Product Launch Strategy and Planning Brief


Milestone One Component 1: and Planning Brief
Presented By: Kimberly D. Hall
Presented To: Christina Behling
Southern New Hampshire University
Table of Contents
Product Launch Strategy and Planning 3
Executive Summary 3
Introduction 4
Rationale for the Selection of Milk Pop Bags 4
Business Problem or Opportunity 5
PBM Plastics Company 6
Approach 6
Methodology and Planning 7
Milestones and Gantt Chart 9
Stakeholder Analysis and RACI 11
Conclusion 14
References 16

Product Launch Strategy and Planning
Executive Summary
The launch of a new product requires careful planning to ensure that the company correctly evaluates the existing demand and the necessary resources. In this sense, the decision to launch an entirely different product in the market would be a dangerous choice if the company managers fail to complete a series of steps carefully. These steps involve, among others, the evaluation of the characteristics and needs of potential customers, the analysis of whether there is already an existing similar product in the market, and the financial assessment to assess whether the company will be capable of raising a higher profit by introducing the new product in the market or instead remaining as it currently is.
The present milestone thus describes the first step of this evaluation. This initial stage focuses on the analysis of the characteristics of the company and the industry. The goal of this analysis is to identify whether the new product may find an appropriate market niche by filling a currently unmet need of the potential customers or offering an added value over those products already commercially available. The identification of a product that surpasses this initial screening is highly beneficial, as it will likely find a suitable place in the market, enabling the company to expand its current market base. As outlined from the presented analysis, the target product is likely to represent a considerable added value to both the customers and the company. In this sense, the product comes to meeting the desire of women to feed their babies without the hassle of feeding them in public. As opposed to similar products, however, the Milk Pop bags offer these mothers the possibility of efficiently storing the breast milk in a considerably lower space. The product will also likely benefit the company considering the prospected increase in the market share resulting from the introduction of the new product. In this sense, the high quality and outstanding advantages of the Milk Pop bags provides the company with the possibility of reaching potential customers that had not even considered the possibility of using these type of alternative baby feeding products based on the inconveniences of using plastic bottles. Lastly, the analysis carried out highlights the potential stakeholders and their level of responsibility, power, and interest in the launch of the Milk Pop bags.
In operations management, it is understood that when developing products, it is ideal for aligning the product with market standards but most importantly, the customer’s needs. The purpose of the product launch strategy and planning brief is to analyze and devise a strategy for the development of a product. The case which will be used to pitch a new product is ‘Adam Burke & PBM Plastics: Message in a Bottle where the new product will improve sustainability to meet consumer needs. The plan will outline a detailed process of product development along with a Gantt chart as the framework to introduce the new product to PBM Plastics. The program concludes with a description of the critical stakeholders involved in the manufacturing of the product.
Rationale for the Selection of Milk Pop Bags
PBM Plastics is an industrial company that manufactures rubber and plastic goods. Founded in 2000, PBM Plastics produces a product that targets new mothers and babies for feeding purposes. Initially, the company gained its success in the market when it launched the traditional preformed feeding bottle liners along with complementary products like baby bottles and aspirators in the market. Because the primary purpose for developing products is to remedy problems faced by customers and to ensure challenges are solved efficiently, this case study was chosen to create a product that is sure to meet consumer needs and to provide a safe product useable for babies (Yemin & Weiss, 2013). While conforming to PBM Plastics culture and making the company competitive in the market, the pitched product be one that will meet also align with the strategies and product development approaches without incurring huge costs (Lawson & Gray, 2017).
Business Problem or Opportunity
Disposable bottle liners were a hit in the 1980s. Today, there are many fancy and ergonomic baby bottles on the market. The advantages of the bottle liners were that parents no longer had to sterilize jars after every use, and the liners prevented air ingested during feeding, which causes a baby to have severe gas pains and cramping. The disadvantage was parents wasting milk if the bottle liners were over-filled. Another drawback was parents re-using the bottle liners for second and third feedings causing a tear in the bottle liner’s rim and dipping milk onto the baby’s clothing.
Moving forward to the 21st century, more and more mothers are breastfeeding their infants and toddlers. Breastfeeding restricts parents in many ways. Moms cannot be away from their babies for long periods, fathers are not able to bond with and take part in feeding their babies, and some mothers’ over-produce milk causing the breast to become engorged and painful. The new proposed product to Adam Burke and PBF Plastics is “Milk Pops,” a disposable breast milk storage and feeding bag. This new product is not only targeted to babies, but it will also be targeted to new mothers and fathers. With the new breast milk storage and feeding bags, mothers can pump their breast milk, store it, freeze it, pack it, thaw it, and feed her baby with it. Not only does this benefit the mom, but it also serves an excellent purpose for the father and anyone who wants or needs to feed the baby.
PBM Plastics Company
The development of Milk Pops aligns well with the production of disposable bottle liners previously developed by the company. PBM Plastics’ culture focuses on developing safe products that will solve consumers problems and desires. In this regard, parents are going to purchase the Milk Pops if breastfeeding and the deposable liners if bottle-feeding. This way, PBM Plastics will have a competitive advantage by addressing both methods of feeding a baby, thereby targeting all parents. As a trusted brand, this will ensure that parents will purchase one or the other.
