New Product Launch Management Software
Managing product development for private label and branded food and drink products is a time consuming and stressful process. With complex stage gate processes, multiple internal and external participants, tight timescales and limited resources it is a source of stress for all involved. Mistakes can be very expensive and products launched often do not achieve the expected results.
Successful new product launches are key in a company’s plans to continue growing at a sustainable rate but also increasing profitability.
But with new product development being such an important part of a business and its success why are failure rates for new food and drinks products reaching highs of 80%?
Many of us know how the development of new products can quickly get complicated resulting in unexpected delays or costs – and with the never ending changes in customer demands and the less than stable economic conditions in recent times coupled with the new product development process it becomes a little clearer as to why the failure rate is so high.
When developing a new product there is so much to consider at each stage of the process.
Below is a quick example of what may take place at each stage of the product development process, and when done in a real life scenario this can quickly become even more complex:
Discussion around feasibility and opportunity of the new product takes place. This discussion usually includes the following parties; Customer, Commercial, NPD and Site with commercial leading this stage.
This is where it will be decided if it is feasible for the new product to be developed.Taking into consideration costs, time constraints and overall benefit to the company/customer.
This stage encourages the decision of if this should be progressed further or stopped, if it is decided to progress further a brief is created.
The develop stage, lead by NPD is where product concepts are developed to meet the brief created in the scoping stage along with the cost of how much this would take to create.
All parties (Customer, Commercial, NPD, Technical, Site and Supply Chain are responsible for reviewing the product concept, and any further processes will be discussed and agreed with all parties before moving on to the next stage.
The validation stage, again lead by NPD but including all parties (Customer, Commercial, NPD, Technical, Site and Supply Chain) aims to ensure an easy and smooth handover from the development stage to start producing the concepts in factory trails.
Planned processes will be validated to check for any potentials issues. This will confirm the factory process and allow the business to identify the cost of the product and its shelf life.
Once this has been done the product specification and artwork can be created ready for the launch stage.
The launch stage is lead by the site team , but also involves all other parties (Customer, Commercial, NPD, Technical and Supply Chain).
It aims to simulate the product launch through pre-production and will be able to capture any immediate concerns that may not have been considered in the previous stages but have come to light now.
After pre-production has taken place all parties will meet for a pre-launch meeting to discuss any last minute concerns they have and ways to resolve them. The final launch will them take place, followed by a post-launch “wash up” ready for the final stage – Review.
The final stage is the review stage, lead by the commercial team but involves all other parties (Customer, NPD, Site, Technical and Supply Chain).
The review stage consists of internal reviews at agreed intervals e.g. 1 week and 4/16 weeks after launch and then a final meeting that consists of internal and customer teams at 12/24 weeks after launch.
This stage ensures that detailed reviews for the product, process and performance are all performed at the correct time/intervals by the correct people and any issues are raised quickly and effectively.
There are also a number of considerations you need to take into account at each stage of the new product development process, below are just a few examples for each stage. Again these can quickly get more complicated in a real development scenario.
What is the new product going to be – Who is going to research this and how long are they going to spend on research, and if they miss their deadline how much is it going to affect the final project deadline (and it’s cost)? If you are receiving briefs from retailers how much input can you have in shaping the brief based on your category knowledge?
Profit margins are under increasing pressure yet demands to launch healthier products, craft products or use more expensive ingredients push up product costs without sufficient increases in selling prices to recover these costs.
Tracking time spent and progress on each area of the project to ensure that everything is running smoothly and there are no delays which could affect the cost of the project is often ad-hoc and there can be a lack of clarity over the total cost of developing a product.
Who is going to be working on what parts of the launch and when should they start and finish this work. Will they have enough time to do everything to the required standard using the agreed processes or will shortcuts be taken that could cause problems?
What happens if they fall behind on the work, or even if they finish the work before the deadline, do you have plans in place for these scenarios?
So you have a product concept, you have plans in place for both the costings and personnel resources but now you have to start developing the product so that it meets the brief and wows customers.
Does your development team know when the above steps will be ready and do they also have a clear deadline?
Who is going to be reviewing and signing off the products and when will this be done?
When should your production team expect recipes to complete line trials and pre-production to ensure all products are suitable for production and to finalise assumptions and yield and labour costs for the costings? When should they start ordering in materials and when does live production begin?
You have a new product ready to be advertised and sold to customers, but when should your marketing team start their advertising campaigns, are they aware of any delays earlier in the new product development process?
It would be costly for them to start advertising a product that is delayed in the design and production stages.
So as you can see, without a dedicated product development management software in place, your product development plan can soon fall apart due to unforeseen delays as you will not be able to quickly re-plan/adjust your project’s timeline.
Post Launch Review
Having launched the product you need to conduct a detailed post-launch review to validate all assumptions made in the development process and identity improvements to be incorporated into future developments.
QADEX have the solution
QADEX have built a new product launch management tool that will enable step change improvement in new product development from concept through to post-launch review.
Our robust product development tracking software will enable you to track your project through every stage from concept to post-launch review – enabling you to forecast and plan time and re-plan based on any delays that occur (no need to manually update never-ending and confusing spreadsheets anymore).
You may be surprised with how soon the QADEX New Product Launch Management Module can help your business.
The QADEX New Product Launch Management Module has an amazing range of features and benefits for food manufacturers.
Below are just a few of the features this module has and the benefits it will bring to your business:
- Create your own templates for your unique Stage & Gate launch pathways
- Set dependencies to visualise the critical path
- Assign resources (colleagues, suppliers, design, artwork, customers) to your tasks
- Online forms (or your own documents) for collecting feedback from all stages
- Task and project completion visible
- Business-wide automated launch management
- All communications automated
- Your own dedicated task and workflow management tool
- Aligned to your Stage & Gate product launch pathway
- Structured, auditable pathway with forms and document visibility
- Project visibility and tracking of progress
- Launch planning is structured, visible and manageable
- Launches go to plan
As you can see this module will help you create a structured, visible and manageable product launch plan from concept all the way through to post launch review regardless of its complexity and allow you to consistently track and manage its progress.
If you would like to find out more about how our New product development software can help your business please click the button below: