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Millipore New Product Commercialization: How would you evaluate the LC/MS NPD effort?

“Millipore New Product Commercialization: A Tale of Two New Products"
by V. Kasturi Rangan, Kevin Bartus

How would you evaluate the LC/MS NPD effort? Which were the right decision and which were faulty?

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The company has decided to introduce this type of product in year 1985 but the project manager who started this project in year 1988 had to leave in year 1990 in some controversial circumstances. In 1990 the new V.P. for product development Mr. Dave Strand joined the company.

He has worked on the whole plan again and wants to introduce this product in mass segment to fill a gap in low cost high quality product.

The purpose is to establish leadership in the category so that no one can challenge its technology and price and leadership in LC that is liquid Chromatography Technology. This is in response to Hp's new product range in PDA (Photo diode array) category of LC.A Liquid Chromatography can separate different chemicals from a compound solution and a equipment will tell how much of each chemical was present. The conventional LC was Capable of identifying 25 chemical compounds or less. Introduction of Mass Spectrometry in LC took identification to new heights through it now it was possible to identifying exceeding 75 chemicals. These were also called mass specific detectors.

The Company wanted to manufacture "mass- spec adapted LC utilization", a scaled down version Mass Spectrometer. The proposed product is of latest technology much cheaper than presently available Mass Spectrometer.

Some of the steps taken in this direction are decisions in right direction they are as following:

1. Identification of market segment: It plans to target mass segment instead of class segment. In this segment this type of product is not there in market. The segment it wants to aim is 100,000 Chromatographers, Mass Spectrometrists are 10,000 in numbers and they are using more sophisticated products.

2. The souring of mass spec components was one of the biggest issue for Waters since the inception of idea of this product in year 1985 and for this it has purchased Extrel a manufacturer of laboratory analysis equipment in year 1992 and the company is having credible reputation in Mass Spectrometry.

3. Technology issues were also addressed through this purchase. The engineers of both Waters and Extrel are working hard to develop mass specific products.

4. The study of perception of Customers for product and company: The Company had conducted three focus group sessions for the purpose. Following findings are there:
a. First session ...

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