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The Development Factory: Unlocking the Potential of Process Innovation 0th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 000-0875846505
ISBN-10: 0875846505
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

When the pharmaceuticals giant Merck reports promising results for a potential "blockbuster" drug, the story makes the evening news. Now, at a time when new product development has become critical to success in so many industries, The Development Factory proves that process innovation - not just product innovation - can be the key to competitive edge. In this multiyear study of pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, Gary Pisano explores the dynamics of superior product and process development in a highly competitive industry that lives and dies by its R&D and depends heavily on rapid time to market. His work reveals that behind the success of many new product introductions lies the development of novel process technologies that provide lower costs, higher quality, and increased flexibility. Pisano challenges the widely held product-process life cycle view of competition, which suggests that industries tend to emphasize either product innovation or process innovation. He also questions the notion that there is a conflict between pursuit of product innovation and pursuit of lower costs, arguing that product development and process development capabilities are complementary. Extending the lessons to a wide variety of manufacturing industries, The Development Factory will guide companies toward unlocking the potential of process development and understanding the patterns of organizational behavior and managerial actions that help create and implement new capabilities over time.

About the Author

Gary P. Pisano is the Harry E. Figgle Jr. Professor of Business Administration and Head of the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875846505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875846507
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
In the final course in my graduate program, this was required reading to complete the program. With a background in medical and electronics instrumentation, I was not thrilled. Secondly, I was puzzled that anyone at Harvard would spend over a year to write a book with a fairly narrow audience--the right way to develop new products for the pharmaceutical industry. I wasn't disappointed. The development of new products in this sector is a different landscape from typical product development and manufacturing--a strategic chess game where timing, investment, weighing uncertainty and gutsy decision making are everything in the successful development on new products going through clinical trials. Pisano insights are good advice. If you an exec or manager, this would not be one of those popular business books. If you are in the medical sector, this should be part of your outside reading to avoid the potholes of new product development. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
The development of new manufacturing process technologies generates less excitement, compared to product development. Unfortunately, there is a growing perception that manufacturing is no longer a necessary strategic competency. Many companies in computers, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and electronics are turning over manufacturing of entire products, not just components, to third-party contract manufacturers. It is also commonly believed that in the earliest phases of an industry's life, the rate of product innovation exceeds the rate of process innovation. The focus tends to be on determinants of R&D performance as measured by patents and lead times to launch new products - despite eg. the latest generations of computer memory chips requiring production facilities costing over $1 billion for economic lives of just a few years, and the true value of those facilities lying in the intellectual capital about tool designs, assembly sequences, etc. created by scores of process development scientists and engineers.

One key to Japanese companies' success in DRAM semiconductors was their ability to ramp up new processes to full production volumes more quickly than U.S. counterparts. This also proved critical in building their reputation for reliable delivery and products. Potential imitators can be blocked from entry if they cannot determine how to manufacture the product at competitive cost and quality levels.

Because small variants in a molecule's structure can drastically alter its pharmacological properties, potential imitators find it hard to work around patents.
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