PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – A BUSINESS ACTIVITY
The Food Scientist requires many skills to management and control Product Development in business. This means, the issue is important as food businesses seek to maintain and increase their level of profitability.
Three factors will determine the effectiveness of Product Development in a company:-
1) Management attitude -Management demonstrate their commitment to product development. Understand the needs and provide appropriate resources to support the process. This being said, they become involved in the process.
2) The Structure – meaning, the product development role has importance within the company. Therefore, impacting on product development operates and the manner in which it is managed. The company must have-
- A food scientist who is responsible for the new product
- This person must be of sufficient calibre to do the job and also have sufficient status and authority to get the job done.
- A new product team to drive the introduction of the new product and ensure no vital steps in the process are forgotten.
3) Technical Ability of Development Staff – Successful development of a product will depend a great deal on the ability of the development staff. They must be creative but methodical, hands on but project leader material and quality minded and commercially aware – all at the same time.
Developing and Launching the Product
There are several approaches the new product development process. First, we can consider what the driving force is behind the development. This will be a company decision. This means, the Food Scientist must ask, are we launching a product that is based on customer needs. Or, are we looking at what our competitors are doing and trying to be first to market. Alternatively, are we matching our product development to our available equipment.
The approach will dramatically effect how fast the development process will take. Also, the type of steps the food scientist will have to take in the development process
Food Scientist – The Steps Involved
Launching a product involves these steps. Of cause, there are often many more steps than this. The Food Scientist, therefore, must project manage each of these steps to achieve a fast product launch