Book Reviews / The Journal of Product Innovation Management 18 (2001) 349 –353


with more or fewer resources from sales and service, depending on their value to your organization, can lead to lower operating costs and increased net revenue. Organizations and individuals that already practice customer segmentation or database marketing will find this book very basic. Driving Customer Equity offers a complete framework for listening to your customers and taking actions in order to enhance their long-term revenue stream to your organization. By making business investment decisions based on customer value rather than product profitability, an organization will have a complete product suite to provide more complete solutions to a customer’s problems. The ultimate goal is to drive customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and decrease the cost associated with serving customers. The authors argue that increasing or decreasing an investment in products based solely on product profitability is a bad idea. They argue that customers look to organizations for complete solutions. Therefore, discontinuing the least profitable products may cause customers to leave the organization completely. Product developers need to focus on customer needs and articulate how customers purchase different products to meet their total set of needs, not one discrete need. Both books treat issues that have an impact on product development. The product development organization needs to have a direct ear to the customer. Customer segmentation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) offer techniques to help speed communication internally, ideally from the customer directly to the product development team. Reading between the lines of these books, one could argue that while CRM can enable a sales or service organization, the product development organization should inject itself into any ongoing CRM implementation. The data captured during the usage of a CRM application can have an immediate impact on the product development process. One suggestion is to take the product development methodology and identify the customer inputs. Once these are identified, work with the IT, sales, and service management team to ensure the CRM application explicitly captures the required information. If it is not explicitly addressed during implementation planning, then at minimum have the product development team use the systems and processes in place to engage customers for analyzing real life product applications and usage.

Most well planned CRM implementations can identify the products or services in use by each customer. This customer database should be a valuable source of information as product developers learn how and when to develop new products. These databases are also the usual starting point for the sales force when rolling out new products. Once everyone is reading from the same database, customer needs, product development and sales activities should be tightly coordinated. These books offer great ideas on how to focus your efforts on finding and attracting new customers. The impact on product development is that the organization now has better ‘eyes and ears.’ Better listening skills combined with good product development skills should result in better products that more closely match customer requirements. Michael Jortberg Siebel Systems, Inc

Brief Note Simultaneous Engineering for New Product Development: Manufacturing Applications Jack A. Ribbens; New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000. 332 ϩ xix pages $80.00 This book primarily is intended for “young, inexperienced engineers, designers, and technicians” (page vi). Section I (126 pages) is a shallow overview of the entire new product development (NPD) process that provides this target audience with a possibly helpful but largely superficial orientation to NPD. Section II (105 pages) contains five case study examples (automobile, regional jet aircraft, tracked vehicle, electronic components, and packaging) that will be of specialized utility. Section III (39 pages) contains advanced product design material that is highly technical. The book concludes with checklists and forms, references, and an index (42 pages). In summary, this is a specialized book aimed at a narrow audience and therefore it has limited general value. Milton D. Rosenau, Jr., CMC, FIMC, NPDP Rosenau Consulting Company