09/16/16 6:56 am

Developing a new product means working with a lot of moving parts. But you can gain an advantage over competitors by reducing your time to market.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to do that.

Time-to-market (TTM), also referred to as “speed-to-market,” is the amount of time it takes for a product to go from the idea stage until it’s ready for sale. And there are a few reasons why companies should care about getting this process right:

  • The more control you have over the process of developing products, the easier it will be to predict TTM and get technology to customers while it’s still fresh.
  • When you have a dependable schedule, you will have an easier time anticipating things like transportation time/cost, personnel need and build timelines.
  • If you can predict when a product will ship, you can take advantage of marketing opportunities such as trade shows.
  • The earlier you can have a product on the market, while still maintaining quality, the less competition you face, and the more revenue you can generate.

Let’s look at a few ways to improve your time-to-market.

1. Simplification

It may be tempting to include as many features as possible when envisioning a new product.  But the need to produce a product that “does it all” in order to beat the competition will lead to cost overruns, and missed scheduling.

It may be quicker and simpler to focus on incremental innovation: First develop a basic version of the product, and follow it with a series of smaller projects to add new functions.

And make sure every step of your development process adds value. Rely on outside resources if that’s feasible. It may be worth working with an external organization if it improves your time-to-market.

2. Communication

Developing a new product can’t happen in a vacuum. Every relevant group needs information and a chance to offer input at each stage. Having the manufacturing side of a business step in only when the manufacturing stage is about to begin will slow things down.

Many of the important decisions involving your product – involving packaging, shipping, warehousing, delivery, marketing – all need to happen before manufacturing begins.

If you want to tell customers “This product will be ready to sell on this date,” it needs to arrive from their warehouse by that date.

Before you can ship to your customer, you need to understand how it will get there and how you’ll package the product. And to understand all of this, you’ll need to be able to predict when your product is ready to be manufactured.

A good development team should involve communication from people across your organization, or at the very least, from your manufacturing and marketing teams.

3. Rapid Iteration

A team that’s able to provide Rapid Iteration – that is, one that can design, build, test and fix a product — has a big advantage in the marketplace. Shorter DBTF cycles and concurrent engineering work can shave weeks off your time-to-market timeline.

If you’re looking for a contract manufacturer who can get your product to market quickly without sacrificing quality, contact Mars International.

Our SMT line helps customers by creating prototypes to support early-stage tests of new designs, working on an assembly line that is RoHS compliant.

And communication is part of our culture. Our organization works closely together, and will work closely with your team at all levels.

By communicating and simplifying, Mars can help reduce the time-to-market for your next product.

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