Engineers and scientists often need to sell an innovative idea for a new product or a new product improvement to top management. Sometimes their tendency is to focus on the “WOW!” of the new technology at the expense of making a convincing business case. When the new technology represents a large cost reduction, there will be much less of a problem in convincing management to approve the project if the investment level is acceptable. The major rub comes when the new feature or technology is an improvement in customer value that also generates an increase in cost. This makes the sell difficult in spite of the fact that many of the inventive products available today are widely used because they provide very high value in relation to their added cost.
Engineers and scientists also occupy product planning positions where they need to be constantly scanning ideas for improving value that come both from inside and outside the company to see if they make sense to incorporate in a future product. At the same time they need to anticipate what their major competitors are likely to do to improve their next generation of product. These problems are exacerbated in today’s global economy because the number of competitors has increased markedly in many product segments and there are many technological alternatives available for consideration. The problem of anticipating the moves of your major competitor is particularly challenging because most firms keep plans very secure. The engineer as product planner must learn to think like its major competitor using customer value as a guide.
Value Driven Product Planning and Systems Engineering provides essential support for engineers and scientists who are required to make realistic business cases for new innovative product concepts.