A new paper released by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS, Alexandria, Va.) and prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) offers guidelines on how retailers and manufacturers can better collaborate on new product launches.
"Launches are often hindered by misunderstandings regarding each partner's expectations, abilities and timetables, threatening revenue generation and profitability," says Lisa Feigen Dugal, leader of the retail and consumer packaged goods practice at the consulting firm.
The four steps identified by the report offer a roadmap to aid both manufacturers and retailers:
- Understand: Eliminate preconceived notions of each trading partner and establish a joint definition of launch success beyond just sales and volume targets.
- Commit and Collaborate: Establish detailed milestones and success criteria and assign specific responsibility and accountability for each element.
- Execute: Provide transparency to potential launch issues and develop contingency planning in advance for likely scenarios to avoid overreacting to expected events.
- Review: Devote time to post-launch analysis to develop a common perception of the launch effectiveness. As one retailer said, "We need to migrate away from the launch 'em and leave 'em method of today."
"While there is no secret formula for a successful new product launch, diligent focus on adhering to this basic four-step framework can result in greater retailer/manufacturer understanding, better utilization of trading partner resources, and increased likelihood of launch success," says Steven C. Anderson, NACDS president & chief executive officer.
A detailed presentation of the study will occur at the upcoming NACDS Supply Chain and Logistics Conference on Tuesday, March 27, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla.