PRODUCT LINE MANAGEMENT: Definition, Examples & How It Works

software product line management organizational structure

Product line management is a field that every company needs to explore for its product brands. Having excellent knowledge of your company’s products helps you determine its growth and how to manage it. Going further, proper product line management gives you an advantage over every other product in the market. This piece focuses on definitions of product line management, software, structures, and how it works.

What Product Line Management is?

Product line management has to do with creating, finding, overseeing, expanding, and exploiting product opportunities. Furthermore, your outcome has to be in a way that benefits your company. A product line is a collection of similar products that are all sold under the same brand name and offer the same business. For example, when a company sells a number of product lines under different brand names, it tries to separate them from one another so that consumers can use them easily. Product line administration as a job can be for a long or short period of time, with chances of both losing and gaining, no matter the product line you are managing. A lot of consumers tend to get things from the same line of products that they are familiar with, so product line management as a whole needs to develop its brand more often for effective use.

Product line management as a whole does not operate on its own, but it does with a lot of other products put together. Most important, is being able to uplift each other’s performance. Historically, product line management has been in existence for some decades now. Interestingly, product line management or line business, as the case may be, has a particularly unique structure that organizations use to enhance flexibility and help achieve goals and objectives. Furthermore, the product line is managed by a product manager. Lastly, product managers usually have a lot of responsibilities to determine whether the product line will be expanded or removed from the line. 

Examples Of A product Line Management Company

  • Pepsico, e.g., Pepsi, Quarker, and Tropicana.
  • Amul e.g. Butter, Dahil and milk
  • Acme corporation e.g. Shampoo, bags, coffee hair wax, hand cream, and face cream.
  • A company operating as a multinational and specializing in breweries products
  • Microsoft Corporation, e.g., Ms. Office, Windows
  • Product lines like Nike, Adidas, and Puma produce sporting goods, apparel, and footwear.

Product Line Importance

Every line of business has an important aspect in itself that makes it unique and different, and product line management, as a business, is not excluded from this. Let’s look at five important benefits of product line management:

  1. A product line helps a company know the value of its products.
  2. It helps to know what products will sell and how to generate revenue from them.
  3. Product line management helps to know the needs of consumers and how to provide for them.
  4. It provides an avenue for customers to express their challenges and give solutions to them concerning a product. 
  5. Product management gives room for various departments to come together and provide ideas the company needs to produce successful products.

Software Product Management

A software product line is a collection of software-intensive systems that have been developed from a common set of core assets. Also, software product line management satisfies the unique requirements of a particular market segment mission. Software product line management is gradually becoming a significant paradigm for software development, enabling businesses to achieve significant improvements.

Furthermore, in terms of market share, price, productivity, and quality, Software product line management can also facilitate quick market entry, flexible response, and capability for mass design. Software product line management helps to build, execute, and manage digital products. It is also product line management that takes a product from the producer market to consumers in order to generate and increase revenue. Software product management is also known as software engineering methods, instruments, and techniques. Again, a software product line is also for forming a number of systems using the same set of software as a means of production.

Product Line Organizational Structure

Product line management has a unique product line organizational structure. A product line organizational structure is a structure that shows details about a company. For example, what they produce and sell. This structure gives a company an advantage over other products in the market. A product line management structure is also a setting in which a business organizes itself into different divisions, each focusing on a different product or service. 

The product line management structure can have different units of managers, supervisors, and workers. Each of these managers, for example, will have a division that consists of different marketing team members or sales teams. On the other hand, a line manager gets to report to the head of the organization the type of product they have, e.g., housewares. Normally, a proper product line management organizational structure includes the following: 

#1. Hierarchical Structure

In product line management, the hierarchical structure is one of the oldest and most famous organizational models. In a hierarchical structure, workers are usually grouped into different categories but have one supervisor. And this grouping is usually done with different formulas, which include that :

  • You ensure that every individual is assigned a particular department based on the specific line of products or services they provide. e.g. human resources, admin, accountant.
  • If a company produces multiple things, it can group the products they produce to make work easier.
  • Product line management companies have their activities according to a geographical area.
  • This is common in large multinational companies but can also suit medium-sized businesses. For example, a group of taxi companies, a small retail chain, or fast food with several branches.

#2. Traditional Structure

In a traditional organizational structure, the setting is different from that of a hierarchical structure, with different groups. A traditional organizational structure consists of people with the same working abilities and skills. Usually, they place them to work together as a team in order to achieve a particular goal and are often responsive to one manager. For example, all players can be in one team and be subject to a coach (manager). In a situation where they are given different football formations to train on, each has a different coaching staff who specializes in these techniques and is still subject to the manager. Furthermore, any report they get goes back to the coach(manager).

#3. Horizontal Structure

The horizontal organizational structure is one of the smallest organizational structures small businesses use. This structure is not functional in big organizations but helps workers make quick decisions. This works well for small companies because the work and effort in a small company are clear. This does not mean that workers don’t have superiors or people to report to. It is just that decision-making power rests with employees, and they are accountable for their decisions.

#4. System Structure

The system or network organizational structure helps to see both inside and outside relationships between managers and top-level management. They are less hierarchical, also more decentralized, and more flexible than other structures.

The reason for the system’s structure is based on social networks. Its structure depends on open communication and trustworthy partners; both inside and out. The network structure is more agile than other structures because it has fewer moving parts. Also more control and a better flow of decision-making. As a matter of fact, the system structure is complex in nature.

 #5. Market-Based Structure

The market-based organizational structure is another method of the divisional organizational structure in which an organization’s divisions are based on markets, industries, or customer types, which includes:

#1. Specialization

Each department concentrates on its own line of products rather than managing multiple product lines under one management, making management more efficient. Also, It enables employees to learn new skills and gain expertise in those specialized areas.

#2. Diversification

This is where a different product line can expand and bring in money for new businesses. Additionally, they can anticipate profit from the other line when the line experiences a loss.

#3. Flexibility

The business gives each division the freedom to manage operations and formulate strategy. Thus, they are quicker and more flexible in their responses to market changes. In addition, it allows companies to bring products to market faster to beat the competition. 


As pointed out earlier, without proper product management, a business has nothing to deliver to the market. Furthermore, this means the quality of your products should be managed appropriately to determine their continued relevance in the marketplace. Finally, the software in use and the structure of your organization will determine the growth and how long your company will last.

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What is product line management?

Product line management is about finding, creating, exploiting, overseeing, and expanding product opportunities and this has to be done in a way that brings profits and gains.

5 Importance of product line management

  1. A product line helps a company know the value of its products.
  2. It helps to know what products will sell and how to generate revenue from them.
  3. Product line management helps to know the needs of consumers and how to provide for them.
  4. It provides an avenue for customers to express their challenges and give solutions to them concerning a product. 
  5. Product management gives room for various departments to come together and provide ideas the company needs to produce successful products.

Types of product line management structures

  1. Market-based structure
  2. Hierarchical structure
  3. Horizontal structure
  4. Traditional structure

Whats another name for product line ?

Synonym for product line: Business line, line of business, line merchandise, line of product.