In commerce, time to market is the length of time it takes from the conception of a new product idea until it is released to the marketplace. Time to market is so important because being late erodes the addressable market that you have to sell your product into. Not only will the market be smaller, but the competition will also be much more intense because others have an established base to sell from and the early growth is starting to flatten.
Of course, rushing a product to market can be just as dangerous as releasing the product late. Thus, it is important to optimise your process for getting products to the market quickly without stunting the development of the products.
Benefits of faster Time to Market
- The competitive advantage of getting to market sooner.
- Faster breakeven on development investment and lower financial risk.
- Longer product life cycle.
- Premium prices can be charged early in the life cycle.
- Greater overall profits and higher return on investment.
Ways to increase the speed of Time to Market
- Develop workflows and manage them effectively: By analysing workflows, you will be able to identify steps that can be eliminated, eliminate bottlenecks that prolong the process, eliminate wasted resources, and avoid business silos.
- Communication: Effectively communicating within the business can be a huge benefit to improving productivity. Cross-functional teamwork is a long-established best practice for fast time to market
- Automation: Automating parts of the workflow involved with bringing a product to market will significantly affect the efficiency of the process and save resources and money by freeing up staff to perform other key tasks.
- Standardisation: Like automation, standardising elements of the Time to Market process can significantly speed it up.
- Virtual design software: Digital product development using tools to model products, test designs, and run simulations can vastly speed up the process if the business has the necessary IT expertise.
- Intensify the resource commitment: One of the more obvious ways to decrease Time to Market would be to commit more people, funds and testing capabilities.
- Develop a characterized, optimized product development process: Developing a clear strategy for how the business takes products to market will inevitably speed up the process. Everyone involved will be aware of the process and the different stages involved, improving productivity and communication.
How does PIM help improve Time to Market?
- Automation of some of the tasks: Tasks like sending product information to different channels and websites, and generating product data sheets, can be automated to have an immediate effect on Time to Market.
- Single source of truth for all product data: All staff in the business can look to one place to find reliable, up-to-date and rich product data. This makes life easier for all departments and improves communication. Once you have all the product information ready, it only needs to be inputted once and you are ready to start selling. Activity logs can also show who is doing what, and at what time as well.
- Connectors for e-commerce: OneTimePIM allows you to set up connectors for popular e-commerce hosts, like Shopify or Magento, to automatically upload your products onto the website ready to be sold once they are published within the PIM. With permissions management tools in place, you can make sure the data is fully accurate and complete before publishing too.
- The general increase in productivity due to PIM: Product Information Management Systems make managing data easier and businesses can concentrate the resources and time saved elsewhere in the business.
- Digital Asset Management: With OneTimePIM there is no need to worry about having multiple images of each product for different sites and sizes, and having to store them. Our PIM system has a built-in DAM system that will store images alongside the products. Each image only needs to be uploaded once and our dynamic image management tool will take care of the resizing and reformatting as needed.
- Integration with other systems: Businesses often make use of other software in their e-commerce stack and PIM systems should fit in nicely. By making use of APIs, PIM systems can integrate with software like ERP to make the whole business run smoothly.