Once a product is developed, effectively product launch becomes the critical step
to its success. The Product Launch Process must address all the steps necessary to
start volume production, plan and execute marketing activities, develop needed
documentation, train sales and support personnel (internal and external), fill channels,
and prepare to install and support the product. Product Launch activities are described in
more detail in our Product Launch page.
An improved product launch process results in faster time-to-market and time-to-profit.
Activities are better planned and coordinated and more tightly integrated. System data
requirements are better understood, and systems may be better integrated. he result is
better production ramp-up, more effective marketing, a sales force better prepared to
begin selling the new product, and a service and support group better able to service and
support th new product, leading to greater customer acceptance.
We can assist in fine-tuning and improving the product launch process by performing the
- Review current product launch process. Identify needed activities, deliverables
and system requirements (inputs and outputs). Determine organizational
responsibilities and interfaces. Identify issues and goals. Our Product
Development and Best Practices Assessment provides a framework for this
review. Activities covered in our review include:
- Testing, qualification and certification
- Pilot production and process prove-out
- Forecasting and ERP set-up
- Vendor qualification
- Product and service manuals
- Package design
- Marketing and advertising program design and execution
- Market testing
- Sales and distribution planning
- Sales, support and service training
- Spare parts planning and logistics
- Develop improved process. Based on understanding the current process and process goals,
we would work with a team of your people to develop an improved process. The process improvements
would be defined in terms of activities, process outputs or deliverables, responsibilities,
and gate review and design review (e.g., production readiness review, etc.)
requirements. Our PD-Trak tools may
provide an improved means to document and control this process.
- Integrate organization. In addition to identifying and improved process flow
and activity definition, we have found that a common problem is the need
for improved organizational integration within the product team
responsible for development. We would determine responsibilities,
identify organizational impediments, suggest changes, and facilitate
team launch activities.
- Determine system integration requirements. Product data management (PDM) system
tools provide a repository for product data during development. As a product moves into
production, much of this data needs to be made available to Manufacturing and systems
such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Our expertise with PDM and ERP, enables us
to identify how and when data should be established in an ERP system and consider any system
integration opportunities. We can also address opportunities to move from a more limited
PDM system to a broader Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system approach. In addition,
technical data needs to be used to create product documentation, marketing materials,
sales and support training materials with technical publications and authoring systems.
Our working relationship with the Time-to-
Performance Group provides the expertise to evaluate and improve technical and
marketing document management systems.
- Develop plan templates. Based on the revised process and organization approach,
we would develop a standard launch planning approach and planning templates using tools
such as PD-Trak, MS Word and MS Project.
- Deploy improved process and tools. After these improved processes and tools were developed,
we would begin by piloting them on a new product about to be launched.
This approach would prove-out the process and tools, gathering valuable
experience, and identify any issues that need to be addressed or
improved before full deployment. Once the pilot was satisfactorily
completed, we would develop a plan for full deployment, provide required
training, and, if desired, manage the implementation of the new process.
- Develop product launch plans. We can also assist with developing product launch
plans through either facilitating discussions or developing draft plans for review. We
can provide marketing and advertising experts from our associated firms to help in those areas