Product Lifecycle Management
Product Lifecycle Management
Products are just as similar to man who manufactures and sells them, man has a specified number of years to live, so does a product. Every product has a lifespan which is categorized into four stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Each stage comes with its fair share of challenges just as every new stage of man’s life is filled with different obstacles. Retailers therefore need to be able to conquer the challenges set in all these stages to achieve overall success of the product. The successful triumph over the challenges faced in each period of the products lifespan is known as lifecycle management. Put differently, product lifecycle management is the ability to curtail every challenge or messy situation that each period of the products existence brings.
With each stage of a product’s lifecycle posing different challenges to the retailer, Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the application of strategies to confront those problems or challenges in each and every stage of a product’s existence. Product lifecycle management if implemented seeks to guarantee the following:
• Improvement in product quality
• Reduction in prototyping costs.
• Identification of potential sales opportunities and revenue contributions
There are numerous challenges that come with developing a new product, proper understanding of the fluctuating market, competitors, customers and the 7P’s in retail. PLM integrates all forms of data from information on the product to the market and right down to the customer. Its strategies help companies overcome the increased complexities of developing a new product. Products have different lifespans and as such different strategies and techniques need to be implemented in each stage to maximize profit. In the introduction stage of a product’s life, companies need to make adequate research about the product and other products within that line. This is where the product is first introduced to the market and, as such, companies need to be careful in their dealings in this stage. Manufacturers need to put in a lot of money in this stage to witness the gradual phase from this stage to the next stage; advertisement and other promotional tools are usually employed vigorously in this stage to allow the product linger in the minds of the customers. Understanding the dynamics of the customers will enable the companies reach out via the platforms well suited for each group of customers. All these strategies and more are imperative in creating awareness for the new product.
The growth stage is characterized by the product already being in the market, here the customers already have an idea of the product, some might have tried it out and others might just be getting to know about it. More promotional techniques need to be employed in the stage with new and appealing inventions to solidify the presence of this new product. Advertisement, TV commercials and radio jingles that will forever live in the memory of the customers should be done. This shows that there is a lot of work in each stage, the work is never complete.
In growth stage, however, the product’s lifecycle competitors begin to take notice of your product, hence companies push even harder than before in this stage to become visible. It is very possible for a product to vanish as a result of stiff competition.
The maturity stage is one of the most significant stages of all, since the company has been able to fend off most of the competitors, it can’t afford to relax. Companies, however, do not know what to do to stay relevant in the market. Eventually they hit the saturation of decline stage where sales begin to plummet and the product begins to lose its value. An important feature worthy of note in all four stages is the need for marketing. Constant research on new ways the customers can be satisfied and innovative marketing strategies that will sustain the interest customers is what will make products thrive in each stage of their lifecycle.
Companies should therefore make adequate research before releasing a product and keep looking for new ways to stay relevant, no matter the level it has got to. Man continues to stay relevant because he finds new ways to improve himself.