Successful New Product Launches Seen Depending on Strategic Use of Product Data

Small, midsize enterprises relying on extended management of product data, integration of data from multiple sources for profitable product development, Aberdeen says


San Jose, CA — May 30, 2007 — Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) that consistently and successfully hit new product development (NPD) targets employ extended management of product data and formal management of the NPD process with performance metrics, according to new research from technology consultancy Aberdeen Group.

In its report, "Profitable Product Development for Small to Medium Enterprises," which was sponsored by Centric Software, author Jim Brown writes that companies that enjoy success with NPD strategies also rely on physical or virtual centralization of product data.

Aberdeen benchmarks revealed that best-in-class SMEs are meeting the product development goals that drive product profitability — launch dates, cost, quality and revenue — 49-74 percent more frequently than average companies, and up to 14 times more frequently than laggards. The research also showed that 78 percent of new products meet revenue goals for the SMEs when they use innovative product development strategies.

"One of the interesting findings of this study was the emphasis on including a broader range of information — such as costs, quality and supplier information — in the NPD process," said Brown, who is vice president of global product innovation and engineering at Aberdeen. "In addition, the report found that successful companies had a centralized approach to product data, whether stored physically in one location or aggregated virtually from multiple distributed sources."

Global Data Challenges

Chris Groves, CEO of Centric Software, said that rapid global expansion has compounded the challenge of gathering current information to make the right decisions, reduce development cycles and keep NPD programs on target.

"Historically, Centric Software has provided global product development teams with a different approach," Groves said. "Rather than creating yet another silo of product data, we believe in finding and connecting to information where it is, and uniting teams with business and technical information to improve overall business performance."

Centric's Product Intelligence (PI) applications include out-of-the-box search and connectivity capabilities to link to multiple distributed sources of information, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) systems, office documents, as well as product data systems. This allows product data beyond the bill of materials (BOM) to be automatically incorporated into the development process, Centric said.

The search and connectivity functionality provides time and cost saving options for data management, including bringing strategic documents under management in a central repository with revision control, or connecting to the information where it resides, creating a virtual repository and avoiding the costs and time of moving data. Online decision centers formally track performance metrics in conjunction with the aggregated product and financial information. These online decision centers incorporate comments and status information, and they allow users to initiate actions directly within the system, according to Centric.

The Aberdeen report "Profitable Product Development for Small to Medium Enterprises" is available (registration required) at http://www.aberdeen.com/summary/report/benchmark/3953_RARA_PD_SME.asp.

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