Brian Kobler, Product Manager in Tampa, FL, United States
Brian Kobler

Product Manager in Tampa, FL, United States

Member since April 19, 2020
Brian has over a decade of experience building consumer, enterprise, and marketplace products across the education, finance, government, healthcare, nonprofit, supply chain, and travel industries. He's helped companies like Amtrak, Comcast, Lumi, and SpaceX launch products that drive engagement, expand revenue, and lower costs. Brian excels at breaking down complex workflows, designing intuitive user experiences, and leading distributed product development teams.
Brian is now available for hire

Project Highlights

  • Redesigned, developed, and launched Amtrak.com, Amtrak mobile and Amtrak ticketing; increasing revenues by $5 million/year and decreasing employee platform training time by 11 weeks/year.
  • Designed, implemented, and operated agile delivery methods across a distributed team of product managers, designers, and engineers; immediately increasing team throughput and enabling the launch of five products within six months.
  • Designed and implemented a custom work order management system that reduced production inquiries by 60% and supply chain operating expenses by $1,300/week.

Expertise

Education

Select Certifications

Employment

  • Product Management Consultant

    2019 - PRESENT
    Parker
    • Established agile delivery frameworks and operated fully distributed product development teams for healthcare and consumer product startups.
    • Developed product management competency development frameworks and hiring plans for startups and large consulting groups.
    • Delivered agile product development and agile coaching training to cross-functional product teams.
  • Director of Product

    2018 - 2019
    Lumi
    • Designed, built, and managed B2B enterprise software applications spanning customer management, order management, packaging specifications, accounting/billing, and communication/messaging functions at Lumi.
    • Recruited, hired, trained, and managed the product and design teams at Lumi. Successfully expanded the team by 200% (from two to six); yielding an immediate return with five deployed applications within six months.
    • Led a distributed team of ten engineers; managing team sprints and prioritizing all feature design and development schedules for the entire suite of digital products.
  • Product Manager

    2017 - 2018
    SpaceX
    • Designed, built, and managed custom enterprise software applications spanning procurement, supply chain, and quality inspection functions; serving 5,000+ business users at SpaceX.
    • Established agile product development processes and operating cadences between the product development team, internal stakeholders, and business users.
    • Conducted user research, requirements gathering, testing, and training sessions to ensure success.
    • Led a team of two product managers and five engineers; managing team sprints and prioritizing all feature design and development schedules for all supply chain products.
  • Lead Product Manager

    2012 - 2017
    Deloitte Digital
    • Designed, built, and managed digital product portfolios across several Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Client industries included healthcare, travel, non-profit, and government services.
    • Led the growth of Deloitte’s product management team by 630% (from 3 to 22) through the development of new recruiting channels, mentorship programs, internal training, and competency development models.
    • Designed, built, marketed, and launched several digital products from concept to delivery for Deloitte Digital. These products enabled net new sales across several healthcare clients, producing $8+ million in added service revenue over three years.
  • Associate Product Manager

    2010 - 2012
    Comcast
    • Designed user interfaces and web service architecture for CRM, quoting, order management, and product catalog applications. Launched successful releases to 3,000+ enterprise users.
    • Defined business and technical requirements for managing the intake of customer records, the orchestration of task assignments, and the fulfillment of work orders.
    • Designed user interfaces for Comcast Business' customer management and billing portals. Launched successful releases to 8,000+ enterprise customers.

Project History

  • Travel Booking and Management Platform
    Redesigned, developed, and launched Amtrak.com, Amtrak mobile and Amtrak ticketing; increasing revenues by $5 million/year and decreasing employee platform training time by 11 weeks/year.

    Challenge:
    Amtrak was struggling to effectively operate and improve its digital service offerings, which over the years had become a wide array of disconnected digital products. Due to the mismanagement of these products, Amtrak failed to deliver a consistent customer experience and was not able to improve its service offerings due to technical constraints across its product catalog, customer service, and checkout platforms. Disparity across its channels also caused confusion to customers; resulting in more calls to customer service which meant increased operational costs for Amtrak. Additionally, customer service representatives struggled to keep up with the increase in demand due to heavy training requirements and poorly designed internal apps.

    Resolution:
    I oversaw the complete redesign and implementation of all travel management channels including Amtrak.com, Amtrak Mobile, Amtrak Rewards, and Amtrak Customer Service Management and Ticketing. I visited 30+ stations and performed 100+ interviews of customers and employees in order to inform requirements and feature prioritization. I then led a cross-functional team of 15 people through the design and build-out of 30+ features across three platforms within 18 months.

