What You Need To Know About Product Development Services

The way people do business these days is a far cry from the mid-90’s wherein the process of developing products had a more simplified flow. Not to say that the procedures today have become more complicated, but the changing market demands had prompted businesses to deliver “radical innovation” when they launch a new product into the market. Product development services offer a practical solution to maintaining an in-house team of expert product designers.

The process of bringing a new product into the market requires too many disciplines to work with. Also, it is expensive and resource-demanding to maintain a team of in-house product developer. This is why many businesses simply cannot afford to develop new products or are unable to meet their projected timelines.

The manufacturing world is where outsourcing is most practical. The economies of scale dictate that hiring an external team to perform your development process of new products makes a lot of sense, especially with the developmental challenges, reduced manpower and shorter deadline to beat. Anyone who plans on hiring these professional services must pro-actively identify and manage sources of risks because they have a direct impact to the process. In addition, you must produce your own detailed critical path while remaining flexible enough for any challenges you encounter along the way.

There are six factors that experts have identified as critical to success when hiring a product developer or company to do the product development for you:
1) focus on building superior and high value products,
2) initial product definition,
3) solid research plan,
4) proper execution of marketing functions,
5) research and development, and
6) cross-functional teams.

Here are more tips to consider for higher rate of success with a professional development service:

You need to discuss thoroughly with your outsourced development team about intellectual property. What aspect of the design process are you handing full control over?

It goes without saying that you should evaluate a service provider’s reputation. Do not simply rely on other people’s review but do a background research yourself. Also, you can meet with the development team yourself to better communicate your objectives and for their methodologies to mesh with yours.

Ask for proper documentation on the tasks involved with the project, such as procedures and tools used. This will make it easier to negotiate with the payment and other terms in the future, especially if you received an initial quote from them.

Skill, knowledge, and tools are not enough. The development team must have wide range of experience and preferably at various levels and sizes of development projects. Without enough experience, it is difficult to have a fair assessment of how they will perform.

The success of new products do not end with the product development. A professional product developer must provide you with insight on what goes on after the initial design and the actual development phase. Will you still get the same level of support?

There are also personal measures you can take to maximize product development services. Look at previous product launches and review them thoroughly to see what worked and what didn’t. However, always aim to move forward and think about refreshing your product line. Take out items that are not generating enough revenues to save on the maintenance for these SKUs.

3 Cutting Edge Ingredients Found in the Best Anti Wrinkle Products

Are you sick and tired of all the different ingredients that big brand anti wrinkle skin care products keep including? If each one is so amazing, why does the “miracle” ingredient always change? If you are frustrated with this situation and just want to know what ingredients to look for, then look no further. I’ve been using cutting edge ingredients for years and want to share with you 3 essential ones that should be present in the best anti wrinkle products.

1. Cynergy TK

As far as anti wrinkle skin care goes, this ingredient is about the best I have ever experienced. It contains functional Keratin, which is a protein that acts as a second skin and retains moisture in your cells, giving a smoother, softer, more wrinkle free appearance. Not only that, it is clinically proven to stimulate collagen and elastin growth. These two essential proteins will do more for reducing wrinkles than just about anything else. The best anti wrinkle products definitely must have this ingredient in them!

2. Phytessence Wakame

If Cynergy TK, stimulates collagen and elastin, Phytessence Wakame provides your body with the hyaluronic acid it needs to keep them together. Hyaluronic acid fights bad enzymes in the skin which would otherwise cause sagging skin and a lack of firmness. This also means more wrinkles and tired, faded complexion. Hyaluronic acid is fundamental to anti wrinkle skin care because without it, it doesn’t matter how collagen you produce, you will still look old and wrinkly!

3. Nano-lipobelle H EQ10

Another reason wrinkles appear is due to weakened skin cells. Free radical damage due to oxidation is a big problem because most people simply do not get enough antioxidants in their diet. Nano-lipobelle H EQ10, or Coenzyme Q10 as it is sometimes known, contains powerful antioxidants that will penetrate deep through seven layers of skin to counteract free radical damage and give you a smoother, more even complexion that looks bright, healthy and young. The best anti wrinkle creams will have some form of antioxidant in them, and the best of the bunch is most definitely Coenzyme Q10.

