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The complete journey of developing a product from concept to reality is called product development. There are different stages involved in bringing a mere idea to life, and every smart business owner knows that every phase of product development is crucial to the success of their brand.
Product development can be complicated, especially if the company lacks the know-how or available facilities or equipment.
Product Development versus Product Management
Some people may use the terms ‘product development’ and ‘product management’ interchangeably, but they do not mean the same.
Product development encompasses the different stages of product creation, which may involve the management of the goods, including design, marketing, manufacturing, testing, and distribution. In other words, product management is part of the product development process.
Phases of Product Development
The product development process of one company may differ from another organization’s undertaking. In general, there are five phases in developing a new product (or service).
- Discover New Ideas: Whether it’s through brainstorming within the organization or generating an idea from customers’ suggestions, it’s crucial to have a concept to jumpstart the product development process.
One way to create a product concept is by looking for a (consumer) problem to solve or a market need.
- Research and Development: The R&D phase consists of two crucial components: market research and prototype creation.
Market research will often involve researching the various materials and processes required to manufacture the prototype and eventual product. Mostly, the availability, prices, and posterity is considered during the market research. Ensure that you do thorough work in the market research as it will lay the foundation of prototyping and the eventual manufacturing process. Hire a reputed prototyping company for this purpose.
Prototype creation involves simulating the manufacturing processes but on a smaller scale. People often use different prototyping techniques to ensure precision, functionality, and analysis of the tool. The most common accurate method is a chemical etching, also known as Photochemical machining. Besides being accurate, it also saves on time and finances, thus making it very beneficial.
Market research helps define product specifications through competitor and market analysis. The minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype allows the organization to put together an actual product based on the research findings.
- Testing the Product: The MVP developed by prototyping company is tested on consumers or prospects. In the case of pharmaceutical products, the new compounds are tested on laboratory animals or human subjects.
The pharmaceutical product development process is made more efficient with the help of third-party companies that test the products on behalf of their clients.
- Product Analysis: Insights gathered from testing the product is used to modify the prototype before the final product rollout.
- Product Release and Distribution: The final product, after user feedback iteration, is rolled out to consumers through marketing and advertising.
Top 4 Reasons To Outsource Product Development
Many companies hesitate to outsource their product development process for fear of compromising the organization’s trade secrets. However, the advantages of outsourced product development trump the drawbacks.
- Cost Savings
Although it may seem expensive, outsourcing product development is more cost-effective in the long run. Developing a new product requires time and money, after all, many things must be done to successfully bring an idea to fruition.
Controlling your project costs is challenging when all the facets of product development are done internally. Seeking the assistance of a third-party firm or seeking assistance from technologies like electronic batch record allows the organization to save money on labor expenses (salary, benefits, recruitment), administrative (human resources, IT support, management), and infrastructure (office space, software, and computers) costs.
Also, when outsourcing product development, you can leverage IT infrastructure management competencies to optimize support costs and leverage efficient usage of cloud resources. Comprehensive IT infrastructure optimization done by professionals often results in up to 50% lower IT support costs and 40% lower cloud consumption costs.
- Faster Turnaround Time
External product development firms result in faster turnaround times since the process can commence immediately without the need to worry about resource limitations or steep learning curves. If the goal is to accelerate the time to market the new product, outsourced design and development is the solution.
Your company should take advantage of the multidisciplinary expertise and technological capabilities of an external development firm to promptly capture your target market. Working with a foreign firm allows you to keep your competitive stance by enabling you to introduce your products to the intended market before someone else does.
- Opens New Opportunities
Working with an expert product development team is beneficial to both startup companies and established businesses. The organization can gain a new perspective and realize new opportunities as the product development process moves forward.
Aside from adding a significant amount of product development process expertise to your company, a reliable outsourcing partner can help you improve or innovate your product or service offerings.
- Prioritize Core Activities
When there are product development tasks at hand, the organization’s core activities may be affected or vice versa. In-house team members cannot use their expertise when working on new projects that go beyond their knowledge or skills.
Working with a reliable third-party development company reduces the tasks that must be done to get the product ready for the market. An external product development team boosts your organization’s efficiency by allowing team members to prioritize and focus on their core activities.
Hiring a reputable third-party product development allows your organization to introduce your latest product offering without sacrificing its core functions. This means your company can focus on its primary activities and assign the product development tasks to an expert external partner.
Project costs can also be controlled more effectively when you don’t have to perform all development tasks within the organization.
A reputable outsourcing partner is your best ally when you have a new product to launch or product that needs modification to meet market demands.
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