Enter the Management Today/Design Council Awards for Excellence in New Product Development.
Investment in strong product development processes pays dividends and companies that are slow to learn this lesson live to regret it. Before long, organisations that fail to invest are left behind by their rivals and struggling for growth.
A sample from a recent survey of 221 small and medium-sized businesses, carried out by the Design Innovation Group, a research group at the Open University, supported by the Design Council, shows that the fastest-growing firms employ a higher proportion of research and development staff and encourage managers to have a positive attitude towards investment in product design. Further, that two-thirds of the fastest-growing businesses introduce new products or ranges at least annually.
But how do you determine whether your new-product development skills stand up to close scrutiny? Management Today's Awards for Excellence in New Product Development, launched this year in conjunction with the Design Council, should provide the answer. All you have to do is enter.
The Awards aim to celebrate what's best in today's new-product development performance and practice and to provide a blueprint for UK companies over the years to come. In this way, Management Today will extend the scope of the benchmarking opportunities already provided by its two other prestigious Awards schemes, the Best Factory Awards and the Service Excellence Awards. This will enable UK companies to prioritise improvements to their processes.
If your business has operations in the UK, which develop and manufacture products, you are eligible to enter the Awards. Entry is free and all information collected in the course of the Awards process will be treated as confidential. You can obtain an application form from Nick Oliver at the Judge Institute of Management Studies (see address below). This form includes a self-administered audit questionnaire to be completed and returned before 1 November 1998.
A short-list of businesses will be selected in December and a panel of judges, which will include a representative from Management Today and the Judge Institute of Management Studies, will visit the premises of the short-listed companies during January and February 1999. The winners will be announced in the May 1999 issue of Management Today.
Irrespective of whether or not you are one of the selected winners, you will receive a free report, prepared by the Judge Institute, which will benchmark your business against those of your peers. These reports will be sent out to all entrants in March 1999.
Application forms 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.