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GGI RapidNews R&D Product Development eZine: Volume 3, Issue 6- July 10, 2002
GGI RapidNews is published monthly

UPCOMING TELEVISION EVENT

Alexander Haig's World Business Review: Brad Goldense will discuss Concurrent Product Development (CPD) on Alexander Haig's World Business Review (WBR) on August 4, 2002. John Caezza, President of the Broadband Communication Products Division of C-COR.net, will also be featured in this broadcast. The show will initially air on CNBC, as paid programming, on Sunday, August 4, 2002. See selected air times below for major US cities.

WBR also airs on U.S. Public Television, PBS's The Business & Technology Network, and on United Airlines' In-Flight Programming. WBR is distributed to ABC, CBS, FOX, and UPN. We will advise RN readers of additional air times as they arise.

The airing schedule for some of the country's major urban areas is listed below. GGI has a complete list of all North American air times by city. We would be pleased to furnish you with this information if you ask us to do so. Please put "Request Air Time For WBR" in the Subject line.

Los Angeles 8/4/02 7 AM
Chicago 8/4/02 9 AM
Philadelphia 8/4/02 10 AM
San Francisco 8/4/02 7 AM
Boston 8/4/02 10 AM
Dallas 8/4/02 9 AM
Washington 8/4/02 10 AM
Atlanta 8/4/02 10 AM
Detroit 8/4/02 10 AM
Houston 8/4/02 9 AM
Seattle 8/4/02 7 AM
Minneapolis 8/4/02 9 AM
Miami 8/4/02 10 AM
Cleveland 8/4/02 10 AM
Phoenix 8/4/02 8 AM
St. Louis 8/4/02 9 AM
San Diego 8/4/02 7 AM

NEWS & NOTES

2002 RD&E Survey - Resource & Capacity Management: Every other year, on even-numbered years, GGI conducts a survey on Product Development Metrics. GGI's 2002 Product Development Metrics Survey spanning R&D, RD&E, and Product Development was sent out as a PDF attachment last month.

Based on feedback from RN readers, we have again attached the survey to this RN issue. The survey is also available in several file formats, including an interactive MSOffice 2000, 97, or 6.0/95. All formats may be found at http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/research-product-development-innovation-process-metrics.shtml. As we highlighted last month, this is one of the few occasions when we send an attachment with RapidNews. We appreciate your understanding our need to make our biennial survey as visible as possible.

Please take a look at the biennial metrics survey. Even if you elect not to complete it, the knowledge captured by the phrasing of survey questions may be useful to you. We would appreciate your participation however, and we will make it worth your time. Those who make a best effort to complete and return the questionnaire by the August deadline will receive a free copy of the survey results when available in November 2002. Survey results will analyze the entire respondent population, contain useful analyses and graphics, and will average 40-50 pages. What you receive as recompense for the time you spend completing the questionnaire will be more than a simple highlights or executive summary report of results.

Completed questionnaires must be returned to GGI by August 12, 2002.

Resource & Capacity Management is one of the hottest subjects in R&D and Product Development today. GGI explores 5 Subjects relating to Resource & Capacity Management.

1. Loading The RD&E Capacity Pipeline: The methods companies use to select projects and establish backlog and priorities.

2. Providing Capacity For RD&E Activities: The approaches companies take to determine outsourcing requirements and the allocation of resources to sustaining activities.

3. Balancing Cross-Functional Resources: The resource ratios companies use between functional disciplines within RD&E, and the ratios between RD&E and cross-functional disciplines.

4. Using Systems, Tools, & Metrics To Manage Capacity: The behind-the-scenes infrastructure companies have put in place to enable resource and capacity planning and management.

5. RD&E Metrics Used In Industry: The metrics and measures companies use to plan, track, and manage resource and capacity allocation activities.

Be assured, all company information will be maintained as "strictly confidential."

