Digital transformation and innovation have become the two main pillars guiding the business world in this era. Technological innovation across all sectors is demanded to evolve and create a positive impact to ease human life.
On Monday, January 8, 2024, Qimtronics participated in a Focus Group Discussion organized by Telkom University as a research and development institution to create and commercialize an innovative solution for farmers, Si Soil: Smart Companion for Farmers, a Smart Portable NPK Soil Element Control System that can communicate wirelessly using Long Range Communication (LORA) technology. The FGD focused on the “Marketing Plan Si Soil” theme, exploring the essential steps in the product development process from planning to mass production.
The product development process, from a marketing perspective, begins with planning by identifying market opportunities and developing marketing strategies for the intended product. Market opportunity identification involves market analysis, including consumer needs and desires, and existing market trends compared with competitors. Once market opportunities are identified, the marketing team can develop tailored marketing strategies considering the target market, positioning, and the marketing mix (product, price, place, promotion).
After the marketing team analyzes the target market, the design team conducts a feasibility analysis of the product, involving technical research related to similar technologies (technological infrastructure) and potential technical challenges. Following the feasibility analysis, the product’s architecture is developed, starting with high-level design requirements that identify and understand the overall functions of the product or system. This is then narrowed down into product specifications. Subsequently, prototype-scale design testing is conducted to evaluate the design’s performance, allowing for design optimization before entering mass production. It is crucial for the design team to create a technologically and cost-efficient product or system.
Once the final design is established, a comprehensive system testing analysis is performed, ensuring compliance with legal requirements. For example, in the case of Si Soil, the entire system can undergo testing at the Agriculture Instrumentation Standardization Institute under BSIP (Agricultural Instrumentation Standardization Body), and the testing results report for Si Soil is issued, covering both product performance and the accuracy of readings.
In addition to technical considerations, the manufacturing approach is also essential. This involves assessing the availability of technology/machinery support and resources, including the level of production difficulty, time, and funding. This is related to determining the supply chain from the production process. The main objectives are to minimize costs within the predefined target range, ensure product quality, and maintain lead time during the manufacturing process. It is crucial to focus on ensuring that the product can be produced effectively and efficiently while meeting the predefined quality requirements before mass production.
In Conlusion, the product development process involves essential steps starting from identifying market opportunities to mass production. The marketing team plays a role in analyzing market needs and developing marketing strategies tailored to the target market and marketing variables. Meanwhile, the design team conducts technical feasibility analysis, designs the product architecture, and optimizes the design through prototype testing. The importance of comprehensive system testing, legal compliance, and an efficient manufacturing approach ensures that the product not only meets quality standards but can also be produced effectively within the target cost. This process integrates marketing, technical, and manufacturing aspects to deliver an innovative, efficient product that meets market expectations.
Karl T. Ulrich, S. D. (2020). Product Design And Development, 7th Edition. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.