Goldense Group, Inc., is a Needham, Mass. consulting firm that advises companies on process and technology integration for product strategy, R&D, design engineering, product development, manufacturing, and materials management. In 1998, Goldense Group surveyed 190 companies worldwide that produce medical, electronic, automotive, and industrial products. The goal of this remarkable survey was to gain insight into three areas: how companies currently measure the effectiveness of new product development, whether there are consistent standards used by all industry, and finally, how new product development efforts might be improved. Once the study was complete, the next step for company founder and head consultant Bradford Goldense was to share what he had learned in order to give managers a better understanding of profitability.
The good news from the research was that standardization of cross-project metrics is becoming industrywide. Companies are trying to track and structure development programs to function concurrently. The drawback uncovered by Goldense Group was that companies have not fully automated and centralized multi-project metrics to help them refine their engineering programs and predict future performance. For example, fewer than 40 percent of manufacturers know whether R&D contributes to profits. Understanding time-to-profit in launching new products was also not well tracked by manufacturers.
To help Goldense Group alert managers to the availability of this useful new data, Parker Group reviewed the study’s four main reports. We then carefully wrote and distributed a news release keyed to elicit management interest and response. Parker Group drew on our years of experience in covering product development to summarize and communicate the important results of the Goldense study, anticipating what questions editors would have and what managers would need to know.
The news release garnered a tremendous response from editors impressed by the striking results of the study. The release was posted on web sites ranging from Yahoo! and IndustryWeek.com to BusinessWeek online. In follow-up work, we wrote and published bylines and coordinated interviews, culminating in an article in CFO that showed how Goldense’s quantitative and statistical research could be turned into useable results for industry decision makers.