A well-defined product development process assists the organization to determine its future direction, plan for rapid changes, create new product line profits, and plan for technology adoption and implementation (Thomas, 1993). The goal of this research was to propose an optimal product development process for knitwear companies by examining the process used by a major U.S. sweater company and comparing its process to established processes. Yin's (1984) single case study and Patton's (1990) qualitative research approaches were adapted for data collection. Various methods of collecting data were employed, including interviewing key personnel, making direct observations, and examining written documents. Preliminary suggestions for improving the product development process included extending market research to include end users, using pre-costing early in the process, integrating quality assurance, and using computer-aided-design and product development management software.
- Case study
- Product development