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GGI RapidNews R&D Product Development eZine: Volume 5, Issue 9- October 7, 2004
GGI RapidNews is published approximately once a month.

In This Issue


BOOK REVIEW - The Origin of Brands

MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY - APQC R&D Productivity Benchmarking Study

MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY - Price Management Software

FEATURED iSTORE PRODUCT - Usage of Best PLM Practices: State of the Industry [Presentation Slides]

2002 BIENNIAL SURVEY - 2002 RD&E Survey Results available now

NEW WEB CONTENT - Updated Calendar

WEBINARS OF INTEREST - Sopheon's Winning Practices for Product Development

TELEVISION EVENTS - Alexander Haig's World Business Review




GGI's 2004 Biennial Product Development Metrics Survey is now in the final report preparation phase. Thank you to all of you who completed the survey. We will be sending the Executive Summary to all participants later this month. The Summary and Highlights Reports will be available for purchase by the public through our iStore soon. Watch for more details.

All participants should have already received an email acknowledgement letter confirming we received your survey. Any survey respondents who did not receive an email acknowledgement letter from us should contact Richard James at or 781-444-5400, x202.


The Origin of Brands: Discover the Natural Laws of Product Innovation and Business Survival, by Al Ries and Laura Ries. HarperBusiness. 2004, 1st edition. 320 pages.

Using an analogy to the theory of evolution, the authors describe a strategy for survival by creating innovative products and building a successful brand, thereby creating business success. The strategy emphasizes divergence or the creation of new product categories rather than convergence which merges products. Through innovation new categories and new markets are created, providing the opportunity to be the first and the perceived leader. Convergence should be avoided because combining existing product categories tends to lead to a muddling of the brand and places it in the "mushy middle." As in nature, where species die out and new ones branch off and evolve, new categories must be created to insure success. The authors provide numerous examples of successful and failed brands with explanations and ideas for what might have been a better approach.

With a new category the push is to be the first to occupy the new market space to receive all of the initial attention and to set the standard for the category. Since not every brand can be a leader, the authors offer advice on how to survive in second place by establishing your brand as the leader's opposite. Another technique to strengthen a brand is to prune weaker businesses and focus on the strong ones. This runs counter to the current expansion in the form of mergers and acquisitions, but the authors argue that this expansion, especially into different industries, dilutes brand identity and is yet more convergence. Whether focused on product development, marketing or other issues, you can benefit from the bigger picture view of branding and some of the key strategies for success in this book.


APQC R&D Productivity Benchmarking Study

The American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) is conducting a consortium research and benchmarking study, entitled "Measuring R&D Productivity." Goldense Group, Inc. [GGI] is Subject Matter Expert for this study. This study breaks new ground in understanding the drivers of R&D productivity. Fifteen global sponsors from four continents will benchmark five best practice companies on two continents after a rigorous screening process.

The APQC consortium benchmarking study addresses the following three areas:

1. Identify the areas where improved attention, knowledge, and education would lead to higher R&D productivity. [What are the key areas for best practice?]

2. Use measurement to increase visibility and awareness, which in turn will facilitate enhanced performance in R&D. [What are the measures for these areas?]

3. Determine effective change management activities to support the realization of improved R&D productivity. [How did the best practice companies achieve their practices?]

The kickoff meeting took place on July 20, 2004, and the study will be conducted with site visits during October, 2004. The Knowledge Transfer Session occurs in early December. Results remain confidential for 3 to 4 months and then will be available for purchase in February 2005 through the APQC web site.

For information about this study, go to For general information about APQC, go to For general information about Goldense Group, Inc., go to


Price Management Software

A relatively new category of software that performs competitive pricing analysis is now starting to mature. The software, now offered by a number of different providers, uses rules-based algorithms and/or market behavior simulations to optimize price and profit. Price management software from providers such as Khimetrics, Manugistics, Open Pricer, PROS Revenue Management, Rapt, Vendavo and Zilliant has been used in industries ranging from retail and airlines to high-tech and chemicals. Use of this type of software could help avoid unit margin compression as developers rarely achieve unit target cost goals at product launch, and/or might be a useful "second opinion" to the target price slated by your product manager. In today's highly competitive marketplace targeting the right price for your product or service can mean the difference between success and failure. It may be worth investigating pricing management software.

For your reference, links to the software providers mentioned above are listed here.

* Khimetrics
* Manugistics
* Open Pricer
* PROS Revenue Management
* Rapt
* Vendavo
* Zilliant


Because of interest shown in the value of GGI's Featured Item this past two months, we are continuing this item for a third month.

Featured Item: Each month, or every other month, GGI's iStore features one item that we discount 40%. The current Featured Item is "Usage of Best PLM Practices: State of the Industry [Presentation Slides]" (T38).

Find out about eight of the the best practices to manage products across their lifecycle. Jump-start your management processes by taking advantage of the eight codified best practices developed over years by GGI and other companies. It takes $100,000 to $200,000 of investment to research and codify each best practice. The per process cost of approximately $25 for each best practice offered in this month's Featured Item is a great value!

