5 ways to increase speed to market

By Laura Reeves

In a 21st century market place, every company should be striving to get its products to market faster to maintain its competitive edge.  After all, it doesn’t matter how good its innovative, ground breaking products are, competitors are out there snapping at the heels.  Sure, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But in the 21st century, it could probably be done a lot quicker.

Here are some of our tips for achieving that critical speed to market success.

1. Build a strong foundation – servicing and supporting customers

A clearly defined mission and vision statement together with a clear set of values, can serve as a foundation framework for everything that happens in the organisation and how things are done.  Elements such as innovation, product development and meeting customers’ needs, can be embraced in these ‘what the company is about’ definitions. 

2. Being agile, being disruptive and digital

An agile company will pursue a fast moving, creative product development roadmap.  Its management style will be less formal and rigid to allow new concepts to be explored. Instead of thinking outside the box, think that even the box can be disregarded in

Rapid manufacturing at Protolabs

3. The digital power revolution

Embracing systems integration, online capabilities, advanced data communications has opened up a vast array of possibilities in every quarter. Not only does digital power help to give a company a marketing edge but powerful integrated systems also mean being able to work more closely with suppliers, drive efficiencies and shorten the supply chain.

4. View suppliers like an extension of your business

Outsourcing of services like IT and HR allows greater focus and more energies can be directed on to what the company does best and for more successful results. Freed from having to invest in and maintain non-core activities together with the personnel to run them can all contribute to improving Speed to Market.

5. Engage with specialist 3rd party manufacturing partners

Speed to Market is becoming much easier to achieve with the integration of design and rapid prototyping processes.  By shortening the timescales, engaging with specialist third party partners, being able to produce prototypes at short notice has benefits that cannot be disputed. If you have a vibrant product development programme, then prototyping proves the concept without major investment.  There is no need to risk costly machine time and mouldings that might be discarded as design iterations progress.  The value of being able to go from design to prototyping and to product prototypes to exacting specifications is immense. Quite possibly one of the single biggest enablers in improving Speed to Market performance – at least in terms of manufacturing.

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