  • Product Development Operational Improvements
    Designed, implemented, and operated agile delivery methods across a distributed team of product managers, designers, and engineers; immediately increasing team throughput and enabling the launch of five products within six months.

    Challenge:
    A growing startup was struggling to scale product development processes across a distributed design and engineering team. This led to inefficient silos of work, mismanaged dependencies, and low throughput across the team. In addition to this, internal stakeholders were frustrated with a lack of transparency across the product development lifecycle and mismanaged requirements; leading to low feature adoption across the organization.

    Resolution:
    I established agile development processes that divided the product organization into scrum teams with independent operating cadences. I then trained the teams on the importance of scoping, tracking, and delivering work within time-boxed cycles of work. I stood up sync/async touchpoints between product and business team members in order to establish open lines of communication regarding business/customer requirements and project status. Overall the new operating cadence enabled the startup to parallelize several tracks of work, allowing for faster product delivery across the organization.

  • Work Order Management Application
    Designed and implemented a custom work order management system that reduced production inquiries by 60% and supply chain operating expenses by $1,300/week.

    Challenge:
    The lack of system-driven workflows for capturing production data throughout order fulfillment led to inefficient processes across the sales, supply chain, and finance departments. Teams were often in a stalemate due to nervousness around the status and margin of every order, as well as their inability to accurately measure and report on team and/or financial performance throughout the lifetime of an order. Additionally, customers were unhappy due to conflicting information regarding order status.

    Resolution:
    I designed and implemented a custom work order system for orchestrating all production team workflows and capturing information required to properly manage the fulfillment of customer orders. This new platform immediately decreased confusion and nervousness related to production costs, schedules, and status across all business areas (sales, customer success, supply chain, and finance) by establishing a source of truth for all production data. Each supply chain team member saved an average of 15 hours/week on data entry and status reporting to other areas of the company. Additionally, customers could now to view production schedules and progress through their dashboards—decreasing production inquiries by 60%.

  • Health Plan M&A Analysis Platform
    Designed, built, and launched an M&A platform that allowed large health plans to analyze and enter new customer markets.

    Challenge:
    Several large health plans were struggling to manage risk adjustments after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. An increase in high-cost patients forced them to quickly find ways to expand into new and more stable markets in order to balance the increase in network usage and customer costs. Given these demands, they needed a way to analyze and identify favorable markets that would complement their current offerings.

    Resolution:
    I designed, built, and launched an M&A analysis platform that aggregated public and private health data consisting of customer demographics, Medicare/Medicaid star ratings, and in/outpatient health facilities across the US. This platform allowed executives at these health plans to drill down into specific markets based on preferred customer characteristics, identify potential partners, and compare new partner products and customers to their current offerings.

  • Hospital On-Call Scheduling Application
    Launched an on-call mobile application at a large hospital; improving team collaboration and schedule management.

    Challenge: A large hospital was struggling to scale their on-call administrative scheduling needs; resulting in over-utilized providers with little transparency into long term schedules and potential coverage opportunities. Additionally, the current on-call schedule was only displayed on white boards within each department and managed by a small administrative team. This analog process was hard to manage, impossible to scale, and caused several bottlenecks while assigning shifts and managing coverage.

    Resolution: I designed and launched a standalone enterprise mobile app using cross-platform technologies that allowed all hospital providers to view their on-call schedules, find and contact on-call providers from other departments, and request coverage swaps from other providers. This mobile app enabled a single source of truth for all department on-call schedules, allowing all teams to move away from white board scheduling and enabling all providers to directly find and contact other providers for help when needed.

  • Health System Network Usage Platform
    Designed and launched a health network analysis platform—enabling large health systems to analyze and reduce network leakage and supporting an increase in affiliate physician revenue by $15 million within two years of launch.

    Challenge:
    A large health system was dealing with heavy network leakage across their affiliated locations, which made it challenging to control costs and manage a consistent plan of care for its customers and control costs across its system. Additionally, this leakage led to lost revenue opportunities across its affiliated locations.

    Resolution:
    I designed and launched a network analysis platform to identify network leakage across a large health system. Data was aggregated between the large health system, Zocdoc, Mayo Clinic, and other market research sources. The platform provided features for identifying provider specialty supply/demand per metropolitan statistical area (MSA) along with measuring average specialty claim values per MSA. This platform enabled this large health system to actively identify and acquire several specialty physician offices in its desired markets, leading to a direct increase in specialty provider revenue and reduction of network leakage.

