When we say we market is changing we should ask ourselves who is changing the market? If it is not you, changes done by your company will not yield significant gain.
I am going to discuss changes in market dynamics with respect to introduction of new products. If a company is not leading the product innovation in the market, company is bound to compromise on the bottom line. In such situation the new product will be new to the portfolio of the company only but not to the market. A real new product introduction means surprise to market.
In one of my earlier post I discussed the correlation between new product introduction and market share. I listed some variables like working capital of channel, rotation of working capital and pace of introduction of new products should be properly planned well before laying out the product road map. It seems theoretical but I convincingly suggest to focus on following parameters at the time of introducing a breakthrough product to make sure that the planed gains are intact:
1. Pace of introduction. It is a philosophy of a company’s strategy which defines dynamism and youthfulness. High risk with high returns. If executed properly, it will establish a product leadership image of the company. Every successful introduction will fetch a yield, during its life cycle, much more than the cost incurred in ten mediocre or failed introductions. When we say pace, it’s important to assume the competition will copy it in no time. Pace is introduction of real products in the market, consistently with a motto to surprise expectations of the customer every time. In competitive environment it will give you a first mover advantage with better sales realization and in monopolistic environment it will increase barriers on entry of competition. The pace of introduction can be decided based on the intensity of existing competition.
2. Working capital of channel. Only new product introduction may not give the desired growth. Think this in a way that if cumulative working capital of all the channel partners is constant, the retail will only replace the existing portfolio with new one. This may give better top line because of higher realization from new product but overall volume will remain constant. If a company’s thrust is to expand, the sales volume will increase only with increase of selling capacity of the channel. This can be done with penetration into untapped market. More distributors or more retailers means more working capital. If such distribution plans are in place the real volumetric growth of new products can be assessed.
3. Cycle time: Or the speed of rotation of working capital of selling channel. This is the area which any company in any industry will love to improve. This is also a measure of supply chain performance. With the proposed implementation of GST (in India) we will see a radical shift in collaborative supply chain management with better distribution at lower cost. A longer term strategy on depot and inventory planning in line with product road map and futuristic capacity planning is required.