STUDENTS' CORNER - 141
The second obstacle to supply chain strategic fit is the decreasing
product life cycles.
It is good we should spend some time on the product life cycles and
their importance in marketing. After all, supply chain forms an integral part
of the whole process of marketing.
The concept of product life cycle is actually based on the very life
cycle of every individual. The span of
human life is generally divided into four phases: childhood, adult, old age and
death. The product life cycle reflects
the same sequence of stages.
Introduction of a new product (childhood) is followed by growth
(adult) and passes through maturity (old age) and decline (death). This
sequence is called the product life cycle and it is inextricably linked to changes
in marketing situation, impacting the marketing strategy and the marketing mix.
At any stage, the end of any good business points to sustained
enterprise which in turn derives its sustenance from money, that is, profit.
Let us see briefly in what ways a business engages itself at every stage of the
product life cycle.
When a product is
introduced, the company has to spend considerably even for some crucial tasks
during pre-introduction phase like market research, selection of a product and
the target for the product, advertisement, so on. Despite massive expenses for
the introduction of a product, understandably, the sales will be low. The
product has to earn customers and this is a great challenge for even popular
products. No demand has been created and the people, the possible customers do
not even know the existence of the product.
Persistence in efforts and patience for results are required at this
introduction stage. All the activities
of the company must be directed to create awareness of and demand for the
product in the market. The supply chain
must be so monitored that there are no lapses in the flow of the things, from
the raw materials to the finished products, during the period of uncertainty,
in terms of sale and demand.