Step 6.2

Finalize distribution logistics.

Primary findings

Methods

A plan for getting to market and knowing who approves purchases of such new products is critical early in the project and again downstream. This avoids dead time between then the product is available to order and when the customers start buying it. Understand how customers make purchasing decisions, and know any required demonstration periods and projected conversion rates.
Conclusions drawn from case studies and experience.
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Designing Storage Facilities — storage and warehouse facilities involve processing of raw materials, semi-finished components and finished goods. The tasks include receiving, inspecting, storage, packaging, labeling and shipping. They consider these factors: — Physical similarity — items with similar characteristics are grouped together; — Functional similarity — functionally-related items are grouped together; — Popularity — frequency with which items are stored, accessed or retrieved. — Reserve stock separation — keeping reserve supplies apart form working stock.
Authors experience in industrial engineering, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Industrial Engineering.
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Performance Drivers: One is the Quality of Execution. Eight activities distinguish best from worse performers: 1) Conducting a post-launch review (8.2); 2) Assessment of product's value to business (2.1); 3) Test market or trial sell to a limited set of customers (7.13); 4) Concept testing to determine customer reaction to product and gauging purchase intent before Development begins (4.11); 5) Idea Generation (1.3); 6) Customer tests of products under real-life conditions (6.3); 7) Detailed market study/research or Voice of the Customer (4.3, 4.13); 8) Pre-launch business analysis (7.7, 7.8, 7.9).
A quantitative survey of 105 business units, supported by team's experience in NPD modeling, consultation, application and analysis.
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Tips

Product launches into international markets often schedules sequence of launches into the various markets, because of supply limitations, regulatory differences, and the variation in drivers within each market segment.
Conclusions drawn from case studies and experience.
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Finalize marketing and sales plans.

Primary findings

Carriers

Implement system to facilitate self-education of target market to encourage them to begin to recognize their need for a product.
Case Study
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Utilize other stakeholders to help target market to see their need for a product or service.
Case Study
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Models

Distribution of collaboration during the Trial Production and Market Planning stages was manufacturer involvement (100%), user involvement (0%) and third-party involvement (21%).
Case study of seventeen medical equipment innovations marketed by 13 Dutch firms.
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Methods

Beta testing — A common practice is to extend the beta test beyond the product itself to address support elements such as training and documentation, and the marketing and sales strategies.
Literature review, analysis of twenty-one programs, and four in-depth field investigations.
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Human Factors should be treated as part of the critical path in product design, including usability testing, training of users or sales personnel, writing operating manuals, and writing labels and package inserts.
Medical Device Industry experience.
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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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Market information applied during the commercialization (production) phase of NPD, is shown to be related to product success, when it is used to position the product in the customer's minds within the right market segment.
Survey of 166 firms.
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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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Product positioning is crucial for success. As a product gets closer to launch it may be found to offer no competitive advantage. Therefore it is important for early analysis to focus on product issues such as compatibility and versatility, cost effectiveness and ease of technical service may all differentiate the new offer from existing competitors.
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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Respondents identified eleven areas covered to some degree in product support planning activities, in descending order of companies covering each topic: 1. Installation methods; 2. User Training, 3. Documentation requirements, 4. Preventive maintenance methods, 5. Repair philosophy (e.g., modular diagnostics), 6. Spare parts requirements, 7. Field organization requirements, 8. Technical/application support required, 9. cost of ownership, 10. Service profit, 11. Upgrades.
Survey of 66 companies plus one case study.
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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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Measures

A range of measures for quantitatively measuring customer and product support could be used in combination to generate a more comprehensive evaluation of support requirements at the design stage and during pre-launch planning. These are: 1) Installation — time required; 2) User Training — time required to train to skill level; 3) Maintenance — mean time between and time per maintenance; 4) Repair — failure rate, fault diagnosis time and mean time to repair; 5) Upgrades — time, human resources and materials required.
Survey of 66 companies plus one case study.
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Quality Function Deployment is a tool for bringing the voice of the customer into the NPD process from conceptual design through to manufacturing. A survey also found that QFD was most commonly used to clarify customer requirements and ensure those customer requirements are considered in the product engineering requirements.
Survey of 400 companies.
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Tips

