Launch Planning for Success

Launch Planning by the Book

Launch planning is key to both financial and market success but is often avoided due to cultural and other internal distractions.

The Best Strategies Lead to the Best Results

Launch Planning is an operational strategy religiously embraced by a few, verbally endorsed by many, and effectively ignored by most.  While there are different (launch planning) methodologies, one of the most effective is a Plan, Do, Check, Action (PDCA) structure.  It ensures that all new products, programs, and services follow an organized, well researched path from idea to launch to ongoing improvement.

Advantages of Plan, Do, Check, Action Strategies

Companies that formulate and execute their Launch Planning according to a PDCA-type structure are better prepared to meet market demands.  A PDCA driven process is usually more efficient, more streamlined, more profitable with higher levels of customer satisfaction.  And a bonus, a successful launch makes your pricing more stable. 

Launch Planning Makes Companies Stronger

Companies committed to Launch Planning are more customer and market centric, making them effective competitors. This is because they they are able to:

  • Understand the market
  • See how their product, program, or service fits in
  • Implement effective, targeted communication and marketing efforts around likely adopters
  • Have organizational structures in place to support market adoption and usage
  • Adhere to a strategy that facilitates Continuous Improvement

In short, launch planning is embraced by companies that invest in their customers. 

Obstacles to Effective Launch Planning

Company Culture

Launch planning requires a commitment to discipline, a willingness to:

  • Sometimes let someone else be first to market
  • Forego a little revenue today in return for more tomorrow
  • Allow customers to experience for themselves how a product, program, or service benefits them
  • Invest in Continuous Improvement

Toyota has always made an open secret of its cultural and operational strengths without fear of losing its competitive advantage.  This is because they realize that their strategies are rooted in culture.  They understand that, while most companies see the value of their approach, few possess the discipline or commitment to carry it out. 

Lack of Budget

Launch planning can be expensive, both in terms of time and money.  Investments need to be made in:

  • Developing, administering, and quantifying the appropriate research
  • Drafting preliminary plans
  • Obtaining approvals
  • Developing and administering pilots
  • Re-drafting plans using lessons learned
  • Obtaining more approvals
  • Development and execution of finalized plan 
  • Monitoring launch and ongoing application for needed revisions

Some approaches focus on speed to market over robust planning.  And this approach can be very effective for software startup companies.  However, “fast to market processes” such as the “Lean Startup” methodology must be used properly, or it can lead to long delays and unforeseen costs. 

Impact of "Launch Now Fix Later"

Rushing to Market

Lack of launch planning is rarely identified as the actual cause of a product failure.

The marketplace can be an unforgiving laboratory for untested and unplanned launches.  The cost of rushing to market and missing the mark can be high, yet few companies learn from the experience.  Those lucky enough to turn things around — after devoting considerable time, money, and resources — are content to move forward without looking back to identify what went wrong; while those substantially crippled by the failure no longer have the resources to look back.

Repeating a Rush to Market

Failing to identify a rush to market as the reason for failure helps explain why companies can repeatedly make the same miscalculation.  The ongoing desire to move revenue forward and hit faster results means few executives will support a controlled launch and even fewer have the incentive to understand a controlled approach.  This situation is unfortunate, for a launch first, fix later strategy is more likely to lead to lost opportunities and failed products than well researched path.

3ng Consulting Launch Planning Services

3ng Consulting has launched some of the largest and most successful programs in the dealer marketplace and we can help you achieve the same results.  Our proprietary approach reviews market needs to balance speed to market with sustainment and feedback tools to get you to market fast and keep you in a leadership position. 

Some of the areas where 3NG Consulting has had success and can help lead to sustained success include::

  • SaaS solutions and Startup Programs
  • Mobile Service
  • Collision Parts Marketing and Ordering
  • Maintenance Parts and Service Programs
  • Reman Parts Planning and Implementation
  • Tire Program Planning and Sustainment
  • Maintenance Care Programs
  • Wholistic chemical and Oil Programs

We know what it takes to research, plan, and implement a market strategy that is timely, comprehensive, cost-effective, and — most important — successful.  If you are readying a strategic initiative for market and need help mapping your strategy, give us a call and let’s talk.

Click here for more information related to our Launch Planning Consulting Services

If you are looking to enter a market via acquisition, 3NG Consulting can help you find the right target company.  

Doug Stein

Doug Stein

Doug Stein is the Chief Operating Officer of 3NG Consulting and specializes in automotive parts and service, product management, program design and management and marketing.

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