What is Product Planning? Elements of Product Planning, Advantages of Product Planning

Definition of Product planning:

Product planning is the evaluation of the range, specification, and pricing of new and existing products according to the present and future market requirements and competition.

Planning of product is to satisfy the company objectives and to specifying the requires research, design, and development support.
What is Product Planning? Elements of Product Planning, Advantages of Product Planning
Product planning

Concept of Product Planning:

Process design is done according to product planning.

In the planning activity, both existing and new products must be included and it follows the activity itself should deal with the proper balance between old and new products.

Product planning usually represents the activity that links the company with its market which is directly concerned with the development of the company.

Product planning can be done by top management or by line management but successful product planning can only occur within a clear framework of goals and objectives laid down by bord of directors.

Objectives of Product planning:

Product planning needs for current deficiencies which are stimulated as a result of some deficiency occurring in the product today and the solution achieved through the development, production, and use of new processes. 
Through the prediction of societal, political, ecological, technological and economic trends anticipated needs can be determined. 

Elements of product planning:

Product planning include-
  1. Marketing and Market analysis.
  2. The performance of feasibility studies.
  3. Advanced product planning.

 1.Marketing and Market analysis:   

The prospect of marketing depending upon the nature of the product. If the product doesn’t have technical specifications, the product is simple, marketing function may not be required direct engineering involvement.
If the product is complex the marketing effort involves a team approach, constituting the nontechnical sales with engineers in a role to support salespeople and answering customer’s questions about characteristics, features, maintenance required, etc.
After completion of product planning, it is necessary to determine whatever the technology currently exists will satisfy the need or not.
In this case, technology refers to techniques required for achieving a practical goal. And this is basically accomplished through technology review and technological forecasting, which means, what is market trend and what will likely available in the future, etc. 
producer of the prospective system will complete a preliminary analysis of the market potential and market share. 

2. Performance of feasibility studies:

The performance of feasibility study is to extend the preliminary market analysis with the intent of arriving at a preferred system configuration that the producer is willing to propose in a response to an identified need.
The feasibility study includes-
  • A detailed requirement analysis.
  • Identification of alternative configurations.
  • Screening and evaluation of available alternatives. And,
  • Selection of preferred approach.
The output of the study constitutes a proposal covering the technical characteristics of the preferred system configuration. This information, combined with advanced planning data is reviewed to determine whether the manufacturer proceeds further or not.

system operational concept consists of following information-

  • Identification of the ultimate mission of the system.
  • Identification of quantity of equipment, facilities etc.
  • Determine the time needed for complete the process or how many hours per day, operation cycle per month, etc.
  • Details of the environmental condition at which system expected to operate.(eg: temperature, humidity, mountain or flat terrain, etc)

System maintenance concept –

  • Determine the requirement of level of maintenance support, repair policy, effectiveness measurement, etc.
  •  It provides the basis to establish the requirement for total logistic support. The maintenance concept is completed by logistic analysis, leads to the identification of maintenance tasks, frequent, facilities and data.
  • Level of maintenance includes- organizational maintenance, intermediate maintenance and depot maintenance.
  • Organizational maintenance is performed at the operational site. Maintainance at this level limited to periodic check of the equipment’s performance, cleaning of equipment, repair, etc.
  • Intermediate maintenance is perform in mobile or semi-mobile organizations at the customer’s locations.  In this level item, is removed or replaced.
  • Depot maintenance is the highest type of maintenance and supports the accomplishment of tasks above.
Results of the feasibility study will be presented to the management and information should include-
Details about functional features and physical characteristics of the system and description of support and maintenance requirements.

3.Advanced Product planning:

1. Product system evaluetion, selection and justification is the combined result of market analysis and feasibility study e study aid in justifying products in terms of need and technical approach.

2. Product specification and plans– specification covers the technical requirements for the product and planning documentation includes all management related activity.

3. Product acquisition plan refers to a process of acquiring a product or system commencing with the identification of the need and extending through the delivery of the product to customers. it may involves research, design, production, and evaluation activities. Materials under product acquisition plan must includes details of all acquisition functions, scheduling tasks using bar chart, PERT, Gantt chart, line of balancing, etc.

4. Product evaluation plan indicates requirements of the product in terms of range, accuracy, capacity, power, availability, reliability, maintainability, etc must be evaluated to ensure completion.

The product evaluation plan should include-
  1. Test and evaluation requirments.
  2. Categories of test and evaluation.
  3. Test preparation phase.
  4. Test and evaluation procedure.
  5. Data collection, analysis and corrective action methods.
  6. System network, modification and retest procedure.
  7. Test and evaluation reporting.
5. Product use and logistic support: It is a detailed maintenance plan which proposed the level of maintenance and recommended function to be performed, supply a support plan to cover the acquisition of spares and repair parts.
Transportation and handling plan to cover the packing, use of containers and shipment of material.
The training which includes system operator training, maintenance training and equipment training.
6. Product proposal will recommend cource of action best on the result of feasibility study and advanced product planning. 
the proposal may be classified as-
  1. Internal Proposal is generated within the factory and directed for approval to the management of the company to generate a scope of work.
  2. External proposal generated within the company and directed to an outside agency.

Advantages of product planning:

  1. Improved the system of the organization for regular and timely delivery,
  2. Better supplier communication for raw materials procurement,
  3. Product planning reduced investment in inventory,
  4. Reduced production cost by increasing efficiency,
  5. Smooth flow of all production processes,
  6. Proper production planning reduced waste of resources,
  7. Production cost savings that improve the bottom line.

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