Great companies are launching new products on a regular basis but not every product launch is a success. A recent survey questioned CEOs about the success of new product introduction, and the resulting numbers were sobering. Findings from the survey reveal that 43% of new products and 41% of refreshed or modified products introduced to the market fail to meet one or more of the key target metrics established in the business case.

The top reasons for product introduction failure will probably not come as a surprise to anyone already engaged in new product development – schedule delays, cost overruns and not right first time (NRFT) product.

Anyone involved in a new product launch environment is likely, at some stage, to face schedule delays and NRFT product quality. The result is customer dissatisfaction, and the impact can range from simply an annoyance to new business hold for potential future opportunities. Factors contributing to schedule delays or NRFT product could be down to tooling, sourced components, equipment delivery or readiness, quality issues, product design freeze…the list is endless. Considering the number of deliverables to manage, it becomes imperative that a robust New Product Introduction (NPI) process is put in place to manage the launch of new products. Results from Industry Forum’s NPI self-assessment show that 63% of respondents have concerns over the effectiveness of their NPI process.

Cost overruns as a result of schedule delays and NRFT product hurt businesses launching new products more than the next customer in the chain. The only mode of recovery for cost overruns is internal improvements and it can be a challenge to implement improvements within the product launch cycle when the customer is looking to ramp up volumes. This often leads to a situation where an organisation has to keep up with customer demand and consequently, incurring additional containment costs, as well as absorbing the cost overruns until improvements are identified and implemented. Organisations striving for zero defects are unlikely to succeed if new products are continuously launched into manufacturing without achieving quality, cost and delivery targets.

What Can You Do to Drive Zero Defects with New Product Launch?

 

Whether it’s a start up or an experienced new product launch team, every launch is different and must be addressed as such. A few steps that may help to drive successful product launches are:

• Critical review of your existing NPI process, practices and skills within implementation teams.
• Identify a “new product launch lead” and team. Map out requirements from each participant in a product launch schedule.
• Determine the time and scale of a new product launch by creating a “baseline” readiness report.
• Create a new product launch plan with definitive and measurable goals.
• Build sales and operational readiness by ensuring that sales and operational teams are trained in new product launch excellence, and have sign off on the product launch date.
• Conduct a post-product launch evaluation to learn lessons for the future by performing a thorough assessment and debrief of actions.

To start your NPI improvement journey, complete your free NPI self-assessment here and one of our experts will provide you with feedback.

– July 2019 authored by Robin Talwar

A Bit More About Robin
Robin Talwar has over 20 years of international experience within the manufacturing sector, working with leading OEMs and cross-sector tier 1 suppliers. He began his career as a Quality Engineer for Honda Car Manufacturing, developing skills in Problem Solving, Kaizen and Quality Circles. Moving in to the role of Supplier Development Engineer at BMW Germany, Robin was involved in NPI activities and application of Core Tools with suppliers. Joining the Greenfield Project Team with Daimler Trucks, Robin led the Supplier Selection and Development activities to achieve a challenging 85% localisation target. Before joining Industry Forum in May 2015 as Principal Consultant in NPI and Lifecycle Management, Robin was Head of Logistics Operations for a brand new car manufacturing plant of Honda Cars in India, where he successfully developed a Japanese 3PL for inbound logistics and milk run operations.

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