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Before any small manufacturer embarks on the product development journey, it is important to ensure their activities are aligned to the objectives of the business. Every product developed or redesigned should clearly contribute to a specific aim of the business, such as a new revenue steam, or reducing costs.
In addition, to maximise the chances of product development success, small manufacturers need to understand the market and commercial environment. Investing some time in basic business analysis, could save considerable amounts later, as well as greatly increase the likelihood of success. Product development is an inherently risky process - shouldn't you be making sure you minimise those risks right from the start?
By asking some fundamental questions, businesses can far better manage these risks. The first thing to do is assemble a cross-functional team. As well as engineering representatives it will require senior managers, sales staff and those who either know your market well, or are in a position to find out. The team need only be small to keep it flexible and readily accessible. However it should be representative of different parts of the business. Here are few starter questions…
Product Development Business Strategy: Consideration before you start...
Business Analysis Questions
Many of the answers to the above will be estimates. The important thing is to consider them upfront, to ensure the direction of your product development activities are aligned to the objectives of your business.
Senior managers will use the answers to the questions above, to assess the viability of the product, as well as check the fit with wider business objectives. Having them on board, or at least partially represented as part of your cross functional team, significantly speeds up the approval process.
Business Strategy and Market Research
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