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

Oliver, Nick; Dewberry, Emma and Dostaler, Isabelle (1999). New product development benchmarks: the Japanese, North American and UK consumer electronics industries. In: Academy of Management Conference, 6-11 Aug 1999, Chicago.

URL: http://program.aomonline.org/1999/program.pdf

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a benchmarking study into new product development in the high-end audio industry in Japan, North America and the UK. A total of 38 companies were visited and interviewed, and detailed benchmarking data obtained from 21 companies and 31 new product development projects. Measures of company characteristics, new product development performance, context and practice were taken. Performance was gauged by several measures, including leadtimes, cost and schedule adherence, internal and external quality and product profitability. Factor analysis revealed two main performance indices: ‘planning and control’ and ‘profitability/efficiency’. The organization of the development process was assessed by examining project team composition, linkages between key constituencies of the development process (e.g. Development, Manufacturing, Suppliers), and processes of information capture and exchange. Comparison between projects in Japan, North America and the UK revealed that UK projects were generally executed more quickly than those in Japan and North America, but displayed a higher incidence of post-launch problems. Japanese leadtimes 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.

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