Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Product Management Weak, Survey Finds

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Product Management Weak, Survey Finds

Article excerpt

Some companies introduce new products and keep old ones for the wrong reasons, a survey of 186 senior executives in the consumer goods, manufacturing and financial services industries reveals.

"We found that companies often launch and retire products and services on a piecemeal basis, without much thought to the overall product portfolio," said Dan Armstrong, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, which conducted the online survey. "They also tend to introduce new products and services faster than they get rid of old ones, expanding the product and service portfolio to an unsustainable size," he added. Among the survey findings:

* Firms are neither rigorous nor ruthless enough in pruning their range of products and services. Respondents say that approximately two-thirds of revenues come from products introduced in the past five years. However, the companies surveyed review their product portfolios only every 15-16 months, and over half phase out fewer than one in 20 products each year.

* Just over 60 percent of companies surveyed cite "new product/service introductions by competitors" as a rationale for new product introductions. Meanwhile, 31 percent point to pressure from retailers or other middlemen for new features or packaging. …

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