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The design process for new products or services begins with understanding the customer and actively identifying their needs. Ideas for new products or improvements to existing products can be generated from many sources, including a company’s own R&D department, customer complaints or suggestions, marketing research, suppliers, salespersons in the field, factory workers, and new technological developments. Competitors are also a source of ideas for new products or services.

For a company of your choice develop a new idea for a new service or product. Discuss the idea generation process including the advantages and disadvantages of each of the sources identified above.

You must demonstrate how your product/service complements the current offering of your chosen company. You must also demonstrate the value your new product/service will deliver to the customer.

You must demonstrate the various analyses you have conducted to prove the feasibility of your product/service. These include market, economic, technical and strategic analyses. These answer questions such as: does the new product require new technology? Is the risk or capital investment excessive? Is the market for this product large enough to turn a profit? 

Idea generation process and advantages and disadvantages of each source

Security is one of the biggest concerns of people all over the world. From a very long time, when people have started travelling from one place to another, the security of home have become one of the most important issues in their lives. People try to secure everything they care about. Home, family, businesses, personal belongings and confidential information are the things that need to be secured. Hence, locks are a very important part of the security system. For home and office security, door locks are extremely important. As the technology is improving every day, the security systems are improving too. Till date various types of locks have been invented, and padlock and digital key locks are most commonly used (Komninos, Philippou and Pitsillides 2014). In this context, the example of Yale UK can be taken. Yale UK is one of the biggest lock manufacturers of UK and all over the world. In more than 125 countries, Yale produces and supplies locks of many designs and functions. It is one of the oldest global lock manufacturing brands and today it has achieved a respectable position in the lock industry of the world (Yale.co.uk 2017). Yale has many different types of traditional and modern locks for secured and smart living. The company can launch a new product, namely, Remote Entry Lock System for the smart technology generation. This product will enable the user to synchronize their home or office locking system with their smartphones. The users can lock and unlock the home or office locks directly by using their phones. The following report focuses on various aspects of the new product, its relevance with the current products of Yale UK, value creation for the consumers, and market, economic, technical and strategic feasibility of the product.

The idea for a new product can be generated from one or multiple sources. It starts with the understanding of the customers’ needs and finding out the solutions for satisfying those needs. The sources for ideas are generated from the company’s R&D department, customer’s feedbacks, suggestions and complaints, competitors’ strategies, and technological improvements (Bangali and Shaligram 2013). Each of these sources has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The R&D of an organization is responsible for innovation and invention in the products or services of the organization. According to Oldham and Da Silva (2015), the R&D team can research the market trends, pattern of sales, consumer intention and new technology and can develop a new product or improve an existing product. It can also protect the new creation through patents, trademarks and copyrights. On the other hand, in many cases, the small organizations cannot afford to have a R&D department and they lack in innovation. Again, sometimes, the R&D department fails to capture the nuances of the new technology and results in the wrong direction.

Customer’s feedbacks are very important for the improvement of a product or service. Customer’s suggestions and complaints are also part of the feedback section. As stated by Reid and Smith (2015), it gives a first hand impression of how the organization is performing and what is the perception of consumers about a particular product. These help the organization to find out the loopholes in the product or service and give them the scope for improvement. However, a major disadvantage of this method is that sometimes people do give the correct or precise information regarding the product or service, and this leads to a wrong prediction of the market trend. This might influence the company to change its business direction, which may not be correct always.

Relevance of the new product with current products

Competitors’ strategies are the actions of the rivals that influence an organization to change its strategies. A company can make changes in its product if any of its rivals introduce a new product or new feature in the existing product. Competition pushes the companies for continuous innovation. On the other hand, too much competition can lead to fall in the quality of the business and its products (Cavusgil et al. 2014).

Lastly, technological improvements can push a company to adopt a new strategy and innovate its products or service. To ensure a substantial market share, companies must upgrade with the latest technology in the market. However, if the company cannot make successful adaptation of the technology, or if the quality gets reduced, that would affect its business in the long run. Moreover, if a company cannot afford to adopt a new technology, it would lose its market share eventually (Angelidou 2014).

Through these above sources, Yale UK has generated the idea for remote entry lock system. The invention of smart phones and tablets, and increasing number of the smart phone users has led to the idea for this new product. The tech savvy generation wants convenience in life and hence, this has contributed in the idea for creating remote entry locking, which enables the user to lock and unlock the door lock by using their smartphones or tablets, though feedbacks.

