New presents the need for organisations to respond to

New Product (Launch) Commercialization
in the Technology Industry.

Case Study

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1      
Introduction

Product commercialization (further in the
text referred to as launch process) defined as a process when a new product
introduced to the market and has two primary objectives. The first is to build
acceptance and involving the key groups in the design and development process
through excellent internal marketing. The second is to monitor all aspects of
the introduction through to the complete product (Hollensen, 2015). As organisations come to be increasingly global and
cross-functional, with advancements in technology, silos are breaking down,
connectivity is growing and organisations face more complex changes (Cross,
Rebele and Grant, 2016). At increasing speeds, this presents the need for
organisations to respond to strategic challenges by growing their product
portfolios and by addressing new market segments, and therefore new product
launch management in the technology industry has become more challenging.
Research has attributed some difficulties in doing so largely to problems in
the product launch process, and has pinpointed the essential role of not only
adopting to changes and managing your consumer expectations but also managing
internal processes and teamwork as efficiently as possible is seen as a key to
organisational success (Wind and Mahajan,
1981; Gbadegeshin, 2017). An ethos of speed of new product launch through
change management needed for the success of new product introduction.

This research will employ a case study
approach to identify if and how the case organisation reconcile this conundrum,
to advance understanding concerning the critical link between new product
launch and organisational process innovation.

2      
Background

Scholar research has revealed that the key
predictor of success for new product launch correlate with organisations strategy,
process, marketplace characteristics and product excellence (Wilson
et al., 2016). Product launch process begins when a business
identifies a way to use technological advancement to meet a market need and is
the last stage of the new product development and includes design, development
and marketing. Also encompasses efforts to enhance the product. Generally separated
into three main segments the product, the consumer and the organisation
reinventing the product. All the various steps owned by different functions
with simultaneously overlapping stages (Gourville,
2005; Bhuiyan, 2011). The growing number of new product launches has
triggered challenges and inefficiencies on organisational and process levels throughout
the global technology industry. With new products constantly emerging,
companies have become more agile (Heirati
and O’Cass, 2016). To keep up with rapidly changing market conditions
and with all their efforts to get all product components right, most product
launches still present challenges and very often fail. The same can be said for
organisational change management (Schneider
and Hall, 2011). One of the main problems is that organisations like a routine and even
than still one has to learn. It takes time and money to try new things; it
disrupts and distracts the day-to-day working of the organisation and can upset
current processes and arrangements and require efforts in acquiring and using
new skills. On that bases it’s not surprising that the strategy organisations
adapt is to try to short-cut the processes by borrowing ideas from others,
however often one size cannot fit all (Tidd
and Bessant, 2013; Gbadegeshin, 2017). Of course, many things also depend on how products differentiated,
how the consumer perceives it and are they interconnected with other
organisations inside and outside the industry. In addition, most consumers are
unwilling to change from one product to another which detects conflict and also
means that the organisation has overestimated the market size and demand, or have
not positioned the product correctly (Gourville,
2005; Heirati and O’Cass, 2016).

At the outset, anything is possible, but
in many cases, the new product development process blurs into the process of
new product launch. For example, customer co-development, test marketing and
use of alpha, beta and gamma test sites yield data on customer requirements and
so on (Bhuiyan,
2011). Typically, product launch process involves a
sequence of awareness, interest, trial, evaluation and adaption. Just making
the consumer aware of the new product, will not be sufficient, they need to be
drawn into the process through the other stages (Tidd
and Bessant, 2013). As debated by Kotter & Schlesinger (2008), when choosing a strategy for change, organisations
leaders must continually deal with increased competition, changing workforce,
technological advancements, growth and new regulations. Therefore,
organisations need to embrace change and think about how to support fast growth
and implement an agile launch process that can overcome obstacles related to
new product launch (Bhuiyan,
2011). The success depends on not only analysing the
current trends in the market from customer perspective and aligning with
company’s direction (Gbadegeshin,
2017). Successful change management of internal processes
is also a very important factor in managing customer satisfaction and creating
better experience (Cooper,
1999). All these circumstances could potentially disrupt
the product launch and may present its own challenges unless the organisation
is prepared to adjust to unexpected conditions(Gbadegeshin,
2017). That being said, the quest to investigate the
effectiveness of product launch process have been limited and apart from the
lack of research there still exist inconclusive findings concerning which
approach to product launch process in the technology industry could be
generalized.

