Time To Market (TTM) is the length of time it takes from a product being conceived until it is available for sale. TTM is important in all manufacturing businesses, but most importantly where products are outmoded quickly. Improving new product time to market increases both sales and profitability because companies are able to: maximise the window of opportunity in the market, in seasonality, in changing customer demand and other factors.
Nowadays, markets, products, technologies and customer demand change rapidly, and an increasing number of companies are competing for market share. Products become commodity items after only a short time in the market, leading to lower margins and profits. This means that new product time to market is a critical factor that not only affects a particular product’s revenue and profitability, but can impact the overall success of any company. The longer the period of missed time to market, the larger the lost opportunity in both revenue and profits.
Although some assume that TTM and product quality are opposing attributes of a development process, done correctly, nothing could be further from the truth. The main source of time-saving is minimising the number of design and manufacturing iterations and aiming to get the design right-first-time. Done this way, reducing TTM has a positive impact on quality.
Conversely, skipping a step due to perceived time pressure, may not only undercut quality but can ultimately lengthen TTM if the organisation must complete or repeat the step.