A B2C product launch is an important time in the product lifecycle, but its purpose isn’t simply to provide customers with an opportunity to purchase new items. The launch can also help a business to create anticipation or buzz around a new product, enhance its visibility in the marketplace, and obtain valuable customer feedback before progressing to full-scale production.
An incorrect product launch can be disastrous. According to the Harvard Business School, 95 per cent of new product launches fail, damaging profits and undermining their reputation. So, what are the most important principles of an effective product launch and how can a Sales and Order Planning platform (S&OP) help?
1. Test Your Product Thoroughly.
Testing is essential to establish how a new product will be received by your target customers, or buyer personas. It allows product designers to take on board positive and negative feedback and make adjustments to ensure that consumer preferences are accommodated when the product goes to mass production.
Bear in mind that a prototype that isn’t quite perfect can provide more useful information about what consumers want than one that ticks all the boxes.
2. Get Ready For A Surge In Sales.
There is little point in launching a new product if your business isn’t prepared to respond to a surge of sales. Excess inventory can be expensive, particularly if your new product fails to attract the necessary level of interest, while shortages lead to delayed order fulfilment which damages your profit and reputation.
Demand forecasting can enable you to plan accurately for your product launch by evaluating sales figures for existing similar products or assimilating data from market research, business intelligence, and product trials.
3. Optimise Your Supply Chains.
Launching a new product can often result in a sudden demand from consumers, so it’s vital that your supply chains are prepped and ready to respond. With Reflex Supply Planning software, you can automate your stock replenishment processes to improve efficiency within your production facility or warehouse, and work proactively with suppliers to ensure a slick supply chain. If supply and demand become unbalanced, you can make informed decisions about how best to reallocate resources to improve fulfilment time and safeguard customer service.
Supply Planning software keeps you abreast of changing consumer demand, so you aren’t faced with damaging stockouts just when your new product is gaining interest.
4. Use Metrics To Monitor Your Performance.
Metrics are vital to enable you to evaluate how your product launch is progressing. Setting goals early, and regularly reviewing them, will provide you with the insight needed to make accurate judgements and alter course if you’re not achieving the minimum number of sales.
5. Implement A Sales And Order Planning Solution For Your Product Launch.
With Reflex Planning’s S&OP platform, your product launch will benefit from:
- A single home for your planning, demand forecasting, and stock optimisation tools.
- Improved efficiencies and cost-savings.
- A modular design, so you only pay for the components you need.
- Fast and easy installation, so you can quickly reap the rewards.
- High-quality support, training, and maintenance.
Contact Reflex Planning To Find Out More
To find out more about our modular demand planning, forecasting, and stock management software, please call us today on +44(0) 1889 508 075 or request a free demonstration to see our solution in action.