September 22, 2016

Last week, Kash Gokli (the head of Harvey Mudd’s manufacturing program) and I facilitated our Harvey Mudd executive roundtable discussion with executives of Southern California on just this topic.  According to best practices, your new product sales should become 30% of total sales within 2-3 years.  This seems like a tall order!

Let’s assume you achieve these goals.  Just from the numbers standpoint, it will not work if you wait too long!  You need to be developing products BEFORE your current products are in maturity and start their downward trend. And, certainly, it is rare for anyone to have only success along the way in product development; thus, it is prudent to start early and expect failures along the road to success.

One tip to implement this week:
So, I bet you are wondering what could possibly be done this week.  I wondered that too until thinking a bit further.  There is actually quite a lot that could be accomplished in a week. Get a cross-functional team together to discuss your products and services.  Think about where they are in the cycle.  Are any getting close to maturity?  How are they performing?  Do you know the market needs?  By understanding these answers, you’ll know where to start.

If you are already in a product development cycle, take a step back to think about whether you think achieving 30% of total sales within 3 years is feasible.  What can you do to strengthen your possibility of achieving this objective?  Who should you involve?  Do you feel confident that your customers are on board?  Put a team together to ensure success.