A new product development framework for a timber processing company
Nyemba, Wilson R.
Shoniwa, Kuda J.
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Customer perceptions of products continuously change over time. Marketing specialists are generally tasked with the responsibility of rebranding and product changes. However this is normally technology driven, with inputs from engineering designers and manufacturers providing the designs and feasibilities for either modifying existing designs or developing new ones. An opportunity arose at a timber processing company where a variety of products such as domestic and commercial furniture are manufactured. This paper reports on the development of a framework for formulating new products using the wide array of hard and soft wood that the company processes. A detailed work study was conducted focusing on the company’s production capacity, sales history of the company’s twenty-three products, market trends and interviews with current customers. The research set out to develop innovative and new product platforms (product families) that are unique and represent the company while satisfying customer needs and requirements. A stage-gate model of the New Product Development (NPD) using the stage gate model, Weighted Objectives and Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methods were the engineering techniques employed in this model and a four-wheeler coffee table was developed into a prototype using QFD. Implementation of the stage-gate model and further research into the four-wheeler coffee table were recommended as well as other areas related to NPD.
Additional Citation InformationNyemba, W. R., & Mbohwa, C. (2016). A new product development framework for a timber processing company. In Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering, London, U.K, (Vol. 2), pp 674-679.