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Marketing has changed over the recent past due to a number of reasons. Unlike in the past when marketing was done using the inward out approach that is, production and marketing later, the current market competition has seen marketing take an outward in approach that is, understanding what the market needs and producing products that best satisfy its demands.
The products are then delivered in the most desirable manner. Competition in the market is becoming more sophisticated and every firm is trying to match this competition to avoid a possible phase out.
Emerging technologies offer companies with both competitive advantage and an avenue to failure, depending on the approach each firm takes. Emerging technologies may be advantageous if they are adopted early enough to offer the firm with a competitive advantage. The time factor is very important because these technologies are evolving.
The technology that might be relevant today may not be so in a few years or even a few months time. Moreover, if a firm takes too long before adopting a given relevant technology, such a firm would become vulnerable to other firms that have adopted such technologies. However, in the process of being active in adopting such technologies, care should be taken to ensure that the technology in question is relevant.
Not all technologies that are emerging currently are relevant. Some of the currently emerging technologies may be dangerously ineffective and their application to any given firm may be dangerous. This paper seeks to explain how time-to-market might be improved in an engineering design department, taking into account the organizational implications.
Improving Time-to-Market in an Engineering Design Department
As stated above, time factor is very important. If a firm hopes to beat other competing firms in the market, it should consider time factor. This is because of the rapid changes in the market. Another reason that makes time to be very important is the issue of imitation. When a firm comes with a new idea for a new product, care should be taken to ensure that it is implemented at a considerably higher speed.
This is because other firms can hijack the process and deliver the product fist to the market, thereby securing patent to it, even though it might have done very little as far as the initial research that resulted in the new idea is concerned.
This would be a big blow to such a firm because the process of designing such products all the way from ideal stage to product stage is very expensive and time-consuming. For this reason, there is need to improve time-to-market in order to avoid such unfortunate incidents.
In an organizational structure, there are many departments, each with a common purpose of ensuring that the entire firm achieves its objectives. At times, these departments may seem to work in an antagonistic manner.
As the production department may want to ensure that there are supplies in the firm all the time to ensure mass production, the quality assurance team may demand for reduced output in order to have products of high quality.
In as much as the marketing department may need a lot of money to finance most of its promotional activities, the finance department may reduce this limit by allocating just enough amounts to finance the basic promotional requirements. It may be difficult, though very vital, to ensure that all the departments of the organization act within a common goal and in unison.
In an engineering and design department, time to market would need to be improved in order to ensure that the department’s efforts are not watered down by individuals who are keen on imitating or ‘stealing’ such ideas and claiming that they own them. To achieve this, the department needs to understand the departments that are involved in the process.
There are those departments that are directly involved in this process and those that are partially involved in the process. All these departments are to be identified and appropriately involved in order to ensure that the process is successful.
Marketing is one of the departments that are directly involved. This department is actually the one responsible for the process of marketing products designed by the engineering and design department. In order to improve this process, this department should consider identifying appropriate markets for such products while they are still in the production process.
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When delivering this product to the market, this department, in conjunction with the engineering and design department, should develop a value proposition for the product that would help in securing a unique niche in the market. If the company’s brand name is popular in the market, the two departments should consider using this brand name to speed up this process.
Other departments that are directly involved in this process are the finance department, logistics unit and the entire production unit. The finance department should be convinced to release the required amount of finances at the right time to facilitate the production and other logistical requirements.
The production process may need to ensure that the product is as per the specification of the engineering and design department and that the process of production itself takes the time expected. The logistics department would ensure effective and efficient storage and delivery of the product in the market.
All these departments should perform their allocated duties within the desirable time in order to ensure effectiveness of the whole process. It is also very important that all these departments work hand in hand to ensure harmonious implementation of the strategy. With this, the firm would be affected positively. The firm would be in a position to compete favorable with other firms in the market.
Engineering and design department has a very challenging task of ensuring that it keeps pace regarding emerging technologies. Emerging technologies are so unpredictable, with new inventions being introduced into the market quite often. Not all of them are appropriate. As such, this department must devise some mechanisms through which it would be able to scan these technologies and select the most appropriate.
Time-to-market is one of the most important factors that this firm should ensure it keeps. This would help in ensuring that the products that this department designs are not either hijacked by other companies or rendered outdated in the market. In order to achieve this, this department must incorporate all other concerned departments. The marketing department would help in the actual marketing process.
The logistics department would help in effective and efficient delivery. The production department would produce the designed product while the finance unit would ensure that there is enough money for the entire process. If done correctly, this would have a positive implication to the firm.