Why Speed to Market is a Key Survival Tactic for Today’s Manufacturers

By Jeanette Mifsud on Aug 30, 2017

If you’re in the manufacturing sector, you’re well aware of how fast your world is changing. There are a number of dynamic market forces that are having a dramatic impact on both B2C and B2B companies.

In the U.S., millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the dominant demographic segment, and they’ve made it clear that their needs are very different from their parents’. When it comes to food and beverages, millennials are demanding healthier ingredients, more information on what’s in the product and who’s behind the brand. They crave authenticity and products that reflect their lifestyle—trends that extend beyond the food and beverage segment and percolate throughout the consumer market.

Those changes in consumer behavior have a ripple effect as supply-chain partners pivot and innovate to produce the ingredients, raw materials, and components that drive the consumer economy. The result is new product proliferation at a scale that we’ve never seen before.

There’s no doubt that millennials are changing the business landscape and voting with their dollars, as this quote from Danielle Gould, Founder, and CEO of Food+Tech Connect illustrates:

“Over the last five years, the top 25 food companies in the U.S. lost $18 billion in market share, and 46% of the growth that has happened in the industry came from small and mid-sized businesses.”

All sectors of manufacturing are feeling pressure to innovate fast and launch even faster

Food & beverage companies aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch. Similar stories are playing out across different manufacturing segments as small, agile market entrants make big dents in the profits of established companies.

These new entrants are not only coming to the market with innovative new products, they’re also disrupting the way that business is getting done. The Dollar Shave Club, Airbnb, and Uber are all well-cited examples of massive disruption in the B2C world, but big changes are also happening among B2B companies.

The lines are blurring between manufacturers, distributors, and end customers, and new monetization models such as subscription-based purchasing will cause massive shake ups across the industry. Imagine a copier manufacturer who charges by the copy versus selling machines, or a maker of excavators charging by the amount of dirt moved.

These new disruptive business models would not be possible without technology. Ubiquitous broadband, massive data collection and storage, IoT, and 24/7 omnichannel accessibility underpin the revolutions that have already happened and more will take place in the coming years. It’s no wonder these issues are top of mind for CEOs.

CEO concerns for new product introduction
Photo by KPMG – U.S. CEO Outlook 2016

How quickly can you get products to market?

In today’s landscape, it’s more critical than ever to speed your time to market and have scalable, flexible launch capabilities.

If your business runs on an SAP’s ERP system, you know that getting the data your supply chain or operations organization needs to launch new products is often a slow, painful, and error-prone process. Whether you’re launching a net new product or making a simple label, ingredient or component change, you can’t afford to wait months for data to get into SAP.

What if you could reduce your launch process time by 50% or more?

The good news is you can by deploying Winshuttle’s New Product Introduction solution. This holistic solution of software, services, best practices and pre-built content is designed to get you on the fast track to speedier, more successful product launches.

Getting to market faster and accelerating revenue will be a key survival tactic as the manufacturing industry continues to change at breakneck speed. Is your organization ready?

If you’re involved in your company’s new product introduction launch process, I’d like to invite you to participate in our ongoing research in this area. Please take our 3-minute survey, and we’ll send you a report on our findings later this year and enter you in a drawing to win an Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home – your choice!

Take our New Product Introduction Survey.

About the author

Jeanette Mifsud

Jeanette is a senior product marketing manager at Winshuttle and has over 20 years experience helping technology companies define and market products that solve real-world problems for customers around the globe. Although based in our Bothell, WA headquarters, Jeanette hails from the UK.

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