An international leader of medical devices embarked on a new product that would replace one of its flagship lines. A 2-year development schedule made timing of production conversion from legacy to new product both critical and challenging.
A survey of available information was augmented by multiple discussions over the two-year development period with sales, engineering and production personnel. During this period, regular assessments were conducted using the in-house customer database, input from sales channels, engineering timelines/delays, and production planning.
A dynamic modeling tool was used to capture the multiple inputs and their interlocking relationships. Information from multiple sources was programmed into the model, relating cause to effect. The resulting model showed possible 3-year outcomes in units, revenues and profits, based upon when the new product would be available to the market and how it would diffuse into the market, replacing inventory of and demand for the current product.
The dynamic nature of the software modeling tool provided clearly defined causal relationships that resisted “gaming” the outcome. Rapid updates were possible in response to delays in the development schedule, the availability of product from offshore facilities, and the seasonal shifts in distributor orders.