In our earlier work, we have proposed a generic framework for managing collections of related products realized via cloning - both in the case when such products are refactored into a single-copy software product line representation and the case when they are maintained as distinct clones. In this paper, we ground the framework in empirical evidence and exemplify its usefulness. In particular, we systematically analyze three industrial case studies of organizations with cloned product lines and derive the set of basic operators comprising the framework. We discuss options for implementing the operators and benefits of the operator-based view. © 2013 ACM.