Step 4.12

Identify product features and specifications in light of production capabilities and component costs.

Primary findings

Secondary findings

Primary findings

Barriers

Platformed products by nature aggregate towards the most prevalent user needs. This may cause smaller groups’ needs to go unaddressed or underserved.
Case study analysis
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Carriers

Face-to-face contact helps overcome documentation constraints that might preclude a laboratory technologist or acquisition development specialist from elaborating about possible impediments, if any, to successful transition.
Interviews with senior personnel.
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Methods

By using templates, the time required for new product development is drastically reduced. At the same time incorporating computer-aided process planning into the system gives the designer a better understanding of the cost implications of the modified design with respect to manufacturing. The major challenge in implementing of such system is that any changes in the manufacturing facility have to be incorporated in the process plans stored. This can be a tedious job but can be overcome by using hybrid process planning approach instead of variant based approach.
Author experience.
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Failure Knowledge Network (FKN) — captures and inter-relates mechanical product quality knowledge from five areas: (i) the connection between failures and product functions, (ii) the relationship between failures and product components, (iii) the correlation between failures and organizations, (iv) the association between failures and product processes, and (v) the conjunction among different failures. FKN information is represented in a four-dimensional matrix that includes components, functions, processes and organization. Each element in the matrix is a failure scenario and represents the related failures within the corresponding dimensions. Conventional factors of failures are embodied in the FKN representation. They include event, detection, effect, severity, solution weight, cause, monitor, reappearance, operation, efficiency and precaution. The indexes of each factor are provided by subject matter experts and are set in accordance with the correlation between corresponding characteristics and failures.
Failure knowledge based decision-making in product quality.
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Involve consumers in reviewing detailed design parameters.
Survey.
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Market Predictability as a category had the highest correlation with product success. It was comprised of the following four statements: 1) The customers needs were well defined; 2) The customer's needs could be readily into product performance specifications; 3) We were completely familiar with the market; 4) We could accurately forecast demand for this product.
A balanced sample of 62 success products and 62 failure products drawn from 31 hi-tech firms, were analyzed via questionnaire and case study interviews.
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Marketing Skills and Resources as a category had the second highest correlation with product success. It was comprised of the following six statements: 1) Our market research skills were at ideal level for this product; 2) Our perceived marketing expertise in this project area was very high; 3) Our marketing skills were at ideal level for this project; 4) Our forecast of the market demand for this product was accurate; 5) There was a close fit between our marketing skills and the needs of this project; 6) Our predictions about customer requirements were accurate.
A balanced sample of 62 success products and 62 failure products drawn from 31 hi-tech firms, were analyzed via questionnaire and case study interviews.
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Organizations should have coherent administrative procedures, including information-gathering systems reviewing new opportunities; flexible capital budgets that extend beyond two years; up-to-date capital budgeting manuals; full time capital budgeting staff; regular reviews of hurdle rates; and a capital appropriation committee to vet projects.
Survey with significant findings.
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Process planning task involves the development of a set of work instructions used for part transformation from its initial to final form. In the proposed system, the process plan module provides detailed information and description of manufacturing processes and machine tools required. The information includes: list of required machines; specific cutting energy for the work material; standard set-up and tear down times; number of tools required; and . cost per hour of operation. A search heuristic is developed for the selection of appropriate process plan. If a process plan is not found in the database, a new process plan will be generated based on the defined design features, dimensions and required tolerance for finished product. The information from the developed process plan is used to calculate the manufacturing time and cost.
Author developed template
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Product Planning should consider characteristics that differentiate successful products including: Product superiority; Market orientation; Product definition; Quality of execution; Organizational structure; Project selection; Product marketing; Role of top management; Reducing time to market; Dividing product development into stages; Picking an attractive market.
Authors experience and as applied to a case study.
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Product quality-related decision-making using the Failure Knowledge Network (FKN) — The first step of the decision-making process is the identification of related failures and characteristics. The second step is determination of the important characteristics of the clusters. Next, there is a comparison between the characteristics of each target. Finally, the interdependent priorities of the characteristics are determined by analyzing dependencies among the targets and characteristics.
Failure knowledge based decision-making in product quality.
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Provide product requirements to suppliers, and obtain feedback from suppliers regarding interface and implementation of the supplied material.
Survey.
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Recognition of technical risks in the project planning stage with a clear discussion of acceptable and unacceptable consequences, can improve methodology in the Development Phase, and the probability of achieving NPD goals.
Conclusions drawn from case studies and experience.
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Sound evaluation methods are needed for new product success, including strategic screenings of new product proposals; utilization of market research; and primary and secondary valuation using a variety of methods such as net present value or Payback.
Survey with significant findings.
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Supply contracts for materials and components should be confirmed early in the validation or testing stage. This is particularly important when product performance or regulatory acceptance testing will require a significant portion of the project's time line and resources.
Conclusions drawn from case studies and experience.
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The user-oriented product development approach is characterized by: a problem analysis of user/use requirements with a starting point in the use situation, leading to the formulation of 'user requirements'; a transformation of these user requirements into measurable engineering requirements;an iterative design where prototypes are tested by users and modified by designers.
Literature review.
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Utilization of market research early in the new product development process, and continuing throughout the entire development phase is critical to ensuring success.
Survey data.
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Value analysis measures the degree of usefulness and the appreciation of the product by customers. The aim of VA is to manufacture a product at the lowest cost, but with the highest degree of all the functions appreciated by the customer and without those functions whose utility is not perceived. Cost evaluation is the object of value engineering (VE). It considers the materials to be used and the work to be done Function by function and component by component.
Experiential. Authors' knowledge.
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Measures