  • Medical Supplies VMI Application
    Launched a territory and inventory tracking application that cut replenishment cycles and doubled sales revenue.

    Challenge:
    A large medical supplies company was having difficulty managing consistent sales and distribution to small and medium-sized private dental and health practices. Sales managers were not able to easily view and analyze inventory levels for certain products across their territories, which made it difficult to manage replenishment cycles for their customers.

    Resolution:
    I designed and launched a responsive web application that sales managers could use to monitor medical supply inventory levels for all their territories. This dashboard allowed managers to drill into each customer and view inventory levels by SKU, send automated emails for replenishment on low inventory supplies, and view lead times for high-demand items across markets.

  • Parts and Materials Quality Inspection Application
    Launched a source inspection application that decreased receipt processing costs at SpaceX facilities by ~$300,000/year and supplier defect returns by 30%.

    Challenge:
    Certification of flight-grade parts and materials prior to accepting them into inventory was a necessary yet time-consuming task that resulted in a challenging receiving inspection process. Due to the high level of quality control expertise required for each unique part within the SpaceX supply chain; relying on the receiving inspection to catch all potential defects posed a high level of risk to the organization since inspectors we’re incentivized by speed over quality.

    Resolution:
    I designed and implemented an electronic source inspection certification platform that enabled a new team of quality control specialists to inspect parts and materials at the manufacturing source, prior to shipment to SpaceX facilities. This app was integrated with the parts management application to pull all quality control measures for any given part into an inspection checklist; allowing inspectors to sign-off on quality control measures prior to packaging at the manufacturer. Once sign-off was received at the source, parts, and materials then moved through an expedited lane when they were scanned into SpaceX receiving areas.

  • Warehouse Robotics System
    Designed and implemented a warehouse robotics systems that decreased receiving and material processing SLA's by 48 hours and reduced operating costs by $180,000/year.

    Challenge:
    SpaceX was spending hundreds of hours a month managing the receipt of non-flight purchased parts and materials which was inadvertently pulling resources away from the more critical receiving inspection process for flight parts and materials. In addition to this, due to manual inspection procedures and sorting, the average time between arrival at a receiving center to the arrival at the shop resource or employee's desk could be up to 72 hours which continuously delayed production schedules. Because of this, many critical path parts were getting delayed and stuck within the receiving inspection process which caused daily issues regarding the expedition of specific packages directly to specific resource locations on the shop floor.

    Resolution:
    I designed and implemented a robotic conveyance system that removed all manual touchpoints (package scanning, sorting, inspecting, labeling, and routing) within the receiving inspection process. The implementation of this system required machine integrations with a robotic scanner and printing mechanism, as well as integrations with SpaceX’s warehouse management system in order to properly track inventory levels for all received parts and materials.

  • Materials and Packaging Marketplace
    Delivered a B2B marketplace connecting direct to consumer brands and packaging manufacturers. Scaled the platform to 100+ customers and manufacturers, 2,000+ orders, and $600,000+ ARR.

    Challenge:
    Direct-to-consumer brands have struggled to effectively source and manage their product packaging needs. Startup consumer brands require quick and easy access to packaging manufacturers that can quickly integrate new design changes and/or changes in requirements due to shifting consumer demands.

    Resolution:
    I designed and launched a marketplace that connects direct-to-consumer brands to packaging manufacturers. These capabilities included quote requests, bidding, order placement, production tracking, and shipment.

  • B2B Order Entry Application
    Delivered a B2B order entry app for a materials and packaging procurement marketplace which reduced order errors by 30% and increased add-on services revenue by $250,000 within three months of launch.

    Challenge:
    All pre-sale quoting and order requisitions had been traditionally siloed in emails which led to the inconsistent transferal of information and the general inability to monetize added services outside of direct product sales. In addition to this, the current checkout process was never designed to capture the information needed to properly fulfill newer growth and enterprise orders. These issues resulted in missed deliveries, missed payments, and general mismanagement of orders due to the miscommunication of order requirements and payment terms at the time of checkout

    Resolution:
    Informed by customer surveys and user research, I led an effort to redesign the order entry application, effectively combining applicable eCommerce "Add to cart" functionality with enterprise-ready purchase order submission workflows. The new platform allowed enterprise customers to manage multiple packaging "builds" within a single purchase order, prescribe delivery requirements, and design specifications. This new platform also supported a new submission and approval process enabling seamless collaboration between Lumi and their customers.

