Phase 11: Post-Production
Paragon Innovations’ Series:
12-Stage Product Development Process
From Start to Success
Phase 10 of our 12-Stage Product Development Course focused on how developers can ensure success in the final production stage of their product. This next phase, stage 11, centers on everything developers need to consider in the post-production of their product.
What Should Developers Be Concerned with Post-Production?
Now that your product has been made, it’s time to address post-production concerns. Many of the considerations in the post-production phase were errors or issues identified during production, but it is critical that they are resolved in post-production. Mike Wilkinson, Founder and General Manager of Paragon Innovations, says that post-production concerns are often overlooked. Most post-production concerns include “customer returns, distribution issues, [and] warranties,” says Mike. Additionally, Mike advises that developers think about post-production concerns even earlier than the post-production phase. “Even in the design phase, we need to be adding in features or LED indicators or error codes or something that we can [use] to identify when [a] product might have problems.”
Developers should consider the following concerns during the post-production phase:
- Customer service strategy – how will you address/resolve customer concerns and/or negative feedback?
- Distribution concerns – Is your current distribution strategy cost-effective?
- Product development improvements and cost reductions- Do they make sense given the capital situation?
- RMA (Return Material Authoriztion) process – What is your product return strategy? Has the return shipping cost been accounted for in your profit margin?
- Have you established your fulfillment partner or CM partner?
How Your Customers Can Help with Post-Production Considerations
If developers integrate post-production concerns in earlier in a product’s design, as Mike advises, then customers can provide developers with crucial data surrounding product issues. “If [customers] call in, they can give us that data – you know, blinking LED three times or something.” Customer feedback is an essential feature of a successful post-production phase.
Warranty issues and customer calls help developers determine the best next steps for their product. “Maybe there [are] feature improvements, maybe there’s another model lite version that needs to happen,” says Mike. Learning from customers during the post-production phase prepares developers for next-generation and subsequent products.
Why Should Developers Focus on Enhanced Customer Support?
Customer feedback is a critical element of the post-production process, so a focus on comprehensive customer service is also essential. Having a team of employees to address customer concerns and make them feel heard is of utmost importance. There are two levels of customer support:
- Basic Support
- Advanced Support
It’s important that companies focus on both levels of service personnel to provide their customer with best-in-class support. “An alternative to staffing up your own customer service group is to outsource that to a group that manages lots of products,” suggests Mike. Outsourcing customer support is often an ideal way to provide enhanced service without expending valuable resources.
Often overlooked, the post-production phase of a product development process is just as important as a product’s overall design. If you found this phase of Paragon Innovations’ 12-Stage Product Development Process useful, stay tuned for Phase 12 to learn about establishing the intellectual property of your design.