Learn 10 Steps to Make People Reorder Your Product

The basic idea of any business is to make people purchase your product.

Find below 10 easy steps to make people purchase your product.

Choosing a good product – Choose the best product which you are confident about selling. Make sure that the product is of good quality and be confident about the sales which it would generate. Quality products definitely generate sales.

Pricing – The pricing of the product plays a major role in making people purchase it. The price of your product should be lesser than the price offered by your competitors in the market. Only when the prices are competitive, the customers are expected to buy from you.

Gain Trust – People have to trust you before they choose to buy your product. Prove yourself trustworthy. Once you have gained their trust, business will automatically follow. Create a good rapport with your customers.

Customers wants and needs – Make the customers feel good about your product. It should create both want as well as need. If you could make this happen, they will come back to you for more.

Know your product – complete knowledge of your product is necessary. Analyse it along with those of your competitors, get the pros and cons. You should make them believe that your offer is better than the one’s being offered by your competitor.

Clarifying the doubts – One should be well prepared to clarify every doubt raised by the customer in a logical way. Be frank and make them understand in a cordial way. Do not argue with your customers.

Customer Satisfaction – Make the customer feel happy. They should feel that they had made the right choice by buying from you.

After Sales – Do not neglect your customers after sale. Good customer support is essential to bring back more customers. Create a good support team which can handle customers suggestions as well as problems with utmost care.

Related products range – create a line of related products which go along with your product. Once they buy your product, make the customer feel that if they go with the related products, it is beneficial for them. Give them a discount or make it a package if they buy related products.

Remuneration – Along with the product, give each customer a small reward or a gift which they would cherish. They will definitely tell about your product to others and your business grows. If the above steps are kept in mind and executed, people will definitely purchase your product and come for more thereby increasing your sales and profits.

Lean Product Development Process – Using Stage-Gates to Speed the Development Cycle

Abstract

How many products hit the market and are too expensive, too big, don’t have the desired features or take too long to develop?

Lean is a Process Improvement Tool to reduce waste in organizations. Few processes cross over as many different departments in a company as product development. Product development can include hard-goods, software or new services. As the efforts cross marketing, research, engineering, purchasing, operations and sales there are numerous opportunities for the product development effort to stall or reverse direction. This can be due budget problems becoming visible; product definition being rushed and/or the operational problems.

By applying Lean concepts to product development, you can create profitable products faster. However, before you do, you will have to learn that sometimes slower is faster.

The Lean Product Development Process

  • Return on Investment Analysis & Stage-gate
  • Marketing Specification & Stage-gate
  • Concept Design & Stage-gate
  • Design Product or Service & Stage-gate
  • Pilot Manufacturing Run (if applicable) & Stage-gate
  • Field Test & Stage-gate
  • Launch Marketing Plan
  • Review Product Profitability versus Plan

Each stage of the Lean Product Development Process will be explained. However, more important than each individual stage is the concept of the “stage-gate”. A stage-gate is a place in the process that, after everyone signs-off, they cannot go backwards. Initially, stage-gates can seem to slow down the process. Until the department or team downstream of a stage-gate accepts the input to their stage of the process the effort cannot go forward. However, this will actually make the process faster, and much more effective, because it creates accountability and eliminates the possibility of getting a product that is too expensive, slow, large, etc. from getting to the market. Products are designed to sell profitably and launch when scheduled.

The other importance of the stage-gate process is that as product development progresses, it gets more expensive. Final design requires more time and resources than concept design. Pilot manufacturing is a significant expenditure due to tooling requirements. Finally, the launch of the product is most expensive of all stages, as the company will be spending money to market the product and will most likely begin marketing expenditures.

Return on Investment Analysis

This stage is the primary responsibility of the Marketing Team. They will:

  • Understand the need
  • Create the concept
  • Develop sales forecast
  • Identify cost targets
  • Work with Research and/or Development/Engineering to define the product development budget and timeline
  • Present financial return on investment for approval

This initial stage creates the financial case for developing this product or service. By creating the sales forecast based on initial cost targets, the Marketing Team takes responsibility for the final sales and profits that result from this product development effort. Because Research and/or Development/Engineering is involved they get early buy-in and communication on the concept. Once this stage-gate is passed the company agrees to move forward with the concept design. Management can kill the effort at this point or give its approval to move forward to concept design.

