Product development, innovation and the product life cycle
A Portakabin case study

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Page 4: New product development

Portakabin 18 Image 11It is one thing to develop new techniques, materials and technological processes. What makes a business successful is the ability to use such techniques and processes to deliver production competitively. Portakabin operates in a market that is extremely sensitive to changes in the external environment. In particular, changes relating to both limiting carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency. These all come through the design stage into new product development. Being a sustainable business is part of the culture of Portakabin. The design process involves 5 elements:

  • a design brief
  • specification including appearance and function
  • consideration of alternative solutions
  • realisation (where the final choices are decided and prototypes made)
  • testing of the product.

Sustainability and environmental implications are high on the agenda for many organisations, however, for Portakabin they are considered at every aspect of product design through to delivery. This includes:

  • the energy efficient insulation materials used to lower running costs of its buildings (YBS is in the top 5% of UK buildings for air-tightness)
  • its ISO 14001 certified factory with a zero waste to landfill policy
  • the fact that Portakabin buildings require an estimated 90% fewer vehicle movements to site than traditional build techniques, reducing the buildings carbon footprint.

To succeed, most businesses need to create a unique selling point (USP) that makes it stand out from its competitors. This is especially important in competitive markets like the building industry. The customer promise at Portakabin is its USP. The promise ensures builds are delivered on time and on budget. In the last 9 years, 99.7% of Portakabin buildings have been delivered on time and on budget - compared with a construction industry average of only 58% on time and 34% on budget. This commitment reinforces the excellent reputation that Portakabin has within the industry.

Portakabin | Product development, innovation and the product life cycle