  • B2B Messaging and Notifications Application
    Delivered a customer messaging platform to facilitate pre-sales service requests resulting in $25,000 net new revenue within three weeks of launch.

    Challenge:
    All pre-sale activities including quoting and work samples had traditionally been discussed within emails which led to the inconsistent transferral of information and limited knowledge sharing across the company. Additionally, this type of request intake withheld Lumi from monetizing/productizing these additional activities as paid client services.

    Resolution:
    I designed and implemented a new customer messaging platform that allowed Lumi to charge new membership fees in exchange for direct access to their packaging experts via the messaging portal. Rather than waiting for revenue from direct product sales, Lumi could now monetize all pre-sales activities through membership fees and add-on services brokered through the messaging portal. This platform included capabilities for inviting team members to projects, attaching documents, requesting help from Lumi team members, and referencing builds/orders. This platform also improved customer satisfaction by allowing all Lumi employees to see previous customer communications. Additionally, this platform enabled Lumi to capture new membership fee’s in exchange for access; resulting in an additional $25,000 of net new revenue within the first three weeks of launch.

  • B2B Quote Request Application
    Designed and implemented an RFQ application for packaging requests—improving response time by 24 hours.

    Challenge:
    Quote requests were currently coming into Lumi from many different channels with a varying degree of information, causing confusion on quoting requirements as well as the prioritization and potential value of each request. Additionally, quote request data was a challenge to manage and reformat for sending to manufacturing partners.

    Resolution:
    I designed and implemented a quote request application by incorporating Lumi’s proprietary packaging specification engine for defining product specifications, price targets, delivery needs, and order volumes. This new quote request app was integrated directly into Lumi’s internal tools, kicking off workflows for the pricing and supply chain teams. Additionally, this workflow allowed for either customers or customer sales reps to enter structured data into a quote form that kicked off pricing activities for the Lumi team. This resulted in a much cleaner quote intake process; decreasing confusion on requirements/specifications and improving customer satisfaction through real-time quote status updates in the customer portal.

  • Reporting, Analytics, and Data Warehousing Platform
    Enabled real-time sales order, production, and financial reporting across all business functions. Identified $180,000 in unpaid invoices (receivables) within two weeks of launch.

    Challenge:
    Order, sale, and invoice reporting was limited and difficult because of a lack of proper tooling and a reliance on a direct snapshot of app production databases. This reliance tightly coupled the reporting needs of the business to the implementation details of the application code which made it difficult to migrate away from legacy database implementations. In addition to this coupling, many statistical calculations were also unavailable for reporting purposes as they were embedded in the application code.

    Resolution:
    I designed and implemented a data pipeline (ETL) process that allowed the team to stage new normalized tables within a separate analytics database that included all current statistical calculations as separate dimensions and measures; now accessible through SQL queries. After establishing a new data warehouse, we then stood up a new web-based reporting tool (Looker) by creating several new “explore” views that joined the new normalized databases in specific ways to answer questions like “How much are clients spending per product category” and “What’s the average order to delivery time per product category.”

  • Donor Management Platform
    Launched a central donor and campaign management platform for United Way Worldwide, enabling global donor reporting capabilities and reducing technology and marketing costs across local chapters.

    Challenge:
    United Way Worldwide (UWW) struggled to mobilize the strength of its network and local chapters while running national campaigns due to a wide variety of systems used across different markets for donor and campaign management. Additionally, this disparity in systems made it difficult for the global organization to properly report operational metrics as well as manage the allocation of resources, tools, and general funding across each Local United Way (LUW).

    Resolution:
    I designed and launched a central donor and campaign management platform that allowed Local United Way chapters to migrate away from siloed donor management systems while providing them with a new suite of tools to customize campaign portals for their local markets using approved materials and collateral from the global marketing team. These tools were a mixture of Salesforce portals and integration points combined into a centralized content management system and accounting system. The result was an improvement of unified content/global messaging across local campaigns, reduction in technology and marketing costs at local chapters, and global reporting capabilities across all markets for United Way Worldwide.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering
    2005 - 2010
    Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA, USA

Certifications

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner
    JANUARY 2016 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance
  • Certified Scrum Master
    JANUARY 2015 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance
  • Leadership Essentials
    JANUARY 2014 - PRESENT
    Harvard Business School Publishing
  • TOGAF 9 Foundation
    JANUARY 2013 - PRESENT
    The Open Group

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