I wonder if there has ever been a better and more meaningful moment to invest in product and service development? I asked this question for the first time in 1994, for the second time in 2009 and now for the third time in 2020. The answer I’ll end up with this time too: this is exactly the right time to take our products and services to the next level of functionality and earnings.
The transformation that is underway will in all likelihood change the way in which trade is conducted and the trade-making culture permanently:
- This pandemic takes us to the next stage of digitalisation. In other words, digitalisation and the new operating methods it brings are reflected both in the purchasing environment and in the product or service, from its delivery to commissioning and after-sales.
- The prevailing uncertainty underlines the importance of pricing, which means, in practice, lower prices for products and services, not forgetting transaction costs. In price setting one has to take into account the economic success of the entire chain, in addition to operational excellence of the entire chain.
- The content of the products and services must fit a challenging market situation and rapid changes of customer needs. In addition, the production chain must excel despite the problems of the operating environment.
Over the past few years, we have been involved in major product and service development projects in the financial sector and the engineering industry, for example. Despite the differences in industries, product and service development has a lot in common, both in processes, organisation and management. Based on our experience, we see at least three areas that will bring major advantages also in the post-pandemic world:
- Renewing the organization and operating models of product and service development. Digitalisation has brought many new ways to implement product and service development processes. But have they accelerated processes, improved their cost-effectiveness or reduced resource needs? Has our organization changed to the pace of change in tools? Is our product development organization a standalone unit or is product development part of the job descriptions of our entire organisation? How do we lead product and service development? Is it part of strategic and day-to-day management with clear responsibilities? Fast, lean and mean is what it should be.
- Development of product and service features and content. Digitalisation comes up here, too. Remote access and remote control seem to be the words of the day. Pandemic makes us use our services and products in completely new ways, remotely. It is clear that these new use cases will remain even after the pandemic. Our mission is to bring our products and services to a new level of functionality by renewing structures, appearance, use, management, service, delivery etc.
- Building a digital purchasing environment and a purchasing process. The aim of the selling company is to create a pleasant shopping environment in both the virtual and physical worlds. So that the customer feels at home, even if he changes the environment during the process. Even for those products and services that are not yet sold in the digital environment. Developing the purchasing process to support the display of the company’s own product and service portfolio and make the purchase decision easier is a challenge. Investing in sales power in the right place and at the right time is worth of it’s own optimization. Interaction is digital and/or human. It is worth remembering that a great online service and a friendly, knowledgeable customer encounter complement each other.
Development requires experience, vision and new, fresh ideas – that’s MINT – with you remotely.