E-0-Product Life Cycle

A good product/service generally is a solution to a certain problem. Usually there is only an idea from the very beginning. Such as:

  • How to reach the destination faster?? Car, train, airplane…etc. are the products to solve the problem.
  • How to have a proper schedule?? Calendar, clock, watch are the products to solve the problem.
  • How to get more people online?? Starlink provide the service to solve the problem.

This category discusses the process we can perform to bring the idea to customer.

I was really confused that how to start a project in daily basis during early of my career. As my experience grew and expended, I found a path to proceed design and development. This path is quite similar to the Product Life Cycle management. It is a period of a product from conceive to phase-out of the market and a comprehensive concept of strategy consideration.

The product/service could be “final product/service”, which consisted of many components and goes to end customer. Such as automotive, computer, and cell phone. All considerations for the product/service are based on

  • Time
  • Money

Take automotive as an example:

Generally, Model change an automobile happens every 3(small change) ~ 5(big change) years. The design and development of each model may take several years, but it shall be finalized by at least 2 years before the model launches. The supplier could start test, trial production, mass production…etc. for the component and sub-assembly and prepare enough stock. The schedule of each event shall be planned from the end to start.

The price of each product is limited. Higher the price lowers the selling; customer will not always pay the bill. From this point of view, one of the most important mission for manufacturer is to find sweet spot of profit. In order to achieve this target, comprehensive/detail/well understanding of the product is necessary. While breaking down the product into components and look into the detail, minimize the unnecessary waste, and improve the efficiency/quality. This the easiest but not the only way is to maximize the profit.

The product/service could also be the component that consist the “final product/service”, that being manufactured by the supplier for the manufacturer. Such as TSMC manufactures microchips for the computer company, Amazon provides E-commerce service to manufacturing company, and I manufactured plastic molds and parts for automotive supplier such as Bosch/Brose and company such as Toyota/Ford. All considerations for the product/service are based on Time and Money, which are same as mentioned above.

A complete product life cycle could be handled/managed by many companies/departments. Base on my experience, this category I would like to discuss following milestones of product life cycle:

  • Design and development: build the idea
  • Production: produce the idea
  • Lunch into market and phase out: sell the idea

Each milestone has several intermediate phases, there is sequence for these milestones and phases. Each milestone/phase shall be finished before you move on to next one.

The activities/documents could be done in each phase will be discuss in coming post.

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