The speed at which a company addresses a new product, service, customer signal, or event can have a significant impact on profitability and customer feedback. “Speed to market” is a phrase used to describe how quickly an organization develop a new product or service from the initial idea, design, prototype, testing, developing, manufacturing, shipping, and finally the end user.
WHY IS SPEED TO MARKET IMPORTANT?
When a business is the first to market in an unexplored segment, they immediately have an advantage because there is no competition yet. Most organizations realize this and then the battle for market share begins. Whomever can deliver to their relevant specific value to their target customer first, will ultimately have the competitive advantage and a better chance at winning over the competition. Speed to market is especially important during COVID-19 because of all the sudden changes. Companies that were able to make timely changes to business process and pricing to protect their profitability.
A perfect example of this would be Amazon with their metropolitan distribution centers that can get you a product within two hours of ordering it online. The competition is then forced to adapt or risk losing their business. Because of Amazon, 2-day shipping is the norm, and anything longer can now be unacceptable for many customers.
There are a few common obstacles that can make achieving speed to market difficult. Here are some:
- Outdated technology systems
- Talent shortages
- Data limitations
- Operational silos
- Non Adaptive business framework
Leaders need to analyze their businesses and address any of these obstacles to be competitive and gain market share in a segment.
THE KEY TO INCREASING SPEED TO MARKET
It all starts with defining goals and building a strategy with a consistent process that is clear, consistent, and flexible. Reach out to your customers and understand their pain points and what you can do to better anticipate and resolve common issues. You want to ensure that you can survive in uncertainty and adapt quickly while fulfilling your customers’ expectations and needs.
Utilize technology that can integrate, automate, and process data. Data is a commodity in today’s world and with so much of it being collected daily, companies need to be able to collect, analyze and act on it. Many companies are investing in the best technology systems that allow for the most efficient product development.
Build a flexible and consistent framework for your management and operations processes that enables your company to be forward thinkers and bring the full value to your customers. Many companies are adopting a more agile approach developing their product or service architecture in order to save money and accelerate their speed to market.
Speed to market is vastly important for gaining market share in a segment. To gain the competitive advantage an organization must consider their end goals to define a flexible and consistent framework for product or service management that begins with data flow through technology systems.
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