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By: Tara Jewell, Marketing Insights Associate
In this article, you will learn about:
The importance of establishing a commercialization process
How our New Product Process (NPP) functions
Why inter-departmental coordination is essential
While we here at Leahy-IFP are proud to offer our own products, such as All Friends™, Orchard Splash™, Carbotrol®, and others, we also make products for outside customers. We don’t name our customers publicly, but there are many for whom we’ve been developing products for nearly 20 years.
Sometimes it’s a concept that a customer brings to us that they want us to develop. Other times, we make a proactive demonstration to a prospect or customer, pitching a concept that we can bring to life—or commercialize—on their behalf.
When we commercialize a product, the process is known internally as the NPP, or the New Product Process. It is a company-wide effort to do this (every single department is involved) but the process is spearheaded by Commercialization Director Stephanie Marks and Commercialization Coordinator Maddie Mulford.
While commercializing a product is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor, Stephanie, and Maddie act as the problem-solving project managers of the whole process. They oversee the NPP and make sure all departments have what they need to meet all the milestones on the path to launching a new product.
We sat down and talked with Stephanie about what it takes to commercialize a product.
Give me a big-picture overview of the NPP.
It starts with the R&D and innovation team. They get started developing the concept. The commercialization team will get involved at this phase from an operational standpoint. For example, if a particular project needs specialized equipment or materials, we will need to get involved with that from the very beginning.
Once the customer approves the concept that we’ve shared, our whole team has to approve it. All the department heads get together as a team to look at the project on the whole from their unique angle. From the formula to the volume, to the labels, to the format… we get together and build a commercialization timeline
around all those factors.
Do the customers/prospects have a similar process in place? If so, how does that impact Leahy’s process?
Some of the bigger customers have their own processes that we have to build into ours. We have our (NPP) checklist, but for those customers, we can build in their key steps. When they have their own process it can be great if they are consistent, but that’s not always the case and it can sometimes be challenging.