Meet Sam, Pacon's Associate Product Manager for Educational Aids. Sam manages a wide range of products, including ruled papers, office papers, presentation boards, dry erase items and our classroom organization and storage solutions.
Q: How long have you been a product manager at Pacon?
A: I’ve been a product manager at Pacon since March 2017.
Q: What are some of your day-to-day duties?
A: I’m always following market trends to see if there are any unmet needs that we can fill, so I look at anything we can introduce as line extensions to what we currently offer, or as completely new items that fit within our areas of expertise. I also keep an eye on what our competitors are doing, and what consumers are saying about our products to make sure we address any concerns and understand areas for improvement. Basically, I make sure we’re always on top of what’s happening in the market, and work to provide solutions to our customers' challenges.
Q: What is your favorite product that you manage?
A: My favorite product that I manage would be our classroom storage and organization category, or what most people would know as our Classroom Keepers® line.
Q: What is your favorite Pacon product overall?
A: I think we have so many interesting products, but one that I think is really neat is our Mind Sparks® line of educational games.
Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
A: Being able to provide and develop products that help make learning more fun and effective for students, and help make teachers’ lives easier in the classroom
Q: What new product are you most excited about this year?
A: Our new Dual Ruled Composition Books that were introduced earlier this year are a unique product that nobody else has, and, I think, could really provide a helpful note-taking tool for students. These books let students take traditional notes on the right-hand pages, but they have a grid-ruling on the left-hand pages that lets them draw graphs or illustrations to support their notes.
Q: What do you look for when developing a new product?
A: I look for any opportunity we have that can help make life easier for classroom teachers, and assist in helping students learn more effectively. I follow educators through social media to understand what they’re currently doing in their classrooms, and if there’s any “DIY” solution that they’ve turned to because there isn’t something readily available to meet their needs. Some big trends we’re following right now are how we can make products that tie into STEM/STEAM education, as well as flexible classrooms.
Q: Do you have any new product launches planned? Can you tell us anything about them?
A: One product launch we have planned is a product that would be great for students in grades K-5 to use for core concept journaling. I’ve seen instances where teachers are taking a product that we already make, and modifying it to fit students’ needs, so why not just create this solution for them and save them time and energy that they could spend on more important things? We’re also looking at products to fit in classroom environments that use flexible seating and allows students to learn their best regardless of what seating option they choose in the classroom.