Besides, product marketing will be undertaken under one umbrella since the sales will target the same segment on consumers for the same purpose. PBM Plastics will benefit from spending less money while marketing two same-purpose products as marketing, targeting, segmentation, and positioning will be similar. This product and its strategy will incur fewer expenses for PBM Plastics and increase its overall profit margins.
Competitively, disposable breast milk storage and feeding bags will hit the broader markets very quickly, and companies will join the competition by developing the same or similar products. Because product acceptance by parents will be high, Milk Pops is guaranteed to provide a new competitive force in the market, thus ensuring Adam Burke and PBM Plastics a competitive advantage over the market for related products.
With Milk Pops, mothers are no longer confined to the baby, no longer have to be ashamed to breastfeed in public, and no longer have to from the engorged breast. After pumping her breast, mothers can take the milk and pour it into the Milk Pop bags to protect and store their precious milk for their babies. The Milk Pop bags also help to ensure parents are using the oldest to newest milk by using the lines on the front of the bag to write the date and time (i.e., first in, first out). Once filled with liquid, the bags are designed to lie flat and will be stored and frozen in a stackable state. One could imagine this as filling a Ziploc bag with water, sealing it closed, and lay it flat on a countertop.
Milk Pops will use the same proprietary process as the bottle liners, a modification of thermoforming and blow molding called melt-phase forming where the plastic is heated to a molten state, stretched, and shaped by a plug and air. It will use the same disc, but of thicker plastic that will be heated and pushed into the same mold with a cap. The air will form a bit thicker liner than the bottle liners. The thicker liner is necessary for freezing, storing, and transporting breast milk and avoiding most punctures. Milk Pops bags will be made using the same, left-over rolls of plastic sheeting. With the bottle liners, PBM Plastics fed plastic sheets into the cutting machine to produce round billets. For the Milk Pop bag, double layers of plastic will be fed into the machine to produce thicker, heavier billets. The billets will be 4 ounces and 8 ounces and will use the same tools: the 4000, 5001, and 5002.
Milk Pops will replace the use of a bottle. The Milk Pop bags will be developed with a spout of the rim that will function as a gasket to screw on a bottle nipple. Because PBM Plastics is not in the market to manufacture and produce bottle nipples, the company will join forces with PBM Products who make bottle nipples to get its brand out to the target consumers. PBM Products will distribute coupons for bottle tops and nipples in Milk Pops packaging. PBM Products will remain a sound investor to PBM plastics.
Methodology and Planning
The methods used in the introduction of the new product has five major milestones based on the DMAIC six sigma methodology (figure 1). The use of this methodology provides the company with the possibility of optimizing the characteristics of the product, ensuring that it meets the needs of both PBM Plastics and the end customers, the mothers storing the milk to feed their babies. It also allows for the collection of feedback from the PBM Plastics Company and customers and use of this feedback to improve the developed product further.
The first milestone in the methodology involves the definition of the problem. The tasks to accomplish during this stage include, among others, the definition of the technical specifications desired for the new product and the materials and procedures used in its manufacturing. The second milestone of the methodology requires the company to define the variables it will apply to monitor the quality of the product. During this stage, the company will make a series of quality control tests through which to establish the baseline quality standards of the product. The tasks involved in the third milestone of the DMAIC methodology include the analysis of the collected results and the identification of possible non-conformities between the monitored baseline quality standards and the desired specifications. The fourth major milestone of the methodology accounts for the design of possible solutions to improve the design of the product so that the baseline quality standards measured match the required technical specifications of the product before the final commercialization stage. A fifth major milestone, the control phase, evaluates whether the implemented measures have been effective in addressing the identified quality deficiencies of the product and it is ready to get produced at a larger scale and commercialized.
Besides these critical milestones, the product service launch plan will consider the last task focused on the production, commercialization, and the collection and analysis of feedback for the developed product. This last step represents the opportunity for the company to improve the product by accounting for the received feedback, such that it is more appealing to customers and gets quickly commercialized.
Milestones and Gantt Chart
The project presents four key milestones. The first milestone, located at the end of theDefine phase, represents a report that summarizes the technical characteristics of the developed initial prototypes. This report summarizes the critical technical and quality specifications of the Milk Pop bags to consider the product suitable for its large scale production and commercialization. The second milestone of the project is the quality analysis report at the end of the Analysis phase. This document is critical for the continuation of the work, as it will enable the quality control specialist to verify whether these technical characteristics meet the desired technical specifications for the Milk Pop bags and, otherwise, enable the launch of the Implementation phase to improve the characteristics of the prototypes. Besides, this document will also serve as a reference throughout the production phase, assisting in the evaluation of the efficiency of any implemented improvements. The third milestone, located at the end of the Implementation stage, is a report summarizing the modifications done to the production process and the resulting technical and quality characteristics of the product. The confrontation of these data to those obtained in milestones 1 and two will allow the production manager and the quality control specialist to define whether the implemented strategies have been effective at improving the quality of the product and identifying the optimal production protocol. This report will be updated regularly as the company collects more quality data about the different batches produced by the Milk Pop bags, thus enabling for the continuous improvement process of the DMAIC quality model. Lastly, the fourth milestone is the official launch of the product at the end of the project.

