UK: Are you a winner at new product development?

UK: Are you a winner at new product development? - Could your company have the best product development in Britain? Enter the Management Today/Design Council Awards and find out

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Could your company have the best product development in Britain? Enter the Management Today/Design Council Awards and find out

Does your company have the next Dyson vacuum cleaner or Psion organiser up its sleeve? Is your new product development the best in Britain? If so you should be entering the Management Today/Design Council Awards for Excellence in Product Development. After all, it's not the proliferation of new products that counts, but true innovation.

A new product should be different, relevant to its target market and live up to its promised qualities.

McVitie's has recently been trying to concentrate its energies - and investments - on the development of truly novel products. It has started redirecting its energies on fewer but better ranges. One of its most successful new ideas so far has been the Go Ahead range, which includes cakes and biscuits and takes the 'better for you' route, appealing to those who literally wanted to have their cake and eat it. Many accepted McVitie's exhortation to eat its nice but not very naughty products. The company has racked up £50 million in Go Ahead sales over the past two years.

The success of new product development often depends on having efficient and cost-effective processes that support and encourage innovation. So what makes your product development processes stand out and how do they compare with those of your competitors?

The Management Today/ Design Council Awards for Excellence in New Product Development are looking for the best in today's performance and practice. The Awards aim to provide a blueprint for UK companies over the years to come. All entrants, whether or not they win an award, will receive a free report, benchmarking them against their peers. These reports will be sent out in March 1999.

Any business with operations in the UK, which develops and manufactures products, is in-vited to enter. Entry costs nothing and all the information collected in the course of the Awards process will be treated as strictly confidential. The forms, which include a self-administered audit questionnaire, must be completed and returned before 1 November 1998.

Application forms, including the questionnaire, can be obtained from Nick Oliver at the Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1AG, telephone 01223 339605, fax 01223 339701, e-mail jgg@eng.cam.ac.uk

THE AWARDS PROCESS: TIMETABLE OF EVENTS

1 November 1998 Closing date for entries

December 1998 Selection of shortlisted businesses

January/February 1999 Judges visit the shortlisted businesses

March 1999 Benchmarking reports sent to all entrants

May 1999 Winners announced in Management Today

TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS

There's still time to book a place at this year's Best Factory conference and learn from last year's winners

There are only a few weeks left to reserve your place at this year's Best Factory conference, which takes place on 30 September and 1 October at Birmingham's NEC. Find out what makes an award-winning factory. Learn from the world-class practices of the 1997 winners of Management Today's coveted Best Factory Awards.

Chaired by Colin New, professor of management strategy at Cranfield School of Management, the conference will include sessions by ICI Paints, Krone (UK) Technique, CCL Custom Manufacturing, Caradon Mira, Autoglym, Keltek Electronics, Arjo Wiggins Fine Paper, UDV Leven, Bertrand Faure Seating and Xerox Electronics. They will take you through the techniques, tactics and methodologies that so impressed the awards judges and explain why these methods were adopted, how they were implemented and with what results.

Professor New will apply the lessons learnt from over 100 Best Factory Award audit visits to clarify the role of team leaders and explain best practice when it comes to group working. In addition, winner of Factory of the Year UDV Leven will show how it encouraged employee involvement and empowerment. It produced flexible working conditions for its people and concentrated on continuous improvement. Arjo Wiggins, which won the award for best factory in a process industry, will describe how it transformed traditional processes into a high-tech operation. For more details and bookings, call Tania Cassell on 0171 413 4116.

THE GREAT WORK/LIFE DEBATE

Come and find out what you and your firm can do to reconcile the conflicting pressures of life and work

It's all very well to have staff who work hard and play hard, but what if they work so hard they have no time to play at all? As our June report on the work/life crisis revealed, much of the workforce feels stressed and uncomfortable with work. The question is what as a manager should you be doing? Find out at the Great Work/Life Debate, organised by Management Today in conjunction with The Times newspaper.

The Great Work/Life Debate will take place at Church House Conference Centre in London's Westminster on 8 October 1998 and will be chaired by radio and TV presenter Nick Ross. Speakers will include Liz Bargh of WfD, who will present the results of the Work/Life survey conducted among subscribers to Management Today, Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Fiona Cannon, director of equal opportunities at Lloyds TSB, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Ted Smith, head of personnel at Glaxo Wellcome, and Susan Lax, leader of diversity development at fast-food chain McDonald's.

For further information on the conference and details of booking, contact Tania Cassell on 0171 413 4116.

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