R&D SURVEY RESULTS 2000 Metric Survey "Special Cuts": GGI's 2000 Product Development Metric Survey Results (MR14) analyzes data from an industry survey that targeted issues of R&D Linkages to Corporate Strategy, Product Portfolio Management, Product Selection Practices, Determination of Product Success, and an analysis of the most frequently used R&D metrics.

In addition to the main body of the report which analyzes the survey population as a whole, the report analyzed five "special cuts" sections where the survey population was divided into subsections: Public vs. Private, Smaller vs. Larger, Higher vs. Lower Technology, More vs. Fewer Employees and Process, Repetitive/Discrete and/or Job Shop companies. For information on any of the three survey reports published, visit http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/cgi/catalog.cgi.

Last month we highlighted Low-Tech vs. High-Tech companies. This month is More vs. Fewer Employee companies. Back issues of RN are available at: http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/GGI_RapidNews/Rnews.shtml.

Findings For More vs. Fewer Employee Companies: Below are some differences between More vs. Fewer Employee companies. The "Fewer Employees" group is defined as firms that have 1000 or less employees. There were 65 Fewer Employees companies and 53 More Employees firms in the survey sample. Three respondents provided no information on employee numbers:

* 32% of the Fewer group and 43% of the More group had a clearly defined set of Corporate Metrics.

* 31% of the Fewer group and 47% of the More group had a clearly defined set of R&D Metrics.

* 37% of the Fewer group and 21% of the More group said that they had "ten or less" metrics in their suite of R&D metrics.

* 69% of More Employees as opposed to 53% of Fewer Employees firms had decreasing life cycles. 16% of More Employees and 28% of Fewer Employees firms reported that PLCs (product life cycles) were stable, i.e. "neither increasing nor decreasing."

* Fewer Employees and More Employees firms differed in their use of two methods for counting products in the "released/active product portfolio," with 36% of Fewer Employees and 21% of More Employees firms using the method "Product Lines/Models, each of which may have many variations, colors, etc," and 10% of the Fewer group and 31% of the More group using the method "Only aggregate Product Families/Lines, each of which has many end items/models."

* 39% of the Fewer Employees group and 28% of the More Employees firms were "Judgment Companies," i.e. they did not calculate a financial return for R&D investment. 28% of the More group as opposed to 16% of Fewer group reported that "Five Years" was the forecast time-period used to calculate financial return for R&D investments.

* 25% of Fewer Employees and 35% of More Employees firms reported that "some new products [not all] are systematically reviewed against their goals after launch." 33% of the Fewer group and 18% of the More group reported that "cross-functional post-launch project/product reviews are not conducted."

* The Fewer and More employees groups also differed as to the manner in which these reviews were conducted; 72% of the Fewer group and 89% of the More group conducted reviews at specific target points after product launch.

One would expect More Employee companies to have more clearly defined corporate and R&D metrics, to cross-functionally and systematically review a higher percentage of products against their marketing goals after launch, and to more often calculate a financial return for their new product R&D dollars. That is what this survey found.

BOOK REVIEW

Secrets of Closing Sales:* What can the most famous book ever written, arguably, on the art of closing sales possibly offer a product developer? Is there any reason a product developer should spend time reading what has been expressly written for sales professionals?

About 16 reasons if, as concurrent product developers, we are interested in those nuggets that make our companies more successful! Why do the best design engineers file the most usefully innovative company patents (see Volume 3, Issues 1 and 2)? Why do the upper 20% of salespeople close the lion's share of company sales? How do they do it? Learning about successful business practices breaks down our professional and functional silos. It's about being successful in our businesses! It's about business "best practices."

The following 16 sale closing nuggets work equally well for products or services. Anyone in the company can initiate sales with a prospect:

1. The Beyond Any Doubt Close: you sweep the buyer forward with the positive assumption based on discussion to date that there is no alternative to making the purchase.

2. The Little Question Close: you help a prospect tell you they are ready to buy by focusing on an aspect of secondary importance, like "will that be cash or charge."

3. The Do Something Close: 9 out of 10 sales should be closed by some positive physical action, such as "just OK this approval right now and I'll call the plant to make the order." It implies consent.

