Quick time to market is an indispensable strategy in today’s intensively competitive business world. Generally companies rely on the introduction of new products to help drive revenue and earnings growth. Focusing on time to market enhances the company’s capability to quickly devise, launch, optimize and retire products and services. TTM is highly important in industries that deal with quickly outmoded products and services.
It is rightly said that the fortune favors the speedy. Companies that rush their products and services to the marketplace experience dramatic competitive advantages. However, only with the help of a streamlined and consistent product development process a company can control and predict the time to market.
The Complete Time to Market Process Guide
What is Time to Market?
The heart of the business success depends on the time to market. It is defined as the period of time between the idea of creating a product, allocation of resources for the project and eventually the final product’s availability in the consumer market. In other words it refers to the duration of time taken in the product development process from product idea concept to the finished product. TTM is regarded as a critical component of time based competition. Generally companies use this time to market measure as a means to evaluate how the products are developed and how the specific project will handle the competition that prevails in the industry.
Why is it an Important Factor?
Howard Schultz, the CEO of the famous Starbucks, rightly said that it is best to be the first to market a new product than have a perfect product. Yes, there is probably no magic formula that attributes to the success of a product. However it is better to market quickly as the best product does not always win and a good timing is always better than a better product. Bringing new products and services into the market is extremely complex.
First the need for a new product or service must be identified, designed, built, tested and then introduced into the market for sales. There are a multitude of complex steps involved in-between that can go astray and make precise and accurate predicting of TTM difficult. In today’s product development environment the TTM a product and finding ways of optimizing the product launch are the major components that affect the company’s revenue. Hence the better control you have over your product management processes the better you will be able to control and predict your TTM and make huge profits.
Reasons Why a Company Should Improve the TTM
1. Effective and efficient resource allocation and management: Having a fast TTM approach will help you to prepare in advance an estimate of all the transportation expenses, devise plans based on lead times and effective inventory planning to satisfy the needs that arise in various phases of the project.
2. Easy prediction of the various schedules and product launch date: The product development process is a long and complex one. If you can accurately predict when exactly your product will enter the market you can take the incredibly amazing benefits of various trade shows, holiday promotions and other marketing opportunities.
3. Increased targeted company revenue: The earlier you launch your product without compromising on the quality or price the greater will be your chance of generating huge income. This is because your product will face limited competition and you will earn revenue for more of the product lifecycle.
4. All-out speed: Rapid TTM is valuable especially when markets evolve quickly as in case of fashions and consumer electronics. This can definitely be a clear race against the competitors.
5. Sticking to a strict schedule: When TTM objectives are discussed with the managers they will realize the need to stick to a schedule. Hence there is no question of projects running late, late arrival of parts and meetings starting late and running late. Everything is organized and happens on time.
6. Contributes to the overall success of the business: Rapid time to market is crucial for the success of a business as it takes the competitive advantage of getting to the market sooner, premium prices in the early product life cycle, longer market life cycle and greater overall profits for a higher return on investment.
Tips to Minimize Time to Market
Reducing TTM is the essence for a business success and to take a competitive advantage. The following tips are essential to reduce TTM:
1. Product specifications can take many forms. However the company should make sure that the design of the first prototype must have a cross-organizational support to ensure that delivering to this specification will produce a viable product in the market place.
2. Quick prototyping can also reduce the TTM. The time taken to design, build, test and fix a product or service has a huge impact on the market advantage.
3. Incremental design and innovations in the product development cycle are absolutely necessary for reducing the time to market. This will ultimately lead to excellent revenue generation and better market understanding.
4. Make sure that the developmental team includes members from marketing and manufacturing. Also make sure that team integrity is maintained.
What are the key requirements for an effective, rapid TTM?
- There should be a clear understanding of the customer needs, product requirements and specifications.
- There should be a streamlined and optimized product development process.
- It is important to devise and formulate a realistic project plan.
- Proper availability of full-time dedicated staff to support the project.
- Early involvement and quick staffing build-up to provide exceptional support throughout the product development process.
- Reuse and standardization of prevailing design to reduce the design content of a project.
Streamlining your product management and improving TTM contributes to the overall success of a business. You can take advantage of the demand spikes and earn huge profits in a short period of time. In today’s fast changing marketplace TTM can make a dramatic difference between success and failure. Making drastic improvements in your TTM capabilities can improve your success rate. With a rapid time to market you can gain a competitive edge – you can get to the market faster and outsell your competitors.