We continuously talk about how business moves at the speed of light these days and how businesses need to react to the market just as fast, but how fast is too fast? Samsung recently has been receiving criticism for major manufacturing issues regarding their folding phone before it even hit the market. Over the past few weeks, Samsung had been sharing preproduction versions of their $2,000 flip phone, only to have them fail within hours of first use… This, unfortunately, has become more the norm than the exception. The problem is that businesses are rushing to get their products to market without using them first and doing the proper smoke testing before adopting consumers as beta testers. This recently took center stage with Boeing, where along with their recent failures, news began to leak about how they rushed the Boeing 737 Max Fleet to market, pushing for faster governmental approvals and skipping some steps completely in order to beat Airbus to the punch. And we now know the results of them speeding up the process.
This is not uncommon as time to market and cost savings have taken center stage for many, resulting in quality control issues out of the box. Another example is the fact that almost any web-enable device, even on the day of launch, typically needs a firmware or software update—or both—before the product can even be used. This essentially means that between the time it took to manufacture, ship, and get a product into the customers’ hands, they already found and fixed many issues with the product. However, the updates do not stop there as businesses continuously update their products on a regular basis as they find more issues.
Businesses the likes of Samsung and Boeing have the ability to overcome manufacturing issues, as they typically are quick to address major flaws and have massive amounts of marketing budgets to blitz the market to make you forget the issues in the first place. The same cannot be said for smaller businesses. In some cases, shipping a product before it’s ready can be fatal to a business as most small businesses simply do not have the resources to recover from a bad product launch. Not only does it put restraints on the entire supply chain, it also has major customer ramifications. As we wrote about not too long ago, it only takes a handful of bad reviews to hurt your business. We understand that time to market is extremely important for any business to stay competitive, however there is a limit to just how fast you can go. Don’t skip important steps and ensure proper product testing before you go to market! It just may save your business.