New product development benchmarks: The Japanese, North American, and UK consumer electronics industries

Oliver, Nick; Dostaler, Isabelle and Dewberry, Emma (2004). New product development benchmarks: The Japanese, North American, and UK consumer electronics industries. Journal of High Technology Management Research, 15(2) pp. 249–260.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hitech.2004.03.006

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a study into new product development (NPD) in the high-end audio industry in Japan, North America, and the UK. A total of 38 companies were visited and interviewed, and detailed benchmarks of product development performance and practice were obtained from 21 companies and 31 NPD projects. Performance was gauged by several measures including lead times, cost and schedule adherence, internal and external quality, and product profitability. The organization of the development process was assessed through measures of project team composition, linkages between key constituencies of the development process (e.g., development, manufacturing, and suppliers), and processes of information capture and exchange. UK projects were generally executed more quickly than those in Japan and North America, but displayed a higher incidence of postlaunch problems. Japanese lead times were the longest, and Japanese companies performed relatively poorly on measures of development productivity. However, their manufacturing performance was vastly superior to that of Western companies. The paper concludes that organizational and national context significantly shapes NPD practice and that this is reflected in patterns of product development performance.

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