4. The Coming Event Close: you announce an upcoming event to catalyze the decision, such as "prices are going up next month. Better act quickly."

5. The Third Party Endorsement Close: you tell a prospect about a happy customer or solicit referrals that can be passed along. It's what someone else says about the product/service.

6. The Something for Nothing Close: your presentation finishes with an added attraction; a bonus offering, which suggests the prospect is special, and is being treated that way.

7. The Ask and Get Close: you find that occasion when the best strategy is simply to ask for the order. Some people are just waiting to be asked.

8. The Choice Close: you ask "which," not"if." You assume purchase by asking which color, which size, which terms, not whether a prospect will purchase. You win if the prospect has choices.

9. The Appeal to Pride Close: you describe a scenario that a prospect can place themselves pridefully into. "Imagine how you'll feel picking your friend up in one of these."

10. The Future Dating Close: you have a prospect not yet ready to close. Establish a future delivery date you think the prospect can live with, and keep the initiative.

11. The Colombo Close: the prospect says no! You begin leaving. Then you hesitate, remembering "one last thing," which you almost forgot to mention. Then you mention the bonus, etc.

12. The Summarize Plus Points Close: you have a prospect who best responds to a black and white array of all the product/service highlights, perhaps in contrast to a competitor's.

13. The Pros and Cons Close: you have a prospect who wants to see the cons. You list pros and cons, but emphasize pros. Nothing is perfect, and the prospect responds best to a balanced description.

14. The Logic Close: you have a prospect who needs evidence. You describe prospect needs/wants, and why the product/service meets them. The you discuss delivery.

15. The Whispering Close: you lower your voice in conspiratorial fashion to disclose some valuable product/service secret, which you merge into a question about time of delivery.

16. The Silent Close: you simply show the prospect the product/service features. You point to this and that feature. The product speaks. Then, you write the order up asking: "how many." Silence speaks.

* Secrets of Closing Sales by Charles B. Roth and Roy Alexander, Prentice-Hall, Inc. Business Classics, Sixth Edition, September 1997, 376 pages.

NEW WEB CONTENT

Calendar of Conferences & Seminars: We are greatly invested in maintaining a comprehensive up-to-date Calendar Gateway on our website for your use. It is perhaps the most comprehensive listing of events in North America. In spite of the challenging economy, there are some great programs coming up this fall. If you want to know what your choices are, this is the place to go. Listings are categorized into topic areas, including product development, software/Internet development, metrics, project management, marketing and sales and the like. Point your browser to http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/gateway/calendar3.shtml .

Rapid Prototyping Gateway: The Rapid Prototyping Gateway-To-Knowledge has been updated at: http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/gateway/tech_prototype.shtml

FEATURED GGI I-STORE PRODUCTS

Featured Item: GGI's I-Store features one deeply discounted offering which usually runs for more than one month. The current featured item is the "1998 Product Development Metrics Research Highlights."

The shortest of GGI's three reports about the 1998 survey, it consists of 53 pages of text. The 1998 Product Development Metrics Survey focused on metrics systems in industry, the state of corporate metrics,the state of project metrics, and links between product team performance and organizational reward and recognition systems. Do corporate rewards really serve to motivate teamwork and concurrency in product development?

The survey questions arranged together with the statistically compiled survey results and qualitative analyses of each question, providing the reader with a convenient means of quickly determining, for any survey question, what the results indicate. The subject matter is fully fresh and relevant. Practices in this product development space have not changed significantly over the last five years.

The price for the report is discounted from $1060.00 to $636.00, approximately 40%. Have a look at http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/cgi/catalog.cgi?display_promo for ordering information, or please look at http://www.goldensegroupinc.com/research-product-development-innovation-process-metrics.shtml for additional background information on the entire 1998 Survey.
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RapidNews is an e-mail publication from Goldense Group, Inc (GGI). Its subject matter includes survey findings, company news, book reviews, key industry conferences and R&D information of interest to clients and associates. Please send communications to rn(at)goldensegroupinc.com. Thank you.
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