Introduction to the Product Life Cycle

Sorin Dumitrascu
A free video tutorial from Sorin Dumitrascu
Management trainer
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Lecture description

Think of a product or service that your organization provides. Now think about the recurring activities that manage and support that product or service. These activities are known as product and service management. Your company might not classify these activities under the product and service management umbrella, but every organization carries out this management practice.

Learn more from the full course

Product and Service Management

Know the Work that is Involved in Getting a Product Onto the Shelf and a Service Ready for Effective Delivery

01:12:50 of on-demand video • Updated September 2019

  • understand phases of the product life cycle to actions that should be taken at each phase
  • sequence the stages of the new product development process
  • match current best practices in new product development with their description
  • apply strategies used to manage existing and mature products and services with examples of the ways they are used
English Think of a product or service that your organization provides. Now think about the recurring activities that manage and support that product or service. These activities are known as product and service management. Your company might not classify these activities under the product and service management umbrella, but every organization carries out this management practice. This type of management is responsible for creating strategies for a company's products and services. To achieve this, product and service management is interlinked with the product and service life cycle. The product or service strategy needs to be tailored specifically to the requirements of the stage in the life cycle the product or service has reached. The product and service management process always begins with a new product or service idea. This process guides the product or service to the market and provides support to customers who purchase it. Throughout the course the term 'product' may be used in reference to both products and services. Product and service management is a vital process in both service and manufacturing operations. And, remember that whether a product is tangible, for example a laptop, or intangible, such as phone service support for laptop operation, it requires product and service management. Manufacturing and service operations both rely on product and service management to provide a complete beginning-to-end solution for their products. Examples of manufacturing operations include automobile manufacturers, laptop producers, and pharmaceutical companies. The same principles apply to a service environment and a manufacturing environment. So, regardless of the type of environment, the main principles of operations management will apply. More often than not, companies are combining both manufacturing and service elements in their product offering to remain competitive. A common example of this is in the computer manufacturing industry, where support services are also offered with the product. By ignoring product and service management, your company runs the risk of failing to maximize a potentially successful product's potential or promoting a product with no market potential at all. Both outcomes result in losses for your company. All effective and successful companies use product and service management. Sometimes it's referred to in different terms or broken down into separate management functions. Product and service management gives shape and focus to a company's product strategy. Product and service management plays a crucial role in generating revenue for an organization. When handled correctly, product and service management can contribute to selling more current and new products to both current and new customers. All companies that produce goods and services face the same customer requirements. Customers want a better, more cost-effective product in a faster manner. The problem facing product and service managers is how to achieve this. To successfully address this requirement, there needs to be a close link between a company's marketing and operations functions. When operations closely aligns with marketing, the resulting synergy can positively affect sales growth in existing markets. This organizational impetus may also help explore the viability of expanding into new markets. The alliance between marketing and operations has been traditionally strong in service organizations. By tying customer requirements in with these two functions, greater possibilities for after-sales and promotions are created. Product strategies vary depending on the product life cycle, and it's important for operations managers to understand this. They need to be flexible enough to react accordingly if there's a change in alignment with current or future marketing requirements. And an operations manager who understands the product life cycle, is able to participate in the strategic redesign of existing products in cooperation with marketing. Product and service managers are responsible for identifying the best product strategy to maximize a product's potential. To achieve this, the manager must ensure that the strategy is in line with certain aspects of the organization. The product strategy is aligned with the organization's vision, corporate strategy, and divisional strategy, which provide a focus for developing and leveraging core competencies. The product strategy is also aligned with marketing tactics and customer satisfaction, resulting in a focus on customer-specific needs. So, why is it important to understand how product strategies can vary depending on the product life cycle? 1 - The operations section of an organization can be responsive and flexible when a product or process change occurs in the marketing section. 2 - Operations managers can contribute to the redesign of an existing product in cooperation with their colleagues in marketing. 3 - Operations and marketing managers are able to separately carry out forward planning based on the product life cycle and can concentrate on improving their own functions. 4 - The operations and marketing sections can predict where their respective roles will overlap so they're able to schedule joint communication sessions at select stages instead of having to collaborate at each stage. Please pause the video to reflect on the correct answer. When you are ready we can compare together. Option 1: That option is correct. Operations and marketing need to be closely aligned. If marketing detects a change in consumer needs, this must also be made known to the operations section, so it can react promptly and effectively. Option 2: That option is correct. It's vital that operations and marketing collaborate. The product may need to be enhanced at different stages with a function the consumer wants. The need for an alteration to the product will be identified by marketing, and then operations will carry out the enhancement. Option 3: That option is incorrect. For a product strategy to be successful, it needs both operations and marketing working in an aligned manner. Option 4: That option is incorrect. It is important that operations and marketing work closely together and communicate effectively during all stages of the product life cycle. So, this is the overview of the product life cycle. In the next lecture, you re going to learn more details and focus on actions for product life cycle stages.