In developing a breakthrough product, a manufacturer should try to adjust the product features, learning easiness, and even the purchase price according to customer patience, learning cost and technology readiness.
Case analysis.
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Potential research questions include: What new capabilities are acquired when a firm changes the way that specifications are developed? How are these new capabilities acquired and integrated into projects?
In-depth interviews of eight firms.
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Prototype web-based system, called WeBID, permitting manufacturers to assess their NPD requirements and match them against a variety of suppliers. The system has application at each stage where suppliers interface.
Case Study. Design and testing of prototype tool for assessing capabilities of various suppliers to identify best match.
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Utilize DELI — a segmentation tool to be used when there are large numbers of product features and levels. Can be used to determine the most appropriate market segments for a product, the most appropriate features for a product, the most appropriate features for each market segment, and to identify relevant competition and their offerings.
DELI as a combination of multi-dimensional scaling, customer segmentation and joint –space mapping. Tested using survey data.
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Tips

Higher levels of sophistication in capital budgeting are associated with new product development success.
Survey with significant findings.
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If operating as a defender, a company who focuses on existing products and stable markets, pay close attention to lowering costs and price in order to improve new product development performance.
Survey. The cost/price driver for NPD performance improvement was found to be significantly greater for defenders than for prospectors.
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If your company's strategy is that of an analyzer, one which makes new concepts or innovations more efficient, consider using design tools such as CAD/CAM (computer aided design/manufacturing) to improve your new product development performance.
Survey. Analyzers were found to significantly make more use of CAD/CAM tools than defenders.
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In what way can the supplier help the buying firm to define the product specifications? First of all by identifying and calculating the importance and technological impact of each specification, estimating the cost linked to it and helping to modify those that contribute to additional costs. Moreover, the supplier can help formulate the specifications so that they: are expressed clearly and comprehensively; are sufficiently precise and rigorous; provide enough information for inspection and quality test purposes; and do not include unnecessary and nonessential features.
Experiential. Authors' knowledge.
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Shared knowledge was clearly valuable on the margin, and the degree of shared knowledge seemed, based on qualitative analysis of the interview data, to be closely related to the intensity of integrating practices such as cross functional meetings, early development of specifications, and participation by boundary spanning individuals. It thus seems more than plausible that integrating practices improved performance by increasing the degree of shared knowledge about problem constraints, thereby reducing the incidence of glitches.
Case Study. Data analysis of company's projects.
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To accelerate the speed of new product development projects, limit the degree of design for manufacturability and reduce reliance on CAD systems.
Survey of 75 new product development projects.
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To better match engineering characteristics of a product with consumer needs, combine the analytical hierarchy process with quality function deployment. Basic steps include systematically gathering consumer needs; performing a pairwise comparison of consumer needs using the eigenvector method; developing relationship ratings between engineering characteristics and consumer needs; developing a modified house of quality; utilizing a normalization procedure to establish correlations; evaluating the modified house of quality to find the weighted priority of engineering characteristics; and evaluating the proportion of engineering characteristics satisfying consumer needs.
Practice.
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When developing a new product that is a variation of an existing product, providing specific quantifiable design costs to the engineers will result in a more cost effective product.
Experimental study. ANOVA results F = 13.82, p < .001.
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Secondary findings

Methods

Addition of evaluation or market simulation step to multidimensional scaling methods.
Source: Albers & Brockhoff, 1985. In: Natter, M. & Mild, A. (2003)

During the definition phase, input data and information about customer preferences and competitive products are used to finalize key specifications of the product such as its target customers, functionality, and features.
Source: Bacon et al. (1994). In: Bhattacharya, S., & Krishnan, V. (1998)

Marketing-R&D interface theory suggests that without the interface between these two functions, marketing knowledge would be underused, potentially resulting in unsuccessful products.
Source: Griffin & Hauser (1992); Gupta, Raj, & Wilemon (1986); Song & Dyer (1995); Song & Parry (1997). In: Li, T. & Calantone, R. J. (1998)

Suppliers can contribute to the NDP process at multiple points in various ways including: 1) Developing specifications; 2) Identifying interchangeable parts; 3) Planning part standardization and simplification; 4) Suggesting part substitution; 5) Excluding parts with known problems.
Source: In: Humphreys, P., Huang, G., Cadden, T. (2005)

The sharing of designing responsibility and the exchange of information concerning the product has enabled the assemblers to improve time, cost, and quality performances.
Source: Clark, K. & Fujimoto, T. (1991). In: De Toni, A., & Nassimbeni, G. (2001)

Tips

Among computer and medical equipment manufacturers, successful new products incorporated greater use of market information in the NPD process, while failed products used less.
Source: Ottum & Moore, 1997. In: Suwannapron, P., Speece, M (2003)

Companies must interact with customers when technology is experiencing rapid change.
Source: Day & Wensley (1988). In: Li, T. & Calantone, R. J. (1998)

Focus on identifying a clear product concept with unique benefits, as well as the quality and cost of production in order to succeed with new product development performance.
Source: Brown & Eisenhardt (1995). In: de Weerd-Nederhof, P. C., Visscher, K., Altena, J., & Fisscher, O. A. M. (2008)

The greater the customer demand, the greater the need for integration of marketing knowledge and R&D knowledge in order to fill the gap between customer requirements and product offerings.
Source: Gupta, Raj & Wilemon (1986). In: Li, T. & Calantone, R. J. (1998)