The platform strategy was an answer to the Medtronic’s inability to introduce new product ahead of its competitors. Some factors that contributed to this problem were: 1. No structured approach to plan product families. New products were not leveraged with derivative products that could extent their life and market reach. 2. No integrated process to focus on the new product development. The first element of platform strategy, which was designing new product to accommodate the full range of derivative models, helped Medtronic to improve their capability to plan product families.
The new product will have the highest performance and most sophisticated features. The product families then derived by de-featuring and de-rating certain elements of that design. This element also helped ensuring Medtronic to focus their effort and resources during product development stage. The second element of platform strategy was strived to maintain strong presence in both low end and high end market. The high-end product will be introduced first in high price, while the derivative of this high-end product introduced later to target the low-end market segment.
Each new product will always be designed to enter both low-end and high-end market. This is also answering the ironic of pricing the high cost product low and the low cost product high. The third element of the platform strategy was enabled Medtronic to have wide range of product families. Medtronic changed their platform from a physical architecture to a hybrid circuit platform. By this new platform, the circuit could be modified easily and faster to form the derivative products. As been mentioned earlier, the 5 other processes were also contributed to the urning of Medtronic. ?Speed This process is basically in respond to the slowest part of Medtronic process in developing new product, which was actually deciding what needed to be done. By establishing process to define what new products that will be developed, Medtronic can ensure that they have well-defined product at the front end. ?Project Documentation Establishing two documents to be written at the start of the development phase of each project was helped synchronized marketing and engineering department.
Conceptually the marketing was responsible to assess what kind of product that customer needs and the result of this assessment shall be written in the product description document, while the engineering department shall translate the product description in to a detailed technical document through filling out the product specification document. ?Phase Definition This phase definition which comprise of demonstration and commitment phase helped Medtronic to be more focus in what needed to be done in each phase to ensure the quality decisions were made.
Once projects enter the commitment phase, Medtronic expect 100% of them to be technically and commercially successful. ?Rhythm Establishing a so called train schedule system put awareness to all functions within Medtronic on when the next new product must be launched. This helped them to set milestones to ensure achievement of this schedule. ?Market Inputs This systematized process in getting input from customers by revitalizing two eight – person review board helped Medtronic to always on top of their customer needs. b.
Costs and benefits of having implemented product line architecture and train schedule in the pacemaker business Product line architecture ?Costs: more resources were required to execute the platform strategy which is the basis to enable Medtronic in getting the product line architecture. New technology needed to be in place before beginning a platform project. A lot of competent people are required to ensure new technology is timely in place. They have to establish a product planning team who are responsible to define a platform strategy i. e. to devise an effective product line architecture built around product platforms. ?Benefit: by having product line architecture, the new product will be very effective in term of its market life as well as market reach. Having initial platform product designed It can accommodate the full range of derivative models from it, without significant redesign therefore it will reduce investment of time and money significantly. Train Schedule ?Cost: An intensive cross functional communication shall be properly managed to ensure synergy between those functions.
Marketing, engineering and other department shall be involved in-depth up front to ensure milestones are achieved while maintain quality of their product. ?Benefit: a. Each division get more focus and put more effort in the development stage of new product. Each division realize that if they miss to put capabilities, specification, idea and other things – the product that going to be launched in particular launching time will contain deficiencies associated with those things. b. Provide clear understanding on milestone and timing of new product launching so that everybody can plan their work properly.