These concerns lead to a comprehensive
investigation of the factors that can facilitate a smooth execution, and the
techniques that can optimize the implementation of a product launch initiatives
through operations change management in the case organisation.

3      
Sample
Literature Review

The research literature identifies several
launch challenges, for example, timing, decisions, demand, cross-functional
silos, sales management and lack of flexibility in the processes. In case of
innovative technology applications that are developed and launched is the
process of introducing a new product into the market for initial sale (Cooper,
2014). And its main purpose is to maximise companies profitability
by introducing their product into the target market and depend on the specific
buying behaviour they are trying to reach (Guiltinan,
1999).

Accordingly, a great deal of launch
literature examines the elements of launch that contribute to new consumer
packaging product success (Bruce,
Daly and Kahn, 2007; Johnson and Sohi, 2017). However, launch process calls for the other side of
the coin, as it has been largely ignored. In addition, launch is said to be
often poorly managed (Schoenherr
and Swink, 2015), and for the launch process to be unstructured (Roger
J. Calantone and C. Anthony Di Benedetto, 2007; Wilson et al., 2016). Therefore suggested here, that in order to develop a
more organized approach on launch, it would be important to grasp the
challenges. Product marketing and sales being the focal point and includes an
internal network, commitment team and good leadership (Schneider
and Hall, 2011; Tidd and Bessant, 2013; Gbadegeshin, 2017), and the team needs to be considered suitable for collaborating
and examining these challenges. For example, production ramp-up issues are not
of interest here as such, but perhaps the technology used, their effects on the
timing of the new product launch process.

New product launch activities formulated
on the bases of the organisations strategy, considering existing product
iteration or extensions, and introduced to promote organisations tactical growth,
to meet market demand and to take advantages of customer needs (Heirati
and O’Cass, 2016). In addition, it reduces marketing efforts, reduces
risk and enhances the parent brand. However, if the product loses its purpose,
or released too soon or causes confusion amongst customers, or the process is
so rigid with no flexibility but still requires recognising the issues,
stepping in and correcting any inaccuracy, which often are also purely managed
(Gbadegeshin, 2017). New product launch particularly is already very costly
process and the organisation needs to provide for not only marketing
activities, but also enable staged-based agile models that allows room for
variation, invest in internal and external training, gear up productions and
align all operations (Kotler
et al., 2008). Needless to add that organisations need to be
equipped to grasp market changes through both organisational processes and
managerial constrains. They need someone who is knowledgeable and always outward
looking (Heirati
and O’Cass, 2016).

The main goal of this research is to
combine the product launch and operations change management elements, and
provide a product launch framework for a common use in different product launches
inside the case organisation, which discussed in the next section.

4      
Research
Objectives and Questions

The aim of the research is to provide references for improving
management practice and stage-based management framework in the new product
launch process, so that the case organisation could reduce product time to
market, cost, while remaining competitive. This case study will be focusing on
the product launch process in the context of organisational change management
and for the purpose of this exercise; the case organisation will remain
confidential. Common and different process frameworks identified and how these
frameworks influence the new product introduction. The research will also seek
to gain understanding of launch process, operation change management and the
possible coloration. These issues will be critically analysed to compare the
observed practice in the case organisation with theoretical developments and
with results of earlier studies. The research questions are as follow:

a)      What challenges are facing the case organisation when
executing the product launch (commercialisation) process and what techniques
have been adapted to facilitate the process?

Product launch teams are generally cross-functional and must often
collaborate with conflicting functions and other internal and external sources
and requires a number of facilitating factors. 
The teams need to be able to balance insights they gain from the
customer and with the desired outcome. It is very iterative process and debates
the merits of market needs and technology used, whereby usually the
technological possibilities coupled with market opportunities (Heirati
and O’Cass, 2016; Gbadegeshin, 2017; Johnson and Sohi, 2017). However, technologies sometimes have its
limitations, or the market is not ready or no obvious commercial applications
anticipated, or the product could create completely new market without
customers knowing that they actually wanted it (Tidd and Bessant,
2013).  Therefore,
the organisation needs to have a clear idea what type of innovation will affect
success and failure and allow some scope for process innovation when managing
product launch process.

b)     How the case organisation can optimize the
implementation of a product launch initiatives through agile process management
and enhance the success of the product launch?

