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Introduction The traditional approach to new product development NPD can be described to start and end with the customer Slack et al 2004 However the focus on NPD has evolved over the years from having an internal company view to external market view The article titled Customer Support and new product development Goffin New 2001 takes us a step further in the approach to NPD It discusses a study undertaken by the authors to understand the importance of evaluating the customer support requirements during new product development NPD stage They stress how important it is to include customer support requirements at the beginning of the design process rather than at the end The study was conducted with the help of five companies each of which are in different industries to identify how customer support is evaluated at design stage and its importance in NPD The results show that customer support is highly important in different markets with vastly different products Many companies use customer support not only as a means of gaining competitive advantage but also to increase their revenues The following seven key elements of customer support were identified for the study iInstallationiiUser-trainingiiiDocumentationivMaintenance and RepairvOnline SupportviWarrantyviiUpgrades The five companies which formed part of the study placed varying degree of importance to the above elements in the NPD process This is evident from the fact that they are not only manufacturing different products but are in totally different industries Although previous studies were undertaken to assess the importance of customer support and NPD no clear relationship could be established between them In addition no methodology was developed to evaluate the requirements of customer support This was the first study to understand the relationship between customer support and NPD and how customer support requirements can be evaluated to form part of product design and development The following report discusses the article Goffin New 2001
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