This Keynote/Featured Presentation, from the 2003 PDMA Conference last fall, provides a definition of current industry practices for the eight processes that have emerged in the past five years as Best Practices for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). The presentation is based on results of three GGI research surveys and case studies of North American companies. Numerous graphical examples and descriptions are provided for each of the eight Best PLM Practices that span the following key areas across the entire product life cycle:

* Ideation and Concept Management
* Product Selection
* Intellectual Property Management: Product Development Process
* Intellectual Property Management: Corporation Process
* Resource & Capacity Management: Capacity Loading
* Resource & Capacity Management: Resource Balancing
* Portfolio Management
* Product Obsolescence Management

Case study and research results as well as a definition of each best practice are presented for each best practice. Overall benefits are also discussed.

This presentation will help to put you on top of the most current Best Practices for PLM that can help drive your company to

* better customer satisfaction,
* higher profits,
* time savings, and
* ultimately greater success.

Benefits to you include

* advance your career
* become a PLM leader in your company
* make your job easier
* get the results you always wanted

The price for the presentation, "Usage of Best PLM Practices: State of the Industry," has been dropped from $330.00 to $198.00 a deep discount of 40%. GGI's Featured Item changes approximately every other month and is always offered at a 40% discount. For more information or to purchase this valuable report, go to


2002 RD&E Survey - Resource & Capacity Management: Complete results from our 2002 Product Development Metrics Survey are available, including our most detailed "RESULTS" report. The RESULTS report is the only version published that contains cross-population cuts of the data, in addition to analysis of the survey population as a whole.

The 2002 Survey focused on the following 5 areas of resource and capacity management:
- Loading the RD&E capacity pipeline,
- Providing capacity for RD&E activities,
- Balancing cross-functional resources (staffing ratios),
- Using systems, tools, & metrics to manage capacity, and
- RD&E metrics used in industry.

The 3 versions of the 2002 Survey results reports that we offer for sale to the public are:

1. 2002 SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS: A text-only report (65 pages),including the full text of all the results and analysis of the survey population analyzed as a whole,
2. 2002 SURVEY SUMMARY: A report of composite results, where the survey respondents are analyzed as a whole (116 pages, including a full set of graphics), and
3. 2002 SURVEY RESULTS: The most detailed report, complete with the composite results and "special cuts," where the survey population is segmented and analyzed in the following groups: Public vs. Private, Smaller vs. Larger, Process vs. Repetitive/Discrete vs. Job Shop, Higher Technology vs. Lower Technology, and More vs. Fewer Employees (223 pages).

These reports are available in the Market Research section of GGI's iStore ( The original survey questionnaire as well as a description of the survey (including survey focus and demographics, tables of contents for the 3 reports, and examples of key findings) can be found at the Survey Information page at or in the Market Research Reading Room at

McKinsey & Company, Texas Instruments, Rockwell, and Datacard are representative of companies that purchase market research from GGI.


GTK-Gateways To Knowledge: Your resource for industry and product development related information and contacts offers thousands of links to providers of technologies and services for line management functions. The main entrance to GTK can be found at:

Calendar of Industry Events MEGA Gateway is one of our top 3 MEGA Gateways. It contains a listing of links to Conferences, Seminars, Distance Learning Centers, Webinars, Colleges & Universities, Executive Education, and Corporate-Sponsored Universities. The calendar has recently been updated with many of the events being held in fall and winter 2004. If you are looking for a conference or other learning opportunity, check out the Calendar first. This free service for our readers is now front and center on GGI's Home Page. Or, go directly to the Calendar of Industry Events MEGA Gateway at:


Winning Practices for Product Development: This free, online seminar series is sponsored by Sopheon. These one-hour, online events feature experts and leading practitioners who will share process knowledge and practical advice about ways to improve your product development performance and results.

There is currently one webinar scheduled.

19 October - (8:30 am Pacific/11:30 am Eastern/16:30 UK) - The Why and Wherefore of R&D: Closing the Communication Gap with the Company, presented by Richard Reeves PhD, Director of the Management Centre at Cranfield University

For more information on these webinars, or to look at the archive of past webinars, go to


Alexander Haig's World Business Review: Brad Goldense has made several appearances on Alexander Haig's World Business Review in the past year. Streaming video is available for all shows, which aired on August 4, September 29 and December 15, 2002 and on May 20, 2003. See below for details.

May 20, 2003 Broadcast of September 29th In-Studio with Alexander Haig (22.5 minutes): Streaming video for this segment is available at:

December 15, 2002 In-Studio with Alexander Haig (7.5 minutes) on CNBC paid programming: Streaming video for this segment is available at:

September 29, 2002 In-Studio with Alexander Haig (22.5 minutes): Streaming video for this segment (as well as the entire 30-minute show) is available at:

August 4, 2002 On-Location at GGI (3.5 minutes): This On-Location field report is available in streaming video on GGI's website. To see the program, go to:

The web page includes links to download a streaming video player, if you do not currently have one installed on your computer.

For more information on any of Brad's appearances on television, go to:


GGI RapidNews is an e-mail publication from Goldense Group, Inc (GGI). Its subject matter includes survey findings, company news, book and article reviews, key industry conferences and R&D information of interest to clients and associates. Please send communications to rn(at) Thank you.