How to Breakthrough With Product Launching

Conceptualizing an effective product launch is like promoting a movie. If you are a movie producer, you would surely like to earn as much as possible during your first opening day, right? So, what you’ll do is to create anticipation way before your opening date. You come up with trailers, you post intriguing clips over the internet, you invite movie reviewers to your movie screening, and you ask the actors to promote your movie on television and radio. By doing so, you can create awareness among movie-goers so you can entice them to watch your movie preferably on the opening day. This is the exact formula that you need to follow when launching your products. You need to keep your potential customers informed, you excite them in the process, and you get them to swipe their credit cards on your launching date so you can boost your sales and revenue.

Here’s how you can breakthrough with product launching:

1. Talk about your product on your website and on your blog. To keep your visitors informed about your new product, make sure that you post informative articles that will let these people know about the features, benefits, and selling points of your offerings. Don’t forget to insert pictures or relevant videos so you can give people an idea on what your product looks like.

2. Send email advertisements. You can send compelling email ads to your opt-in list at least a couple of weeks before your product launching date. It would be a great idea if you can run a contest that anyone can participate in where the winner/s will get your new product for free.

3. Distribute articles. You may write at least one article per day about your product and post them on article submission sites. You can communicate how your product works, how it can benefit your potential clients, why it’s the best in the market today, and various reasons why online users should take advantage of it.

4. Go with forum posting. Visit forums that are frequented by your potential clients and talk about your product. Make your potential clients feel that it is the best solution to their problem so you can easily convince them to make a purchase. Ensure that you don’t sound pushy though as you might be banned by forum administrators for blatant advertising.

Really, Really Complex Products: Is PLM Software The Solution?

There are a lot of products out there that need product managers. However, there is a special class of products that needs a special type of product manager – the really, really complex product. These things have too many parts and subsystems for any one person to keep straight. Maybe it’s time to bring in the big guns: Product Life-Cycle management software?

What The Heck Is A PLM Package?

Remember those big ERP software packages that every company seemed to be running around and installing in the 90?s? Well guess what, a PLM package is sorta the same thing, but it’s focuses on managing really big products. The purpose of installing and using a PLM system is to allow a product manager to manage just about every part of his / her product’s life-cycle. This starts with the concept / design phase, goes to manufacturing, into maintenance and (depending on the product) may even include managing its eventual disposal. Generally speaking, PLM packages contain three separate components that are designed to automate the development and eventual production of products:

A CAD system that allows the product to be designed in detail. This allows each of the components that makes up the product to be inventoried and tracked.
A digital manufacturing system which allows your firm to simulate how they are actually going to manufacture the product (it’s a lot less expensive to simulate first, and then build-out the factory second)
A Product Management Data System (PDMA) which provides you with a single place to put everything associated with your product: CAD drawings, parts lists, specifications, etc.
So What’s Wrong With PLM Solutions?

I can almost hear the little gears in your Product Manager head clicking as you come to the conclusion that one of these really expensive PLM systems is exactly what you need your company to get their hands one. Hold on a minute. It turns out that, as with everything else in life, a PLM solution is not the silver bullet solution that you might initially think that it is. It turns out that there are three main problems that can pop up when you use one of these systems:

Software Compatibility: this is a tricky issue that can show up and bite you at any time. If one half of your team designs your blue widget using v3 of the PLM CAD program and the other uses v4, there’s a good chance that the two parts won’t fit together. This is the problem that caused Airbus’ A380 superjumbo airplane to be delayed for two years.
Missed Errors: since the PLM system allows you to live in a virtual world, product managers stop creating real products for testing. This means that errors in design can be missed that won’t be caught until manufacturing has already started.
Bad Data: the ability to maintain a data warehouse that is both current and accurate and which does not contain any bad data can easily turn into a full-time job.
What All Of This Means For You

Every product manager would like to have a dedicated assistant. When you are responsible for a very complex product, this becomes an even greater desire. Sadly such assistants are few and far between. However, the good news is that PLM software packages can provide you with a lot of what you are looking for. However, these sophisticated product management tools come with their own set of challenges. Issues such as software compatibility, testing products, and the scourge of bad data can interfere with the successful launch of a new product.

Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.