Take a moment and consider how many products launch each year. Not all of them succeed. Even some of the most well-known companies experience failed product launches, such as Google, Apple, Samsung, Nintendo, and more. We all remember the infamous Power Glove, don’t we?
These product launch failures can result in brand damage, customer satisfaction problems, and even harm consumers (we’re looking at you New Coke). With so many companies, small and large, experiencing product failures at one point or another, there are actions you can take to increase your NPI success and avoid a total product launch fiasco.
What is NPI?
When working in business, the concept of NPI may come up now and then, especially when you’re launching a product you’re proud of. NPI stands for New Product Information. This process entails taking a product idea from the concept stage to being available for consumer use.
NPI involves numerous steps to ensure all teams communicate throughout the production process and follow the set rules and regulations. In short, NPI brings the initial idea of the product to the market. This process is usually associated with NPD (New Product Development) and takes place shortly after.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? That’s why so many companies hire out for NPI services to ensure their product doesn’t end up like another Zune or a Galaxy Note 7.
Reasons Why NPIs Fail
Thanks to technology, the rapid rate that products are designed and launched, various markets push hard to have their future goods out as soon as possible. But that’s not always a good thing. It lowers the bar for product development, allowing many companies to roll out launches more quickly and cheaply. It’s how so many companies wind up with total flops.
Some reasons for these failures have to do with these common barriers:
- Quality Issues: When companies lack the right resources to test and address new products, quality issues arise. Furthermore, the struggle to document and show how their product meets the regulatory compliance with the FDA and ISO is how many faulty items slip through the cracks. Has anyone heard of Tesla’s unbreakable glass? Spoiler alert: it wasn’t so unbreakable.
- Information Silos: Sharing information through manual or paper-based processes, such as emails or spreadsheets, can create a hole in your development plans. When no one stays on the same page, ideas and important information get lost in translation.
- Prolonged Development Stages: Because information is firing off in all different directions, it can make it difficult for teams to obtain the right info when needed, resulting in numerous delays.
- Cost Overruns: When all the factors above come together, it can result in manufacturing inconsistencies and confusion over product development, increasing the costs of reworks and missed cost targets.
Ways to Improve NPI
One of the most integral aspects of a successful NPI is letting your internal teams and supply chains in on the scoop. The production process can get sped up more effectively and efficiently without issues when everyone knows what needs to be done. Like John C. Maxwell said, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Achieving NPI Success
- Create a Product Design: Mocking up a controlled system that creates excellent product designs, whether it’s through electrical, software, mechanical, or artistic mediums. The design should be consistent throughout your product.
- Collaborations: Improve the collaboration process across manufacturing partners, suppliers, designers, and in-house teams in real-time to ensure all parties understand the main goal.
- Automate Approvals: Implement online approvals that send automated notifications to all teams and allows everyone to review and approve changes. Doing so will eliminate the need for prolonged back and forth between departments.
- Modernization: Modernizing the NPI process with AI and other technology can help your company navigate the conditions of an evolving market. Look at target-based costing, organize preconception planning, and identify desired profit margins.
- Protect Your IP: Keeping your intellectual property (IP) safe should be the number one concern. Create role-based access to ensure users only see what they need to see.
- Use of Compliant Parts: Stay on top of what materials are used for your product, and make sure those source parts are in compliance with RoHs, REACH, and other environmental standards to avoid complications.
We understand how challenging it can be to get your new products on the market. What’s even more challenging is ensuring they find success. Consulting with reliable and experienced NPI services will help your company achieve the best-case scenario you’re looking for. Nobody wants their product to go unnoticed, like Google+ or the Sega Dreamcast. Do right by your product and use the correct applications to release the next big thing.