cross references. This may seem like a small task, but most products have a multi-year life span and involve thousands of documents. Correctly managing these files is important, as they will be relied upon in a dispute or to determine what was successful or not. A large part of the product coordinator's job is planning. He or she is expected to review the life cycle plans for the product and make sure the required materials and staff are in place to support the product management strategy.

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goldenbears
Post 4

@john1478 - I am also familiar with product coordinators monitoring the safety of company products. My younger sister is a product coordinator for a company that manufactures prescription medicine bottles. Her and her colleagues have to make sure that the products are safe enough so that children cannot easily open them, but simple enough so that the elderly can open them without straining their hands,

She also says that she has to make sure that production is in compliance with state mandated regulations. This, she says, is the worst part of the job. She feels that government regulations and rules force the company to produce in a certain way, even though it might not be the cheapest or most efficient way to do so.

The constant maintenance and review of the production processes and facilities are a hassle, but necessary.

john1478
Post 3

My boyfriend works as a product coordinator for a chemical company. He has been working at his company for over seven years.

In addition to the roles listed in the article, he also said he and the other product coordinators are responsible for testing the safety of his company's products. The chemicals produced are turned into household cleaning products. As you can imagine, it is important that the products are not toxic or harmful to consumers. I assume he really likes his job, because he is always talking about the potential problems he helped to prevent through his everyday duties.

I wonder if the role of product coordinator varies from company to company. I'm sure, at least, that the production processes have some variation in them.

Farah1
Post 2

This article gives a great overview of the duties of a product coordinator, thanks for writing it!

I am new to the full time work force, although I have had a few internships throughout college. I am a full time product coordinator for a children's toy manufacturer. I have not fully adopted to the position yet, but so far so good.

I think one of the most useful classes I took in college was organizational behavior. It allowed me to study how organizations function, and some of the different roles played in business. Having knowledge as to how organizations operate helped me to better define my role as a product coordinator.

However, the best way to learn about a job is to actually do it. Saying this, I feel that there is no education that can compare to real life experience.

Testy
Post 1

I have been a product coordinator for a few years now, and I must say, I enjoy it.

I have always been a person who enjoys working with logistics and organization, and I am thankful that I stumbled upon this job. I was in sales for a while, but I wanted to have a more hands on role on how my company's products were developed and distributed, so I decided to move into product coordination.

The hardest part, for me, about the job, is not managing large files, but managing communication. It is important that all departments are in constant communication with each other. Often times groups will just do something without informing the other groups of the company. Taking the time to be a good communicator will make anyone a successful product coordinator.

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