The smart technology has captured every aspect of people’s life. Yale UK also has introduced locking system with the smart technology. Yale Smart Living is the range of home security of Yale, which helps in protecting, monitoring and controlling the homes from anywhere at anytime, by using smart technology of mobiles and tablets. It has Smart Home Alarms, Smart Door Locks, Homeview WiFi Cameras, Smart CCTV systems. The Smart Door Locks enables the users secure their homes without carrying the keys. They need to scan their phones or tablets with the sensor while locking the doors. This lock has a digital keypad for a security pin for up to 20 users, one touch control, enhanced encrypted security, Tamper alarm, powered with battery and time controlled user codes, which has 24 hour PIN validity for visitors (Yale.co.uk 2017).

The new remote entry lock system will be an improvised version of the existing lock and ensures more security. This lock will be operated through an app in the smartphones or tables. The app will have a protection password and the locks will be synchronized with the app, so that the users can lock and unlock their doors at anytime and from anywhere. Hence, this new product will add a new category of locks under the product portfolio of Yale UK.

This new locking system, based on the smart technology, will be creating much value for the majority of the customers. As the technology is improving regularly and people are using more of the smart technology, such as, smart phones and tablets, every product is trying be aligned with this new technology. For example, Apple has introduced Apple watch, which is synchronized with their I-phones and I-pads (King and Lakhani 2013). In the modern world, lives are very much dependent on smart technology and it is convenient as it saves time and effort and thus, makes life easier. The lock industry is also incorporating this new technology to make people free from worries (Johnson et al.2013). Hence, Yale has introduced their series of smart lock under the product category of Smart Living. This new lock will be extremely convenient for working parents, and those who have elderly people or disabled people in their homes. This system will come with an in-built camera to see who is knocking at the door. Therefore, parents can check from their office that if their children are coming home safely or they can check who is coming to visit their elderly parents while they are not at home. At the same time, they can open the door for the children or for the visitors to their parents while sitting at the office or outside just by clicking on the app. This makes the locking system more secure and operating home security more convenient. Hence, it can be said that, this new product by Yale UK can be valuable for people.

Value creation for the customers

Feasibility analysis is important for any new product or business developments as it gives an idea to the company about the profitability of the new venture. It gives an idea of how successfully a project can be done on the basis of the economic, technological, strategic and market factors (Denning, Kohno and Levy 2013).

Market feasibility: The lock manufacturing companies can never go out of business, as it is one of the most essential parts of the security system of home and offices. The traditional padlocks are still in demand. Along with that, new locking systems have been introduced that are aligned with the modern lifestyle of people. The brands, which have been able to capture the global market with their high quality, are still trying to innovate their locks with new technology and as per the market demand (Wang 2015). Yale has a big loyal customer base across the world for its existing products, and thus, it is expected that it can attract more customers with this new locking system.

Economic feasibility: The lock industry has been mostly captured by Yale in UK, USA and in other European countries. The company has been able to make progress in the industry through many new products over time and it has increased the economic feasibility of the company. The customers also have faith on Yale due to its brand image and this has increased the profitability and economic feasibility of Yale. Since, it already has an established customer base, it would not have to put much money for the marketing. However, the price will be high as it incorporates a very high end technology. The owners, shareholders and stakeholders will contribute in its production (McHenry 2013).

Technical feasibility: Yale will launch the new lock in the beginning of 2019. Prior to that, it would test the products by its employees and owners. Since, it is a new technology, it needs to be tested very well. The company focuses on the growth through this new development. The R&D team has developed this technologically advanced product through a strong market research and customer feedbacks (Paul et al. 2014). As people are moving into the smart technology in every aspect of life, the new smart locking system is bound to be feasible.

Strategic feasibility: Since, the technology and type of product is very much new in the lock manufacturing industry, Yale must be able to set a trend in this industry. However, it must keep an eye for the competitors. It is expected for Yale, that with a precise marketing strategy, it should be able to make a break through. If it can break the stereotypes of the preferences for the traditional padlocks, through proper promotions, then it would be easier for them to capture the smartphone generation (Rauch and Hulsink 2015).

The remote locking system definitely requires a new technology. Yale UK must use the technology for aligning the locks with the smart phones or tables. It must develop an app for the phones for synchronizing with the door locks.