Standard marketing techniques and tools have limited utility for the
product launch process and one must have a clear understanding of the
technologies and markets, and the factors that contribute to success. The
innovation literature suggest that different managerial processes, structures
and tools should be used when enhancing the effectiveness of the product launch
process (Tura,
Hannola and Pynnönen, 2017). Thus, the need to look at the ways in which to drive
a learning process to enable and build strong innovation capabilities while
recognising the moving targets represented in terms of technology, markets,
competition and strong leadership (Gbadegeshin, 2017).

c)      How the case organisation can enable a flexible /
agile launch plan in preparation of new product introduction through operational
change management?

This question will examine how the case organisation can design a
framework that will encourage innovation and minimize the drawbacks of change
during their product launch process. The capacity and ability of the
organisation to translate its technological advancements into commercially
viable processes and products. Moreover, determine whether their inputs and
outputs measure anything of relevance (Tidd
and Bessant, 2013; Tura, Hannola and Pynnönen, 2017).

5      
Research
scope, limitations and validly of the research

Both new product launch process in
general, agile process management subjects are widely applied, and examining
every point would exceed the dimensions of this research. Therefor this
research will only provide for an overview of new product launch process in the
technology industry and operational change management theory to create a
baseline understanding required before the actual research conducted. Since
this is a case study the validity and scope of the research is limited to the
case organisation and particular product launch process discussed. It is also
important to stress that the researcher will be working with a limited number
of cases and limited time to rise questions of the meaning of the facts
presented during the research (Tharenou, Donohue
and Cooper, 2007).

6      
Research
design and methodology

Research is a planned activity directed to laying out the foundation of
new facts and information about particular phenomenon. As advocated by
well-known scholars Saunders et al. (2015), research design has five elements and provides
framework for data collection, with each stage determining the next
requirement. It requires taking each decision in sequence, first choosing the
philosophy and advance to the next step until that being the research design
that is the most appropriate for the study. Which involves making choices,
identifying patterns and steps followed by researchers during the research
process.  Therefore, to provide
direction, the “onion” research design method will be used, as shown in figure
1.

On that base, the research will employ
case study design to explain the process of conundrum within the case
organisation and will adapt a range of information gathering techniques while
using personal observation, which will depend largely on qualitative methods,
to explore the “Why” questions that are difficult to explore in a traditional
closed question survey.  Although
quantitative methods may play a considerable role, by employing sampling method
to capture respondent feedback who will be the relevant stakeholders (sales,
product, marketing, operations etc.) of the case organisation, to obtain a
broad and representative overview of the situation and interrelations between
all factors, such as people, groups, policies and technology with in a case
organisation (Horn, 2012). The research will also employ documentation analysis
method by using the minutes of past product launch meetings, official and
unofficial company documents. This should give a good understanding how
different stakeholders interpret the product launch process and its activities.
However, the primary use as preliminary data to inform the above primary data
collection methods such as survey and interview design (Tharenou, Donohue
and Cooper, 2007). Mixed methodology used to overcome any shortcomings
and will offer a richer data for analysis and interpretation, besides Gummesson
(2000) underlines and links the importance of integrating
and collaborating different sources of information. However, the scholar also
acknowledges, that there is no given method for assessing the quality of the
random statistical sample and observations, but since the researcher has great
knowledge of the case organisation should be able to develop concepts and
framework appropriate to the specific case. 

Nevertheless, it is still equally important
how the research data interpreted; particularly distinguishing what is
important and from what is not and the correlation between the important items.
Therefore, a content analysis research tool will help to determine the
presence, meanings and relationships and used in analysing open questions. The
first step will be to select units that closely relate to the research
questions. After coded and broken down into several categories and converting
the source into map of concepts and relations (Horn, 2012). Since the amount of data gathered will not be large,
therefore it will be feasible to validate the data. To avoid any confusing
issues down the line, a questionnaire will be used to assess whether the
stakeholders of the new product launch process exhibit a particular
characteristic, before constructing interview questions. The key challenges
during this process is to get answers to all questions, record and to get
answers to question that are relevant to the research question (Gummesson, 2000;
Tharenou, Donohue and Cooper, 2007).The research will be carried out using the
free specialist tools, such as Monkey Surveys free online version so that
participants can respond anonymously and excel spreadsheets for taking
interview notes and content analysis.