Figure 1 Gantt chart
Stakeholder Analysis and RACI
The potential stakeholders impacted by the launch of the new product are the investors of the company, the customers, the employees, and the managers. Both the investors and the customers will likely approve the launch of this product when they learn of its advantages. It is, however, necessary, to inform them about such advantages to overcome the potential scepticism during the initial months. In this sense, as they become aware of the sound market analysis performed by the institution and the potential increase in the sales revenue and net income, the investors will gradually accept the project and support it. Similarly, the company’s customers will gladly accept the introduction of the new product, considering how it represents a significant improvement over those commercially available (Sunder, 2016).
The employees will likely present a higher resistance to the launch of the new Milk Pop bags. On the first hand, it is possible to expect that the employees will be reluctant about the possibility of having to learn to use a new production process. It is essential to motivate these employees by illustrating them on the fact that the production of the Milk Pop bags follows necessarily the same production process, and only requires some small modifications. Besides, it is essential that they are aware of the fact that the production will use the same machinery they are already accustomed to, as this will contribute to calm their anxiety about having to learn to use new tools.
Lastly, it is crucial to increase the support of the managers to the project by informing them both about the expected benefits of the product and convincing them of how any potential resistance to change is under control. As main actors in the change and the decision-making process to officially approve and launch the new product production strategy, they need to be adequately informed about the progress of the project, the expected benefits, and the measures implemented to prevent any potential issues (Kerzner, 2017).
Table 1 summarizes the essential actions to make with these stakeholders based on the performed analysis, while table 2 shows the RACI grid depending on their level of responsibility and engagement in the project (Tonchia, 2018).
As observed from this table, most of the project for the launch of the new product relies on the work of both the production engineers and the quality control specialists. These two employees will need to cooperate closely together, and maintain the managers dully informed of their progress, to ensure that the developed Milk Pop bags meet the desired technical and quality specifications. In this regard, while the rest of the employees will likely contribute to the production of the new product once the production method has been optimized, the optimization of such products will depend exclusively on the work of the production engineers and quality control specialists. The reason for such a decision relies on their higher experience and knowledge about both the existing production process and the necessary modifications to shift from the production of the plastic baby bottles to the Milk Pop bags.
For simplification, the RACI grid presented in Table 2 considers the different phases of the DMAIC model. A more detailed explanation of the tasks included in each of such phases is presented in the Gantt chart shown in figure 1.

Table 1. Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder Potential initial reaction Need for their support Strategies to gain their support
Managers Sceptic Essential to the successful implementation of the project Inform about expected benefits of the product (e.g., higher sales volume, higher profitability)
Inform about strategies to resolve potential conflicts to change
Inform about positive results in the realization of the different milestones
Employees Negative to neutral Important Resolve any potential resistance to change by reassuring them in that the new product does not represent a substantial change to the production process
Investors Sceptic Important Inform about expected benefits of the product (e.g., higher sales volume, higher profitability)
Customers Sceptic to positive Important Inform about the advantages of the new product compared to existing alternatives

Table 2. RACI Grid for the Different Stakeholders
Task Manager Marketing Engineer Quality control Rest of employees Investor Customer
The decision to initiate the product launch strategy R C C C I I –
Market research I R I I I – –
Define phase I C R I I – –
Measure phase I I C R I – –
Analysis phase I I C R I – –
Implement phase I I R A I – –
Control phase I I C R I – –
Launch C R C C I I I

The present report summarizes the key characteristics of the product designed. This product represents an improvement to the existing milk storage systems. It is a highly sustainable and easy to system that enables the mothers to extract and store their breast milk so that they can easily feed their babies at any time and in any place. The product, equipped with a tag in which to insert the date, enables the mothers to know precisely when the milk contained in the bag had been extracted, allowing for a first in-first out usage strategy that ensures they give the oldest breast milk to the baby and do not accumulate it over prolonged periods of time. The particular design of the product, as opposed to other baby bottles available in the market, allows for the secure storage, as the milk bags get stored horizontally. The methodology proposed for the product launch strategy uses the DMAIC model. Besides, the company will ensure that the developed product meets the needs and expectations of the customers by offering them the possibility of presenting feedback that the company will use, if necessary, in improving the designed product.

Larson E.W. & Gray C.F. (2017). Project Management: The Managerial Process. 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill Education. 179, 295-298.
Yemen G. & Weiss E.N. (2013). ADAM BURKE AND PBM PLASTICS: MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE. Darden Business Publishing. 1, 5.
Sunder, M, V. (2016). Lean Six Sigma project managementa stakeholder management
perspective. The TQM Journal, 28(1), 132-150.
Kerzner, H. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and
controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Tonchia, S. (2018). Project Communication. In Industrial Project Management (pp. 143-152).
Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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