How well does your product development stand up to that of your rivals? Enter the Management Today/Design Council Awards and find out.
Deadlines. How would business function without hordes of these innocuous-looking marks in desk planners and diaries?
For product managers, some of the most crucial deadlines are those leading up to a new product launch: hit them and it's champagne with the chairman, miss them and your P45 could replace the glass of Pol Roger.
Hearing the sound of corks popping around the country, Management Today and the Design Council have instigated the Awards for Excellence in New Product Design. The Awards are intended to enhance the reputation of British businesses, and will recognise the product development process, not just the products themselves. They will also extend the benchmarking opportunities provided through Management Today's established schemes: the Best Factory Awards and the Service Excellence Awards, which allow companies to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their existing systems.
All businesses that operate in the UK and develop and manufacture products can enter. Entry is free and information gathered in the course of the scheme will be treated as strictly confidential. Every entrant, award-winner or not, will get a free report assessing their achievements.
These reports will be prepared by the Judge Institute of Management Studies at the University of Cambridge, using audit protocols designed for the Awards. Businesses will provide a range of qualitative and quantitative information, from which scores will be allocated according to how effectively the various functions involved in new product development are managed.
Over successive years, a database will be set up to track product development practice and performance in British industry.
The closing date for the Awards is 1 November 1998 and a shortlist of the best entries will be compiled in December. A panel, including representatives of Management Today and the Judge Institute of Management Studies, will visit the premises of shortlisted companies during January and February 1999. Benchmarking reports will be sent to all entrants in March and the winners will be announced in the May 1999 issue of Management Today.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.