Lee Shaeffer helps companies design, develop and market their solutions. His expertise includes improving the product lifecycle management and development processes, implementing and improving the product management and product marketing functions, conducting “voice of the customer” campaigns, strategic business and product planning, market segmentation, product management and product/service marketing. Clients range from emerging companies expanding to the next stage in their growth to large organizations needing an infusion of outside expertise in order to meet changing business conditions. As part of his practice, he often takes a hands-on role to supplement internal resources during implementation.
Lee has held senior positions in engineering, marketing and product management at companies ranging from venture capital backed start-ups to Apple Computer, Unisys and Imagery/Eastman Kodak. Mr. Shaeffer also was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he specialized in product/market strategy. A sampling of his experience includes the following:
- Decorative home products manufacturer: established a process for gaining better market feedback and translating the “Voice of the Customer” into products. Established an advisory board consisting of interior decorators and other experts, launched a fast-response market research initiative, developed and am in implementing a process for managing new products from inception through commercialization.
- Battery charger manufacturer: determined competitive landscape, industry channel structure and market segmentation to help vendor reposition itself for the next phase of industry growth.
- Online Recruiting Tools Vendor: managed the product life cycle for a rapid response terabyte database service with advanced search capabilities; grew over threefold to serve over 1 million consumers. Wrote Product Requirements Documents, designed mockups, worked daily with developers and OEM customer. Led product planning, implementation and account management for private-label on-line career sites that typically sold to vertical industry associations. Managed several modules of an enterprise applicant tracking system. Conducted customer interviews, developed detailed specifications, worked with Development on schedule/functionality tradeoffs, performed testing to requirements, generated collateral and training materials.
- Legal and Ethical Compliance Application Vendor: Defined several new products that capture and process information impacting an enterprise’s risk exposure and that result in specific risk mitigation measures to improve a company’s financial and market performance. Worked with client to prepare product launches.
- Document Imaging Vendor: Helped define and launch a “new to the industry” set of applications that enabled company to go public. Conducted in-depth field interviews and secondary research; wrote a comprehensive business plan that included extensive competitive analysis, presented to Board of Directors and obtained approval to invest up to $4 million; worked with the development team to define the initial release of the products; formulated the channel strategy and reseller program; positioned the product family and developed key messages for the press, analysts and prospects.
- Eastman Kodak: Worked with a document imaging subsidiary to identify and prioritize market segments and penetrate the most promising targets, developed channel strategy, orchestrated launch of multiple products position in US and Europe.
- Large Power Utility: Defined and initiated implementation of a product lifecycle management process and product management function for IT department of a >$10 billion electrical utility. Conducted due diligence to determine department’s current state of product lifecycle management; identified new processes and enhancements to current processes that would help client meet objectives (e.g., improve client satisfaction scores); conducted multi-day educational sessions to prospective product managers and other stakeholders.
- Regional Software Industry Association: As part-time interim executive director held profit and loss responsibility. Recruited into the position to refocus the organization. Segmented the market to sharpen the value proposition for each set of constituents and build barriers to competition. Defined and developed products and services to increase value to members and sponsors.
Lee holds a BS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford University. He is currently on the board of the Product Development and Management Association and has served as founding president of its Los Angeles Chapter. He has written numerous articles and contributed a chapter to the “PDMA ToolBook for New Product Development 3”. He also is a frequent speaker and workshop leader on a variety of topics related to product development, the product development process, agile product development, product marketing, market segmentation, and product management.