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

Page 1: Introduction

Profitable and innovative commercial businesses are ones which provide customers with exactly what they need and want. Portakabin is an example of such a business. Portakabin has been the UK’s market leading modular building innovator for more than 50 years, operating in 6 countries and employing more than 1,300 people. The marketing of Portakabin is central to its past, present and future...
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Page 2: The importance of marketing

Marketing is a central function in any business. Marketing involves getting the right product at the right price, promoted using the right messages/media and sold in the right place (the 4 Ps). At the core of effective marketing is the requirement to satisfy customers’ needs precisely. The closer the marketing mix of product, price, place and promotion are to customer requirements, the...
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Page 3: Product design

Portakabin must keep up-to-date with its building structures to ensure it meets the needs of its twenty first century customers. This aspect of the product relies heavily on innovative designs. Design involves making the product distinctive. Portakabin uses ‘value analysis’ to develop products that achieve the right balance in the minds of its customers. The mnemonic FACUP is a...
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Page 4: New product development

It 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...
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Page 5: The product life cycle

When considering investing in research, development and design, a business should always be aware of the product life cycle (PLC) associated with the products in its portfolio. The life of a product is the stages that relate to the pattern of sales. These are outlined in the table. The time period associated with the product life cycle will vary according to the product and other influences. For...
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Page 6: Conclusion

In competitive markets a business must constantly adapt its marketing strategies to stay ahead of its competitors. A key aspect of this is the need to design and develop products that meet customer needs whilst delivering profits. Portakabin has invested heavily in designing the Yorkon Building System in response to changing customer needs for flexible, energy efficient buildings that meet...
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