New Product Introductions (NPIs) are becoming more common in today’s business world. Also for equipment manufacturers, product life cycles are shortening and the cycle time from production to launch is shrinking. Previously, product introductions were handled in a step-by-step manner, from concept to production to marketing. The process had sped up, however, due to the constant demand to release new products in order to stay competitive. Technology now enables all departments, including design, engineering, manufacturing, accounting, marketing, and sales, to work together on new products at the same time. What is today’s reality? The “first mover advantage” in the industry is eroding as more advanced goods are introduced more frequently. Here is the original site.
Certainly, several product launches thrive in this climate. Most, however, fail. According to one report, “the biggest challenge we’ve faced is a lack of preparation: businesses are so focused on developing and producing new goods that they delay the hard work of getting ready to sell them until it’s too late in the game.” (Why Do Most Product Launches Fail, Why Do Most Product Launches Fail, Why Do Most Product Launched Harvard Business Review, April 2011) (Joan Schneider and Julie Hall)
When a business markets its goods through a distributor or channel network, this lack of market readiness may be amplified. Your product launch will fail if you are prepared but your dealers are not. (I use the word “dealer” to refer to all types of channel partners, including distributors, retailers, VARs, resellers, and so on.)
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) programmes are increasingly being used to direct new product introductions to (and through) their distributor network. A PRM framework is web-based channel management software that brings all aspects of managing a distributor network together in one partner platform. Manufacturers should provide an open and detailed framework for their dealers to be ready and enthusiastic as new goods are launched into the marketplace by using training/certification, marketing communications, coordination, and dealer preparation resources.