of your product. This canbe crucial to its success.
Use in-house or external designers and getthem to sign confidentiality agreements if necessary.
Pencil in a
When should the product be ready? If it isdelayed, how will that affect pricing, salesvolumes and profitability?Unless you and a competitor are racing tolaunch similar products, hitting a particularlaunch deadline may not be vital.
Plan to launch a pilot version of the productwith a few favoured customers, to identifyand sort out the inevitable problems beforethe main launch. This also helps you build up your orderbook before the launch.
If you need any approvals or certification(eg for any electrical product), book theproduct tests. Ask if the approvals bodycan also test your prototype to identify anyproblems early on.
Decide on the likely
for theproduct. Based on this, work out what yourmaximum unit cost of production can be.
Many new products are based on achievingcost reduction. The aim is to provide thesame quality of product at a lower priceand with better profit margins.
Other products rely on superior design ortechnology to win market share, and canbe priced at a premium.But you still need to build to a price, toavoid pricing your product out of themarket.
and delivery demands.
How many will you make and sell eachmonth? What will typical order sizes be?How quickly will customers need delivery?
If you will sell the new product in volume,it is important to achieve a low unit cost of production. To do this, you may have toinvest heavily in the development stage.
4 Your team
Hand pick your team to suit the project.
Every new product needs a
to lead the team. This individual should regard the product ashis or her ‘baby’.
Without such a champion, the project willlack the passion and perseverance neededto overcome the inevitable setbacks.
Give the team leader the authority to runthe project (within an agreed budget andtimetable), without continual interference.
Create a team with all the
needed tomake the project a success (see
Involving a complete team from the startallows people to work in parallel, reducingthe overall development lead time.Without this approach, problems canremain hidden until late in the day.
Involve key customers, if appropriate.
Involve any suppliers that will provide keycomponents of the product.
Make sure all the team members areagreed about the main
, whichare based on the basic spec (see
Be prepared for
and keep theteam motivated.
If anyone is unco-operative or has a ‘can’tdo’ attitude, this will have a corrosiveinfluence on the rest of the team. Avoidincluding such a person in the first place.
Most projects go through a honeymoonperiod, while you are generating ideas.Putting these ideas into practice can be a
Develop manufacturing plans at the sametime as developing a new product design.
Test proposed designs to see if they canbe manufactured
Design new products with an eye to
the number of components.
Try to reduce the complexity of assembly.
wherever possible,so they are inexpensive and easy tosource.
Standardisation is especially important if production volumes will be low.
Consider using parts that you alreadyuse in existing products.
Avoid reinventing the wheel. Wherepossible,
buy in components
that canbe sourced at competitive prices. Thiscan slash development costs and leadtimes.