Is your business ready?
We have worked with many different clients across various sectors and in our experience one of the most important aspects of developing a product is making sure that you or your company are prepared for the process. We specialise in aligning our clients’ ideas with the reality of developing their product/s to market. Some clients come to us with limited knowledge or understanding of developing a product and others are very experienced. We help them by providing strategic design support and guidance of varying degrees. This guide aims to support companies who want to improve their products, innovate and develop their ideas through to manufacture.
Here are our 6 top tips:
- Choose the correct Design Partner/ Professional
- Define your project correctly and align it to the market opportunities
- Understand the detail, costs and stages your project will need to go through
- Ensure your business has adequate resource to support the projects
- Implement a suitable project management system and maintain it
- Balance your project portfolio long term and align to market and business needs
1. Choose the correct Design Partner/ Professional
Not all projects will use an external design partner, although in our experience it can offer invaluable value that can change a company’s culture and success. Choosing the right design partner can add enormous value to your business, get it wrong and it can cost you dearly.
A design company who understands your unique position, works with you and your team, understands your business today and can help plan your future are worth their weight in gold. Of course you need all this and the practical experience to design and deliver a product from an idea to market.
2. Product / Project Definition
LDT Design spend time working with new and existing clients to ensure we have the foundations in place to develop great projects.
It is important before you begin any project that you have researched and understand the following key areas:
The customer and market you are targeting. Your key products and services Competitor activity. You understand your deliverables, outcomes and long term visions for the project.
3. Understand the detail
If you are working with the correct design partner / professional they should be helping you to plan your project carefully and break it down into stages with budget costs attributed to each stage. They will also assist you with implementing a robust specification of work that can be used to measure the project throughout the development cycle.
Product approvals and manufacturing implementation is an area that can be challenging and your design partner / professional should be helping you to plan for this in advance of any design project starting.
4. Business Resource
It is important that any business we work with has a clear New Product Development process set up or is prepared to implement one. We would recommend that a key team / individuals are in place with clear roles and responsibilities defined and aligned to the design partners team.
When a project makes the transition from an idea to a manufactured product there will be lots of interaction between the design partner, internal engineering / purchasing team and manufacturing / approvals. This requires that a robust process and resource be put in place.
5. Project Management
Implement a full project plan with staged sign off points and staged payments.
A project should be risk managed appropriately, what I mean by this is that you need to proactively manage decisions on the design as it progresses. On larger projects regular weekly update calls should be put in place and regular physical design reviews should be set at key stages. We believe face to face meetings are the best way to proceed at certain stages of a project.
6. Portfolio Strategy
It is important to have a strategy in place that cultivates short, medium and long term projects with varying benefits and risks for the business. This balanced approach will ensure the correct projects are developed over a period of time and strategically launched into the business portfolio.
Project selection is really important after all you do not want to be working on several projects that have high risk, new technology and costly/ lengthy approvals before you see a return on investment.
There it is! our 6 top tips for getting your business ready for New Product Development. We hope you find the following comments useful and if you have any questions about developing new products please contact firstname.lastname@example.org on 01904 691476.