The five rules of successful product development

Doug Anderson, sales and marketing manager at Guttridge, offers some top tips when it comes to developing a product 

When developing a new product, whether a heavy-duty piece of kit or a simple lightweight maintenance tool, there are several key rules you should stick by to make your industry contribution worthwhile.
Evaluate the safety
So, you’ve come up with the idea, and you’re all set to recommend it for construction. But first, you need to remember the golden rule. The very first rule to follow when designing a product is evaluate the safety elements of your design. Your product should never be the cause of injury or harm to a customer, client or even the workforce involved in constructing it. Even if it means spending a little more time investing in the testing, analysing and safety surveying, this is not an area that should be neglected. Not only would you putting your customers at risk, but the reputation of your brand and company could suffer for your oversight – restricting any further trade.
Trust your suppliers
Who you choose to trade with can have a huge impact on the quality of your end product. The wrong suppliers, with a bad reputation and a poor cost-quality ratio can land both your company and your workforce in trouble. Your clients and customers need to know that the product they’re purchasing is reliable, and durable, with materials sourced from a supplier you trust. So, make sure you do your research before investing.
Consider the workplace efficiency
In terms of customer satisfaction, this should be your top priority. Taking into consideration exactly how your product can benefit the target workspace is a rule that can make or break its success as an innovation. If your product doesn’t go above and beyond to improve the working conditions, production rate, labour costs and quality of service for your customer, then it might be worth a re-think.
Test the durability
A vital rule in any process of product development is to test the durability of your end result. Whether you conduct research into the strength of your materials, or simply trial run the final product for a year before public sale – this is not an area you want to be caught out. Brand loyalty could take a huge hit, should your product malfunction within the first year, with the risk of production losses or damages costing your company thousands in legal fees. A faulty machine could even result in the injury of a work member, and with between 66,000 and 37,000 workplace injuries taking place in the manufacturing and transport sectors alone, these tests become even more important.
Re-determine the purpose
Once your idea is safety-proof and fool-proof, it’s always a good idea to re-determine the purpose of your product. Make sure that you know your schematics inside out, and that the product and branding you’ve designed is as unique as possible to both you, and your industry. What value is your product bringing to the industry overall, and just how much of a gap in the market is there for you to profit from? Who exactly are you targeting, which businesses or sectors will benefit from your product? Why did you design it in the first place, and can it be changed or evolved into a more unique and worthwhile contraption? Understanding the answers to all of these questions follows the final rule of successful product development, and helps you to find the right market for your product.
Achieving a successful product development can be broken down into five essential rules, which, if followed, can help your product to excel in its field and truly benefit your industry.
Guttridge produces and provides high quality bulk material handling solutions throughout the UK and worldwide.
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