Getting a new product into mass production, so that it is produced on time, with high quality, in high-volume, and at affordable costs, is a challenge to many enterprises. Indeed, even when you do it correctly, it requires ample time and resources. So, for new businesses that are already looking for ways of cutting cost, how do they get it right? The challenges can be addressed through good planning at every stage of lifecycle development.
The Four Stages of a Products Lifecycle
Product lifecycle denotes the four main stages that a product follows from the introduction to the decline. In each phase, manufacturers are faced by different challenges, which they must address well to optimize profits and deliver value to customers. Here is a brief of the four stages of product lifecycle:
- Stage One: Product development: At this stage, you introduce the idea of the new product under consideration. So, all the research and early conceptualization happen here. It also includes the development of prototypes.
- Stage Two: Product growth: At this stage, the product moves from being an idea as all systems are installed, and manufacturing gets underway. This stage also involves marketing and distribution.
- Stage Three: Product Maturity: At this stage, the product has hit the market, and it is competing with others. So, the focus turns to product advertising to drive sales and optimize profits.
- Stage Four: Product decline: At this point, the product starts losing its market share because it has already passed the point of highest demand. Depending on the industry, you might want to think about disposal. It is also a great time to take stock of the changing customer demands and think of new products to keep your company moving forward.
How to Manage a Product Lifecycle
When business managers and entrepreneurs think of product lifecycle, what rightly runs into their minds is the management software. But we must indicate that you need more than the product lifecycle management software. So, here are some of the best practices for good product lifecycle management:
- Make sure the product lifecycle is driven by customer needs. This means that you need to use data at every stage to make the product customer-oriented.
- During the product development, factor what competitors are offering to craft better products for a bigger market share.
- Although the product lifecycle is broken into four phases, make sure your implementation team have a clear understanding about it from the start to the end.
- At every stage, you must analyze the success and challenges faced by your product. Then, ensure the next product development lifecycle is more effective.
- Ensure the departments of your manufacturing unit are properly integrated. This means that every organization unit should be versatile enough to respond to changes that might be required to make the product more effective.
If you have a manufacturing unit as brought out here, it is important to understand and properly implement all the stages of the product development lifecycle. Because it will be a repetitive process, make sure to understand the challenges at every stage, and improve the process with the focus on the targeted clients to win a bigger market share.