A product launch checklist is a document that was specifically designed to help business managers and other professionals in the business industry to effectively release new products or services in to the market. Effective launching of a new product is critical to most companies. The new product development process is a complex process and often involves several departments including engineering operations, sales and marketing, management and purchasing.
It is actually packed with bunch of helpful ideas that can help entrepreneurs to in planning and organizing their products. It is a practice oriented product launch outline that explains what tasks and procedures are supposed to be implemented in the company prior to a new product launch. You actually need to organize the activities surrounding a product launch and without a reliable checklist, it can be very difficult to do so given the complexities of a launch .Without a checklist, duration, stages among other procedures can easily be misinterpreted thus causing problems. In this article, we are going to focus on complete checklist to help know the right process involved.
The Complete Product Launch Checklist
A product launch must be prepared and it must cover all activities that are supposed to be performed or done by all department including engineering, manufacturing, sale, marketing field service and product support. In addition, all functional departments must clearly define and understand their objectives and responsibilities for launch activities. Necessary resources that are needed to support the product launch activities should be availed to all departments on time so as to make the whole process run smoothly. The manager in charge of the planning process must confirm that indeed all planning preparation have been completed and the product is ready to be launched.
2. Review Objectives
In early stages of the product development, objectives for the new product is usually identified. Prior to launching the new product, it is usually recommended that the management team should takes some time and review all the objectives that were originally outlined. The management team must carefully scrutinize all the objectives to see if they are still valid. If some of them need to be modified, then they should so at this stage.
3. Budget Review
Typically, budget is usually set early during the product development process. Before is new product is finally launched in to the market, the management team should take time to review the budget allocated to the product launch and the money spent during the product development and make some necessary adjustments.
4. Marketing and Sales
Market receptivity must be evaluated based on key customer feedback, test markets, focus groups and beta test prior to new product launch. If the product is being used by beta customers, a case study or testimonial must be prepared. In addition, advertising and promotion plan for the new product must be developed and media arrangement be made in time. Sales and distribution channels must also be identified and sales personnel be trained and be given all the necessary sales support material needed to market the product effectively.
The product pricing must also be established and approved by the management team. The final packaging plan for the new product is also designed, approved and ordered. Press release for the new product launch is then prepared and distributed to all relevant bodies. The product launched is also updated on the company’s website.
5. Product Support
All necessary support material are hired and put in place. Support and service personnel are well trained so as to be able to tackle any problem that may arise from the product. Frequently asked questions commonly known as FAQ regarding the launch of the new product are well identified and responses prepared. In addition, installation and troubleshooting guides and manuals are prepared and put in place.
Required manufacturing process documentation linking work instructions, manning plans and CNC programs are put in place. The production process of the new product is proven using either pilot production line or the actual production line. The number of worker required in the production process are identified and trained so as to support the initial production. The product and demand forecast data is established in the enterprise resource planning system which is used to plan and manage production and the supply chain. All suppliers of the new product are selected through a competitive process and are asked to supplies all the raw material needed for the new product in time.
Benefits of the Product Launch Checklist
1. Increased visibility into launch status
During product launch, there are many complex process involved which are crucial and a checklist always ensures that no details is left out. It keeps the product process in check by ensuring that even the smallest details about the new product is included. The Gantt chart created in checklist will help you communicate all your work efforts and schedule resources based on the information that you entered.
2. More accountability for team members
A checklist will ensure that each team member is held responsible for his/her actions during each stage of the new product launch. This is because, it provides a clear guideline on how things are supposed to be done, and clearly assigns each worker the job. This means that it is very easy to identify who is responsible in case a problem occurs at any stage of the new product launch.
3. It is simple and easy to use
One major advantage of this type of checklist is that it is very easy to read and understand. It uses very simple tables and charts that are easy to follow. It does have any complicated figures or table that is not easy to understand. This means that you actually don’t need special training so as to understand how it works.
In conclusion as said above, a checklist is very important because it clearly outlines all the process that are supposed to be followed before a new product is launched into the market. A well prepared checklist will ensure that the new product not only received a warm welcome from the customers but also ensures that the product is consistent in the market from the day is launched. It is therefore recommended that every production company which is planning to launch a new product into the market to have an effective product launch checklist.