Skip to Content

Why Good Products Fail and What You Can Do About It

When it comes to bringing new products to market, the Pareto Principle  holds true – 80 % of new product launches fail. You can have the best developers, best manufacturing, best supply chain and best management team, optimize every step “by the book” and still fail when launching a new product.

The business world is littered with examples of good ideas that have been poorly executed or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the blog 10 Famous Product Failures And the Advertisements That Did Not Sell Them, some of the products showcased are:

  • Sony Betamax  video format which  lost out to the VHS format, but in the end, both succumbed to the DVD juggernaut
  • New Coke – In this case, there was nothing wrong with old coke!
  • Crystal Pepsi – Pepsi introduced this clear cola in the early 1990s. Despite a large media blitz, the public could “see-through” the soda and it just didn’t catch on. Similar to New Coke, there was no real need for Crystal Pepsi.

In a recent article, Flip UltraLive: The Story of the Wi-Fi Video Camera That Might Have Been, the author talks about the fast rise, and even faster fall of the Flip video camera.  This isn’t a bad product (in fact my family owns 2 of them), but has been surpassed as an ultra portable video camera by the increasing features of the mobile phone.

So how do I improve my Idea to Delivery processes?

The recent Global Supply Chain Trends survey by PRTM Management Consultants talked about “tearing down the walls” between supply chain management and product development/engineering”, a critical enabler for accelerating ramp-up and ramp-down of products into diverse customer markets. Half of those surveyed understand this and consequently have invested in higher development responsiveness. A “win-win” collaborative set-up includes joint consideration of product development, sales and supply chain requirements.

Processes that span these departments require a solution that spans from Idea to Delivery.  This framework helps companies move toward the vision of profitability and achieving customer satisfaction while minimizing business risk. 

In a recent article (From Idea to Delivery: Take a Holistic, End-to-End Approach to Bringing Products to Market) my colleague Thomas Ohnemus and I discussed the concepts of Idea-to-delivery and how SAP can help address these challenges. 

While Idea-to-Delivery (I2D) can be seen as a business process unto itself, it primarily builds effective linkages between current processes and departments.  As such, I2D builds on initiatives to “break down silos”, but is specifically suited to a new environment that features a networked business model and a volatile global economy.

As Thomas Ohnemus said in the article, “Companies should take a comprehensive view of how they bring new products to market, optimizing all of the business processes that work together to turn ideas into viable products and to bring them to market faster and with higher quality.”

Ohnemus went on to say, “Various departments within a company — and even outside of the company — bear more common responsibility for results. All groups begin to share not only the risk, but also the reward of a product’s success with the extended enterprise.”

Idea-to-Delivery also addresses the need to meet ever-increasing customer expectations. In the I2D vision, idea means not only the ideation of physical products, but all aspects of the offering; and delivery means not only shipment of product but delivering all aspects of value throughout the product and customer relationship lifecycles.

As Ohnemus said, “Leading-edge companies are moving away from the traditional idea-generation models, in which ideas come solely from the R&D or product development teams, and are starting to collect ideas from the extended enterprise — from sales teams, the service department, and the logistics organization.”

Achieving the Idea-to-delivery vision requires much tighter integration between the product innovation process and the entire chain of physical material-driven operations. As Ohnemus summarized, “increasing the speed of innovation is a priority for many companies because they are seeing new competitors emerge in the global market. And innovating faster requires the R&D, manufacturing, and supply chain organizations to work more closely together”

Are your departments working together in order to effectively bring products to market? Does your company excel from idea to delivery?

Be the first to leave a comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.