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Technology innovation and product cycle time

1. Should companies seek to reduce product cycle time and, if so, what techniques can be used to do so?

2. Why is Technology Innovation an important part of a Technology Strategy and how is the Technology strategy different from the Business Strategy?

3. Discuss the role of the various Groups of Adopters on the Product Life Cycle and the S-Curve.

4. Why would an entity want to engage in Technological Innovation, who are the various entities that undertake such innovation and describe the various types of innovation explored by each group?

5. Why is it difficult to identify and satisfy Customer Needs and how does Technology-Push and Market-Pull influence Customer Needs?

6. How important is Market Research to a company's business and what techniques are used to perform such research?

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Dear student: The items discussed below are for discussion purposes only and not intended to be handed in as your assignment. It is highly recommended that online links found in the references portion be visited to get the full insight of the material. I hope this response helps you in understanding the posting. Thank you.
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1. Should companies seek to reduce product cycle time and, if so, what techniques can be used to do so?

Yes! Provided that reducing product cycle time does not affect the quality of service/product that the community is producing. Goal Advantage (2013) said that "If there is one business strategy that is worthy of being singled out as a major point to achieve a competitive advantage it is the strategy of speed and that cycle time does not take anything away from quality processes, it actually enhances it. You continue to use and build upon the strategies that have allowed you to achieve your current level of success. The difference is the added element of speed".

To reduce product cycle time, I am suggesting these three (3) techniques - a.) Just in Case Inventory, b.) Cycle Time Reduction" as implemented by JC Penny, and c.) Streamlining.

Horning and McCann (2003) suggested a "Just in Case Inventory"
To apply "Just in Case Inventory", Horning and McCann (2003) suggested the following specific strategies:
1. Make only what the customer wants when the customer wants it. That means letting orders drive the manufacturing schedule. To take it to an extreme, what a company shipped yesterday is what it should make today, because that's what its customers want. Lot sizes will shrink, because a company won't be ganging jobs or stockpiling for future orders.
2. Reduce inventory throughout the cycle, but especially work in process and finished goods inventories. That means your suppliers have to be able to meet your on-time delivery requirements so you have just enough of what you need when you need it. You have to schedule production to work to capacity without permitting backlogs.
3. Set goals and measure performance against benchmarks that matter to the customer. This might include on-time delivery, number of returns, and price compared to the competition. The goals should be based not on your company's past performance, but on what the best companies in the industry are achieving, because those are your competitors.
Another time reduction technique is "Cycle Time Reduction" as implemented by JCPenney.
Peter McGrath (2013), the EVP Production Development and Sourcing for JCPenney, said that:
"To keep up with consumer demand and fast fashion trends in the Retail and Apparel industries , JCPenney realized that it had to decrease the amount of time it takes to develop a new product line from several months down to a few ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion on the influence of technology to innovation and production cycle.

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