Have you ever stopped to think how much time it is needed to launch a product on the market?
The most concurrent thought that comes to mind when we talk about this is directly the moment of exposure and sale, however,nothing could be further from the truth. This process is much longer and more complex than believed.
New trends and the fast pace of the current market represent a challenge for companies, which are forced to define exactly the times for the launch of a product on the market. The risk of not establishing the timings and processes in a fair and adequate way is very high: the loss of sales opportunities.
It is for this reason that a large part of the effort of a successful company is dedicated to reducing the time it takes to launch its products on the market.
Would you like to reduce the time to market of your business? Well, keep reading our article and find out how you can do it!
What is time to market?
Time to market or "launch period" is the time from when a product or service is conceived until it is available on the market for the final consumer. Therefore, it encompasses all the work and decision processes necessary to lauch products, services or solutions on the market.
There is no standard or ideal time to market, since each company, sector or product has different times and needs. Designing and producing a vehicle is not the same as creating and launching your advertisement or promotional campaign. Regardless of the sector, although it is true that technological advances have made it possible to greatly reduce the time to market, they have also increased the levels of demand of customers or publics, who now demand greater immediacy and more agility than ever.
Now it is necessary to produce more, faster and for a greater number of people. In turn, the final result must also be better and without mistakes. Satisfying these new market needs and these tight timings cannot lead to a loss of service quality, nor, of course, an uncontrolled increase in costs (whether in terms of tools or staff).
In this context, the organization and management of processes have become key factors in reducing time to market and optimizing quality without affecting costs.
How to reduce time to market?
Each company must establish ad hoc processes and controls, but there are a number of factors common to any production process that will help minimize costs and launch times:
Having a deadline is key to boost the team’s productivity. Like creativity, productivity is activated by a 'problem to be solved'. Thus, it is necessary to have date references and that these are consistent and public for all those involved. Otherwise, there is a risk of prolonging the process.
Organization and tasks assignment
This phase includes the distribution of tasks according to which are necessary, in which order, what deadlines, to whom they are assigned and the control panels that will ensure compliance. Knowing what obligations are in place and how non-compliance will affect them helps in the process of reducing time to market.
Real-time tracking and immediate feedback
To develop the production chain with agility, agile and effective communication and validation tools are necessary, which prevent a project from stopping waiting for a review or resolution, when at the hands of the right person it would be solved in just a few seconds or minutes.
In this regard, good communication between the team and the availability of tools that simplify these internal processes is very beneficial for the good performance of the company and the reduction of time to market.
Having access to all the necessary elements needed to develop and achieve the objective pursued is basic so as not to waste hours searching, asking different departments, making incorrect versions that must later be corrected by duplicating work, etc.
These simple tips related to the lean management system can trigger a great reduction of "launch time", which in turn represents an important competitive advantage: it is very likely that the shorter the time to market, the lower the production costs as well as financing and storage expenses for companies.
However, it is not always easy to put these suggestions into practice. Especially in rigid and very vertical organizational structures characterized by processes with excessive control filters in which achieving time to market seems unfeasible.
The most rigid structures can be due to culture or necessity. In the aviation sector, they work with very rigid systems due to quality and error-free requirements, and thanks to technology, their time to market has been reduced exponentially.
According to a study by the engineering community engineering.com, companies using cloud project management software or systems are more successful at sticking to their deadlines than those using tools like e-mail or spreadsheets. This study concludes: «users of this type of collaborative systems show a higher level of satisfaction than users who do not have them».
The Brand management, marketing and communication world is no stranger to this problem. In an increasingly competitive market, companies must constantly face new challenges in order to exceed their goals and achieve the survival of their brands. To this end, tools such as Brand Centers have been created, which enable an effective synchronization among the companies teams, perfecting the integration of the human team, agilizing management processes, facilitating validations and democratizing the access to the material which reduces time to market and improves the internal brand culture.
A good example of this is the real case of the carsharing company, Zity, an Aggylon BrandCenter client.
Its CMO & PR Manager, Pilar García Carrasco, stated the following: "The expansion of the company requires an homogeneous and efficient management of the brand and its resources, which is why the BrandCenter is a necessary tool for us"
Thanks to this tool, the company was able to grow without losing the alignment between the departments involved in maintaining the homogeneity of the brand.
In short, if you want your products and services to be found at the right time when your buyers need them and your business to be successful, implementing a brand center is the best option to achieve this: it will streamline processes, reduce costs and align your company, all in the same tool.
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