New Product Development For Service Companies
Published 1986 · Business
It is well known that services differ from manufactured goods in a number of significant ways. Services are largely intangible, produced and consumed simultaneously, heterogeneous and perishable. These differences can lead to changes in service management. Christopher J. Easingwood has investigated how new products development practices in service organizations may reflect these differences. He has profiled practices found in a sample of service companies in the United Kingdom on topics ranging from idea generation to post-launch assessment, together with the strategic role and organizational location of new products. A number of special characteristics of the new product activity in services companies are identified. For instance, the number of new product introductions may be restricted due to customer and staff confusion when faced with a proliferation of service products. Test markets are used primarily to ensure the proper functioning of the service rather than to provide a base for a national sales projection. These and other characteristics appear to be appropriate adaptations to the special features of services. They are part of a pattern that shows some of the ways that service companies have adapted the new product development process to meet unique problems in the service environment.