There is some risk for the product in the initial days. The technology has to be very improved and developed and the customer support system should be prompt and efficient. However, still there are risks on the quality of the product and customer support system. Since, the security of the home is dependent on the locks, people are bound to be skeptical to embrace such a new technology for their security unless they are absolutely convinced.

The capital investment must be increased to build and support the new technology. Initially, the capital investment level would be excessive and the owners and the investors must be supporting this investment. Once the product rolls out in the market and people starts using this, the company would start earning the revenue to break even with the investment (Johnson et al. 2013).

The market for locks is huge; and it is growing continuously as customers for homes and buildings are increasing. However, people still prefer to use the traditional padlocks and some digital locks for their homes. It will take sometime to adjust with the new technology (Martin, McNally and Kay 2013). It can be said that, if the customers are convinced with quality and safety of the new locks, the market size would increase and Yale would make huge profit.

Conclusion

As the business and income level are rising all over the world, there demand for homes and offices are increasing. This increases the demand for home and office security as that is an essential part of protecting the assets. People do not like to take chances in the matter of security. Hence, the demand for locks will always be there, and the lock industry will always have a strong customer base. As the technology is advancing regularly, it has captured every aspect of life and the security system is no exception. Yale UK, being one of the biggest manufactures of lock in the international market, has already introduced a new smart living locks and in future, they can bring revolution in the lock industry by introducing the remote entry locking system, which would make life of the customers more easier.

References

Angelidou, M., 2014. Smart city policies: A spatial approach. Cities, 41, pp.S3-S11.

Bangali, J. and Shaligram, A., 2013. Design and Implementation of Security Systems for Smart Home based on GSM technology. International Journal of Smart Home, 7(6), pp.201-208.

Beaty, R.E., Benedek, M., Silvia, P.J. and Schacter, D.L., 2016. Creative cognition and brain network dynamics. Trends in cognitive sciences, 20(2), pp.87-95.

Cavusgil, S.T., Knight, G., Riesenberger, J.R., Rammal, H.G. and Rose, E.L., 2014. International business. Pearson Australia.

Denning, T., Kohno, T. and Levy, H.M., 2013. Computer security and the modern home. Communications of the ACM, 56(1), pp.94-103.

Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Scholes, K., Angwin, D. and Regnér, P., 2013. Exploring strategy text & cases (Vol. 10). Pearson.

King, A. and Lakhani, K.R., 2013. Using open innovation to identify the best ideas. MIT Sloan management review, 55(1), p.41.

Komninos, N., Philippou, E. and Pitsillides, A., 2014. Survey in smart grid and smart home security: Issues, challenges and countermeasures. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, 16(4), pp.1933-1954.

Martin, B.C., McNally, J.J. and Kay, M.J., 2013. Examining the formation of human capital in entrepreneurship: A meta-analysis of entrepreneurship education outcomes. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(2), pp.211-224.

McHenry, M.P., 2013. Technical and governance considerations for advanced metering infrastructure/smart meters: Technology, security, uncertainty, costs, benefits, and risks. Energy Policy, 59, pp.834-842.

Oldham, G.R. and Da Silva, N., 2015. The impact of digital technology on the generation and implementation of creative ideas in the workplace. Computers in Human Behavior, 42, pp.5-11.

Paul, S., Rabbani, M.S., Kundu, R.K. and Zaman, S.M.R., 2014, January. A review of smart technology (Smart Grid) and its features. In Non Conventional Energy (ICONCE), 2014 1st International Conference on (pp. 200-203). IEEE.

Rauch, A. and Hulsink, W., 2015. Putting entrepreneurship education where the intention to act lies: An investigation into the impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial behavior. Academy of management learning & education, 14(2), pp.187-204.

Reid, J.L. and Smith, J.D., Vibe-It LLC, 2015. Systems and methods for monitoring and responding to customer feedback. U.S. Patent Application 14/702,161.

Wang, W.K., Pacific Lock Company, 2015. Hidden shackle lock incorporating a “key-in-knob”(KiK) cylinder. U.S. Patent 8,978,426.

Yale.co.uk, 2017. Smart Living - yale.co.uk - Smart locks, smart home alarm systems, Doormaster™ replacement multipoint locks, British Standard cylinders, nightlatches, mortice locks. [online] Yale.co.uk. Available at: https://www.yale.co.uk/en/yale/couk/smart-living/ [Accessed 11 Nov. 2017].

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