• This infographic shares the importance of developing a cohesive digital thread when developing formulated products in the consumer packaged goods industry. The digital thread should be driven by customer requirements and incorporate the recipe / formulation, specifications, packaging design, compliance information, claims, cautions, ingredients, labeling, artwork, and more to provide a full view of the product and it's design history. An effective CPG Digital Thread relies on an integrated Product Innovation Platform to connect product data from early in the front end of innovation through development, … [ read more ]

    The CPG Digital Thread (infographic)
  • Join Tech-Clarity's Jim Brown on this webinar sharing  recent survey results from almost 200 Consumer Packaged Goods companies, delving into their quality issue and how top performing CPG companies achieve better quality without suffering from excess internal cost. Learn the process, organizational, and technology approaches that Top Performers leverage to overcome their challenges and drive cost-effective quality. This Business Review Webinars event is brought to you by Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA. Register for the June 20th webcast now (free of charge, registration required). All registrants will … [ read more ]

    Cost Effective Quality in CPG (webcast, survey results)
  • On Thursday June 8, 2017  please join Michelle Boucher as she conducts a live interview with Mark Turner, Technical Manager for Development IT at Alcon, a Novartis Division. They will focus on key topics for medical device companies, including the Case for Quality. During the discussion, Michelle will share research on medical device industry trends. She will also discuss the implications for the Case for Quality and offered advice to efficiently manage regulatory compliance. Throughout the discussion, she will have an interactive conversation with Mark Turner. Mark will reveal how Alcon addresses their … [ read more ]

    Live Interview – Medical Devices: Making the Right Choice — Your Case for Quality
  • This eBook shares survey results analyzing companies' ability to hit new product development (NPD) targets, then offers seven practical tips identified by the research as best practice processes, organization, and technology leveraged by the top performing product developers. The research provides recommendations to companies based on the approaches taken by the Top Performers, those that are able to outperform their competitors in revenue growth, margin expansion, and delivering innovative products to market. Please enjoy the summary below. For the full report, please visit our sponsor Autodesk (free … [ read more ]

    7 Ways to Outperform Your Competitors in NPD (eBook, survey results)
  • Medical Device companies have the opportunity to leverage digitalization and the digital enterprise to develop innovative products and bring them to market quickly. Watch this edition of Tech-Clarity TV to learn about the digitalization opportunity and stay tuned for the rest of the series detailing specific business improvement opportunities including: Digital design Digital design transfer Paperless manufacturing The video shares how medical device manufacturers are embracing digitalization and gaining significant benefits including faster time to market, increased quality, and improved … [ read more ]

    The Digitalization Opportunity for Medical Device Companies (video)

Going Social with Product Development

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A quick peek into some research on … how manufacturers are taking advantage of social computing and “Web 2.0” technologies to raise the bar on product development performance in my new report Tech-Clarity Insight: Going Social with Product Development: Improving Product Development Performance with Social Computing. SPDthumbThe paper discusses the intersection of social computing and new product development (NPD) processes and tools. I have posted frequently about the intersection of social computing and PLM and product innovation, and this research provides some examples on how these strategies are starting to play out for manufacturers like Microsoft (think PC hardware and game consoles, not Windows) and Pitney Bowes.
The Research Findings

The paper discusses uses of social computing from the basics of collaboration to the adoption of more innovative business models. Most companies will start with more conservative extensions to existing processes like design collaboration. In these cases, incorporating tools like instant messaging into the product development workflow can help streamline interactions. Capabilities like presence detection and interactive file sharing help make existing collaborative processes better. For many companies, these capabilities are readily available and require little change to underlying business processes.

Other forms of communication, such as blogs and wikis, offer a combination of better communication and knowledge management. These online discussion tools change the product dialogue from a one-way push of information to a two-way, interactive, dynamic, electronic conversation to help people better share information and ideas. Beyond better communication, the simple fact that the conversations are happening centrally and in electronic format turns product-related discussions and decision-making into a searchable knowledge asset.

Social computing can also be used to extend collaboration and information sharing to broader communities. This allows product developers to collaborate with the people they know, but also extend their search to find others in the corporate network that have valuable knowledge and expertise that previously would have gone untapped. By connecting people around product and project context, companies enable “social discovery” which fundamentally changes the available talent and expertise available to a project.

Beyond the corporate community, companies can also develop new product intellectual property (IP) from social computing. By extending the online community to customers and the market, new opportunities to gather “voice of the customer” and test ideas emerge. While these concepts require more change to the business and the way it operates, they also offer an even greater potential return by leveraging larger communities.

Implications for Manufacturers
The implications break down into two categories. The first implications are about the applicability and importance of social computing in product development. You have probably heard me talk about this before, and this report helps confirm and expand my thoughts on the subject. There is clearly something of value happening with the intersection of this exciting and popular new way of communicating and the business of developing profitable products.

The second set of implications fall into the category of practical advice and lessons learned to take advantage of this new opportunity. The opportunities are available, but the most important thing is that manufacturers don’t discount the applicability of social computing concepts based on their personal experience with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, or any other social networking sites. Manufacturers have to see through the use of these communication techniques for “fun” and see the significant business potential. This potential will likely never come from the public social networking sites, but instead by incorporating these “Web 2.0” concepts into existing infrastructure and product development solutions. This is the most practical method to both achieve the value, but also ensure that product data and intellectual property (IP) is protected and that the solutions are used in the right context – to improve products and projects that drive corporate profitability.

So that was a quick peek into some recent research on social computing in product development, I hope you found it interesting. Does the research reflect your experiences? Do you see it differently? Let us know what it looks like from your perspective.

Please feel free to review more free research and white papers about PLM and other enterprise software for manufacturers from Tech-Clarity

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