It’s no secret that new product launches are the lifeblood of revenue growth for manufacturers. However, according to Harvard Business School, of the 30,000 new products launched each year, 95 percent of them fail. That’s a startling statistic and one that every company seeks to avoid.
The reasons for new product failures run the gamut from poor design, supply chain disruptions and sourcing issues to safety concerns and a lack of input from the people who will actually be using the products.
Given the importance of new product introductions on the bottom line across all industries, it’s essential to get it right from the outset. In a recent Forbes article, ETQ CTO John Taylor shares six best practices to ensure your new product does not become another failure statistic. They include:
Begin with design thinking. Early in the design process, take ideas out to the people who will be using them to better understand their needs, frustrations and opinions. Doing so improves your odds of success and enables you to take a more human-centered approach to your designs.
Put design at the center of new product development. Ensure quality processes are practiced across the enterprise, including externally with suppliers, to provide insight into issues that may arise and enable you to respond to them before they grow into significant problems.
Integrate systems enterprise wide. Organizational silos are a frequent obstacle to gaining visibility into risk factors. To align quality processes, standardize on a single, scalable collaboration tool to drive synergies between distributed groups within the organization—from design and engineering to production.
Effectively manage suppliers. Create strong collaboration and communication with suppliers, conduct regular supplier audits and consider multiple sources to ensure you have a strong back-up plan when issues arise that impact primary suppliers.
Conduct FMEA as early in the development process as possible. Leverage failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) methodology to identify possible failures and their potential impact, relevant actions and remediations and ways to assess the improvements.
Understand the limits of automation. Automation is essential, but it only goes so far. Humans still need to be involved in every step of the journey to manage product development and manufacturing operations and identify potential problems.
Stack the odds of success for new product introductions in your favor with a quality-centered approach. Contact us today to learn how a robust quality management system (QMS) can improve your new products’ chances of success, and in turn, your bottom line.