July 9, 2012 Leave a comment
New product launches are complicated. Often there are complex information details yet to be determined while also planning for a successful launch. Ambiguity and last minute changes in forecasts, design and marketing content can negatively affect both the product quality and on-time delivery.
While launching a wide variety of new products, I have found the following 5 factors useful in combating the complex challenges inherent in new product launches.
- Communication – it is essential to create an open dialog about the goals of the launch. Understanding topics including commercialization and customization need to be fleshed out, since this will affect costs, manufacturing processes and on-time delivery. Additionally, managing expectations through asking appropriate questions, providing explicit feed back and expressing concerns about how different choices impact launch goals, is necessary.
- Flexibility – launches are dynamic, and flexibility is required to negotiate all the necessary changes involved from concept to completion.
- Scalability – The ability to create and design systems for the many possible configurations of the product’s specifications and quantities is mandatory.
- Detailed Specifications – After negotiating all the change in the planning process, it is absolutely necessary to clarify the final processing specifications. Both establishing and communicating the finalized, written specifications through out the supply chain ensures that a high quality part is created.
- Execution – Coordinating, validating and improvising provides the basis for a successful new product launch.
Instituting these 5 factors doesn’t remove the complexities of a new product launch, but it simplifies the process and helps me and my management team maintain our sanity!
What complexities have been most challenging for you and how did you overcome them?