New Development Process Cuts Time and Costs in Half

A consumer electronics manufacturer struggled with its R&D function. There was a lack of market orientation, and nonstandard processes slowed development and increased costs. A new product development process solved both issues.

The manufacturer was struggling with its R&D process. It had not introduced any new products in the past five years. Its brand was dated and losing equity. The company also realized it didn’t have a presence in a fast-growing market segment.

An internal audit revealed that the company was underperforming in the following areas:

  • Closeness to the market
  • Design to cost, quality, and error rate
  • Time to market
  • Cross-departmental cooperation and project organization
  • Budget compliance

Working with BCG, the company developed a detailed R&D process and requirements based on industry best practices. The new process outlines milestones for deliverables, which provides a mechanism for managing interfaces and timelines.

The process also identifies main development streams, creates a target outline for allocation of sufficient resources, and identifies key outputs. All process steps were detailed by flow diagrams, and the activity and output requirements were clearly specified. The team also established a cross-functional development group and a project management structure for execution.

Once the new process was fully implemented, product development time was cut from two years to one year, and costs were reduced by 50%.