Construct a Critical Path Analysis which specifies a schedule of events and dates with required timing for all production and marketing activities to be completed by launch.
Experiential
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Develop the Communications Mix, including press releases, trade shows, public relations, promotions, media ads and others.
Experiential
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Influencers on new product success or failure are changing, with social media grows in influence. Younger customers are more highly influenced by recommendations by peers, particularly through social networking. Concept and product development must be conducted in tandem to ensure a good product-concept fit, and to avoid costly changes to product features.
Experience as head of new product development and innovation in a corporation.
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Secondary findings

Barriers

Two studies identified the principal causes of new product failure as ineffective product marketing and poor market research.
Source: Hopkins, 1980; Cooper, 1975. In: Zirger, B.J., & Maidique, M.A. (1990)

Tips

Use customer information when planning and managing the launch because the product must be positioned towards the customers' needs while communicating the product solution. A good source for finding customer information is at trade shows.
Source: Di Benedetto (1999), Stryker (1996), Ylinenpaa (1997). In: Frishammar, J. & Ylinenpaa, H. (2007)

Provide product support in field.

Primary findings

Methods

Performance Drivers: One is the Quality of Execution. Eight activities distinguish best from worse performers: 1) Conducting a post-launch review (8.2); 2) Assessment of product's value to business (2.1); 3) Test market or trial sell to a limited set of customers (7.13); 4) Concept testing to determine customer reaction to product and gauging purchase intent before Development begins (4.11); 5) Idea Generation (1.3); 6) Customer tests of products under real-life conditions (6.3); 7) Detailed market study/research or Voice of the Customer (4.3, 4.13); 8) Pre-launch business analysis (7.7, 7.8, 7.9).
A quantitative survey of 105 business units, supported by team's experience in NPD modeling, consultation, application and analysis.
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Techniques for gathering voice of the customer information include: use of customer complaints, internal market research, focus groups, one-to-one interviews, phone interviews, contextual inquiry, customer behavior studies, and perceptual mapping.
Literature review and case studies
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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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Voice of the Customer Information as a Best Practice for the NPD process: 1) Market and buyer behavior studies are a valuable source of information for planning the market launch. 2) Market research as a tool to help define the product. 3) The customer or user ought to be an integral part of the Development process. 4) Identification of customers or users real or un-articulated needs and their problems, is considered fundamental to voice-of-the-customer research, and should be a key input to product design. 5) Working with highly innovative users or customers.
A quantitative survey of 105 business units, supported by team's experience in NPD modeling, consultation, application and analysis.
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Measures

Utilize early sales data following a product launch to predict future performance. Utilize historical sales data for analogous products to assess the diffusion of newly launched products.
Literature Review
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Secondary findings

Methods

The strategic activities which are essential to the successful marketing of complex, technology-based products include product customization, information gathering on product performance, product education and training, ongoing product support.
Source: Athaide et al (1996). In: Goffin, K. (1998)

Measures

Short term financial performance assessment of a new product development project.
Source: Brentani & Kleinschmidt (2004). In: de Weerd-Nederhof, P. C., Visscher, K., Altena, J., & Fisscher, O. A. M. (2008)

To assess the performance of product design, the following measures are often used: quality, time, competency, and costs directly related to profit.
Source: Ulrich & Eppinger, 2000; Wheelwright & Clark, 1992. In: Meybodi, M.Z. (2003)

Tips

Use the Internet to assist with customer and product support. Train salespeople and provide them answers to product questions online.
Source: The Baan Company: Case Study (2002), FileNew Corp: Case Study (2002), Tompkins Group: Case Study (2002). In: Ozer, M. (2003)

When conducing evaluations, keep in mind that customers are likely to retain or switch suppliers on the basis of service (55%), quality (7%), or price (7%).
Source: Forum Corporation, 1988. In: Datar, S., Jordan, C.C., Kekre, S., Rajiv, S. & Srinivasan, K. (1997)