Technological companies are frequently developing new products. The marketing success rate is very often very poor for these new products. Many of the product failures can be traced to the lack of a disciplined process to follow from the concept of the product to the market research required to determine the attributes and price points that the market desires. The purpose of this research is to develop and test a disciplined step by step process with feedback paths to accomplish a successful product launch.
A New Product Development (NPD) process typically involves a number of stages required to design a product and bring it to market. These stages start at the planning or scoping stage, followed by the market planning stage, the product concept stage, the product design stage, and finally the testing and the launch stages. This manuscript describes and evaluates three of the six stages from the NPD process that include, product concept (Stage 3), product design (Stage 4) and testing (Stage 5). The product concept stage generates the bulk of the ground work in preparation for the design of the near final product which takes place during the product design stage. While all NPD process stages are necessary, the product concept stage involves numerous complex and intricate steps that are critical to the design of a successful product. The primary purpose of the research described herein is to design two adjoining methods that consist of systematic and rational multi-phase platforms with feedback mechanisms that allow for adjustments. The first method is termed the product concept process (Stage 3) which informs on project viability during the early steps of the product development process and before the initiation of the final product design. The second method is termed the product design process (Stage 4) with logical steps that ensure a balance between market needs and product performance and reliability.
The product concept process (Stage 3) consists of different phases with detailed interconnected steps that carry a product concept through a conceptual stage (Phase I), into the generation of a “proof-of-concept” or an alpha prototype that allows for the initiation of Phase II steps. Steps within each phase describe estimates for development cost, market risk analysis, performance evaluation, and product manufacturing cost estimation. The final steps of the product concept process describe the pre-product design stage (Phase III), which is an expansion of the broader development cost estimates generated in Phase II and thus provides additional rigorous estimates for product development costs. Notably, modification or re-design of the product concept at any step within the three Phases resulting in their conversion into successful prospects that garner market acceptance and potential profitability is another tangible objective of this product development process.
The second method described in this research is the product design process (Stage 4). This process starts after the successful evaluation of all steps from the previous product concept process. The product design process includes the Initial Design: Path 1. This Phase involves the execution of product industrial design, market evaluation, mechanical and customer interface design, electronic and software design as well as cost analysis. Upon successful completion of the Initial Design Path, the Final Design (Path 2) is initiated. Path 2 serves to integrate various components interconnections. Path 2 also accommodates customer options which is capstoned by a thorough manufacturing cost analysis. Path 1 and Path 2 of the product design process employ feedback loops so that the process retains a balance between market needs, costs and eventually product performance and reliability.
These two methods terminate in Stage 5, the fabrication and testing stage. This is the Stage that demonstrates the effectiveness or lack thereof of the two methods. It is intended that these methods be followed in sequence but as will be described in some of the cases, if the essence of each step of each Phase or Path is accomplished, even if out of sequence, the NPD can be successful.
The two processes described in this study are used to evaluate a number of small/medium electronic products. Currently, For the purpose of this study, “small” implies a development project that would cost less than $250,000 to complete. A “medium” project development is that which can cost between $250,000 and $750,000 to complete. With respect to product design, it is also noteworthy that there are no current formal size-rating systems for defining small versus medium product designs. For the purpose of this study, a small electronic product is one that sells to the end user for $5,000 or less. A medium electronic product is one that sells to the end user for $25,000 or less. Electronic products that sell for more than $25,000 will require additional examination steps that are not described in the product development process. This study examines the successes and failures of several small/medium product development processes with respect to their submission and compliance to the disciplines of the product development process tool and the product design process tool.
|Advisor:||Deeb, Ruba, Selig, Gad J.|
|Commitee:||Bach, Christian, Kongar, Elif, Reinholtz, Charles|
|School:||University of Bridgeport|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Alpha/beta prototype, Continuous development, Market evaluation, Market risk analysis, Product development process, Research & development|
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