Marketing Specification

The Marketing Product Development Representative will define their requirements for the product or service. This may include:

  • Critical dates
  • Development budget
  • Target market and application
  • Performance specs
  • Functional requirements
  • Appearance/Size specs
  • Unit-Sales expectations
  • Regulatory standards
  • Competitors’ products
  • Life expectancy
  • Determine field-test sites

When the Marketing Rep documents this list of requirements they will meet with Research or Development/Engineering, who will sign-off and accept this as their concept design input. This is another stage-gate. Now the project is in the hands of the Research or Development/Engineering Team to create their conceptual design.

Concept Design

If this product involves innovative technology, then typically the Research team will be responsible for concept design. Research would be responsible for handing the Development/Engineering team a “developable” concept design. If the product is an extension of existing technology, then typically it moves right to the Development/Engineering team. Research or Development/Engineering will brainstorm possible designs and create mock-ups of this design if needed and budgeted. They may work with purchasing to gather preliminary vendor costs. The output of this stage is a conceptual design (which can be a drawing, 3-D model, service or software demo), estimated cost, design timeline and test data if appropriate.

At this stage-gate Marketing, Development/Engineering and Operations must sign-off on the conceptual design. If they reject it, then the team responsible for concept design has to refine the concept. This may involve changing the appearance, cost, functionality, etc.

Design Product

This stage is the responsibility of Development/Engineering with input from Purchasing and Operations. This stage includes:

  • Create detailed design budget and timeline
  • Finalize design
  • Run failure mode & effects analysis (FMEA)
  • Create detailed demo, model and bill of material
  • Create work breakdown structure
  • Choose components and select vendors (working with purchasing)
  • Produce prototype
  • Document test requirements
  • Design packaging
  • Create initial customer manuals
  • Determine final cost

When this is complete and the prototype is produced or procured there will be a stage-gate approval meeting with Sales and Marketing. They must approval the cost, appearance and functionality.

Pilot Manufacturing Run (If the product is a hard-good)

Pilot manufacturing is a collaborative effort between Development/Engineering, Purchasing and Manufacturing. While design-for-manufacturability may have been used during final design, this stage represents the transfer from Development/Engineering to Manufacturing. Vendors and Manufacturing are tooling up to produce parts. When the pilot manufacturing stage is complete Manufacturing is expected to have completed all production and testing documentation (standard operating procedures).

Field Test

  • Install product at customer field test sites
  • Run product
  • Evaluate results with Marketing
  • Make changes if necessary
  • Finalize customer manuals

Pilot run production prototypes are sent to field-test sites. The purpose of this test is find problems. These problems may include quality issues, durability, functionality, installation, etc. Hopefully none are found, but if we were 100% confident of this, then field-testing wouldn’t be needed. Some organizations have separate Field-Test groups. Often field testing may be done by Technical Service teams or can be managed by Development/Engineering.

Marketing Launch

  • Review launch schedule
  • Distribute promotional material
  • Distribute training material if applicable
  • Train Sales Force
  • Train Customer Service
  • Review initial customer service data
  • Provide feedback to Development/Engineering and Operations

Once field testing is complete and the design in locked down, the company is ready to start selling. Selling must be preceded by training for sales reps, customer service and customers. The selling process must be planned like all other steps in the product development process.

Evaluate Results

The last step of the product development process is to evaluate results. This is often-overlooked. Many companies accept the results they are getting. The most successful companies evaluate the actual results to their original budget. If sales are under budget then they evaluate why and make adjustments to the next product development effort. If sales are over budget then this too is evaluated to understand what led to this success.

The Role of Documentation in Product Development

  • Task
  • Primary Department Responsible
  • Specific Person Responsible
  • Measure of Success Description
  • Documentation of Success

It is important to document the product development process. While we don’t want to create un-necessary paper or electronic files, there needs to be proof that each step of the process is done successfully and a clear definition of what success means. The actual product development process is usually a minimum of 100 discreet steps. More complex products are far more detailed. Therefore, we need to define what documentation clearly shows that each step was successfully completed. The bullet points above provide the minimum information we expect to see on the Product Development Checklist.