Critical end of life analysis: Managing the downside of the lifecycle

Abstract

Planning for product lifecycles contains many unknowns and uncertain projections of future conditions. The further into the future that planning is projected, the more uncertain or subject to change are the factors that determine product life such as market conditions, product performance in the field, economic environment, dominant legislation, competition, etc. Through a series of detailed interviews with product developers and analysis of real-world product lifecycles, a picture emerges of the degree of uncertainty around predicting product production life. Comparisons of planned versus actual product cycle (point of introduction, production/sales volumes, rise and decay rates, end of life), provides insights into the relative impact each stage has on return on investment and decisions concerning whether a product should be removed from the market. A sensitivity analysis has been conducted to provide a view on the criticality of end of life decisions on overall product lifecycle success. Consideration is given to premature termination of life, decisions on life extension through modification, adaptation and upgrade, as well as the implications of unmanaged terminal decline. The consequences on passive management of end of life are considered, with the broader consequences this may have on follow-on products, service support and resource utilization. The findings indicate that end of life planning is generally poorly done and inadequately managed. This has a significant impact on product commercial success, potentially greater than introducing the wrong product to market or not achieving desired sales volumes.

Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Engineering Systems & Management
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Logistics and Systems Institute
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Sustainable environment research group
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Event Title: PLATE 2015
Event Type: Other
Event Location: Nottinham Trent University
Event Dates: 2015-06-17 - 2015-06-19
PURE Output Type: Paper
Published Date: 2015-06-17
Accepted Date: 2015-06-17
Authors: Price, Brian J (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4860-0198)

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