Improving efficiency in product and process development : a case study on a consumer products creation process
Author(s)Dong, Xiaoqin, 1971-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Chris Caplice and Donald B. Rosenfield.
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This research examines how an athletic footwear company should establish its new product development and launch process to eliminate wastes in the processes and improve the time to market. Currently, it typically takes an athletic footwear company twelve months to introduce new product samples. Retailers place orders after they see samples, however they will not receive and sell the shoes in their retail stores until six months later. The total process from an idea generated to the time when the final products launch takes eighteen months. While this system is set up due to historical reasons, forward looking management teams in the industry see a lot of inefficiencies in it, especially when athletic footwear becomes more and more fashion driven. Why should retailers stick to this advance buying pattern where they take big risks predicting the market six months ahead of time? What if this advance buying pattern is eliminated for whatever reasons? How companies can improve their new products launch process to make them prepared for the possible new challenges in the future? This research studies the new product development process in a large athletic footwear company (Hereinafter US-Footwear). Recommendations include adopting a systematic new products development framework to shorten the time to market. Specifically, this systematic roadmap will force companies to redefine milestones and key activities; this approach will also form a "funnel" screening and informed decision making mechanism. Consequently, companies would be able to eliminate non-value added activities and focus their valuable resources only on the most winning products. It will thus provide companies huge potential to shorten the time to market by doing fewer activities, fewer products and by greatly(cont.) reducing iterative design changes. Lastly, the author believes that fashion business in general could benefit by adopting the similar approach.
Thesis (M. Eng. in Logistics)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 59-60).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.