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Understanding Product Life Cycle Management

Nov 11, 2007
Product life cycle management speaks about the existence span of a product, or to define it better, the stages a particular product undergoes from the time it is produced until it becomes useless any more. So, in short it speaks of a product from creation through its stages of wear and tear, and finally when it is useless.

The life cycle of any product, be it an e-book, software product or an information product has the following stages in its life, as a product in the market. Primarily, when the product is designed to be launched; it swallows a lump sum from the manufacturer, for various stages through sampling, test stage, and approval. During this stage the product does not bring in any kinetic revenue to the manufacturer.

The next stage is when the product is introduced in to the market. During this stage, the manufacturer fixes a certain price for the product. The price will be such that it will help the buyer to meet all expenditure he faced to make the product billed as its price. The price also includes the marketing expenditure and profits too! Well, so that is the story behind why a newly launched product is highly expensive and can be accessed by the people with good wallet belly! During this stage, the product does not sell to the seller's expectation and floods in the market. So, a need arises to create a demand for this product and the price has to be reduced to make it readily gettable by everyone.

The third stage of the product can be termed as the TEENAGE stage of any product where in the product is sold cost effectively. And all and sundry can get it and it becomes a common scene in the world around. This is the stage when the seller crops his investment and a Lion's Share Too! A growth in business!

During the fourth stage the product needs no advertising and the seller reduces the advertising cost on the product bringing the cost to bare minimum. The cost is also reduced in this stage to effectively compete against other competitors who should have flooded in the market again. So, this stage of the product's life cycle also gather's revenue.

Well then comes the last stage in the life of any product where in the product becomes either usable as a generous grey haired human or unusable like a weak old man. At this stage, there are equal and opposite possibilities of profit or loss, win or loose. If the product is really usable it still sells. If it is outdated, it does not sell. So the manufacturer has to decide on going ahead with production in accordance with consumer demand. So, in this stage the production of the product is either slowed, stabilized, or stopped based on market requirements. Excess non marketable products get their way as free additions to other products that are new in the market.

This marks the end of the story of the life-cycle of any product. Well, the life cycle of every product need not be the same since it varies from product to product. The details outlined about are just a generalization of the process. The life cycle of any product can be expanded by innovative marketing and sales strategies. Effective thoughts to promote the product, client spotted advertisement, good perception of where the product is needed, and making the product available readily to the customers in the right location is an important task that adds to the nutrient balance of the product.

Reforming and introduction of new variations from the old models is also another way to expand the life span of any product. Once and after the product is sold, it gets advertised further by its users, the availability of after sales service and spare part availability for the product enhances the life cycle of the product even more.

The financial spine of any business is something that puts a stop to instant invisibility of the product in the market. What we mean to say is sudden demise of the product will occur when all is fair and the Accounts Department has loop holes for thieves within the organization. So any products life should be backed by a loyal and responsible accounts team.
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