J.H. Welsch Consulting

You Can't Lead By Following!

Like living organisms, organizations are either growing or dying. Those that fail to evolve are doomed to distinction. For some, it happens slowly, for others with disturbing swiftness. Think of what were once considered "blue chip" companies; those whose stock was a safe bet. Consider names like Bethlehem Steel, Kodak, Polaroid, Blockbuster, or Borders. Now think of Google, Apple, Netflix or Keurig. While no single factor can assure success and one rarely results in failure, the second list is clearly one of innovative companies; those who have a record of developing and introducing innovative new products. Like the dinosaurs, on the other hand, those in the first or loser category could not or would not keep up with changing realities.

While not all companies will be able to create dramatic disruptions on the scale of those mentioned above, all have the potential for innovative leadership given the right strategy, culture, methodology and, most of all, commitment.

According to industry studies, product innovation is strongly linked to financial success. What’s more, leaders do much better financially than followers. Developing new product offerings by simply emulating your competitors will never make you a leader. Leaders move aggressively forward with a clear vision, a sound strategy and a passion for excellence.

However, new product development (NPD) is laden with risk. As Niccolo Machiavelli said over 500 years ago, “…there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

Many processes intended to minimize risk are so complex that they'll expose you to one of the greatest risks of all; getting to market too late! To be successful, a company must, on the one hand, be able to move quickly and boldly while, on the other hand, managing the inherent risks. Doing that requires a culture that encourages and rewards aggressive integration coupled with a system that manages risk while facilitating the innovation process.

Our goal is to help you to develop an integrated system to maximize your chances of success by managing the inherent risks in an effective and efficient manner.

Our Approach
Approach to New Product Development

All companies are different and what works well in one company may not be well suited to another. With that in mind, I initially planned to go about my business by working with a blank canvas, to collaborate with each client to create a customized process from scratch. It then occurred to me that there are many sound principles that can be applied with little or no customization and that by starting with them, both time and expense would be greatly reduced.

After discovering key attributes of your organization such as its strategy, culture and innovation methodology, we will start with our portfolio of standardized methods and tools. Then, working with the people who are directly involved with the NPD process, we will discover what works for your company and what does not and, together, develop a process that is right for you. This collaboration will not only assure that the process is an excellent fit, it will provide the internal commitment necessary if the process is to endure.

We will then work with you to implement the process and train your people. If you wish, we can continue on for a while to mentor you and them during process implementation.

Successful New Product Development depends on four key ingredients:
People, Culture, Process, and Commitment.

Offered Services
Book - Holistic Product Development

holistic product development jack welsch

It's Here!

I’ve read innumerable books on the various aspects of product development. Many of them are excellent. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find a single one that imparted a broad understanding; the understanding that is essential to people from the many disciplines that are crucial to success.

Having tried for years to find that book, I had no recourse but to write it. Click "The Book" on the navgation bar to learn more.

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Holistic Product Development
holistic product development jack welsch

Unlike the countless books that each address a single aspect of product development; strategy, customer research, creativity, the development process, and so on, this book brings it all together to present a holistic understanding of the broad subject of new product development.

Whether you work in the public or private sector; whether your organization makes a physical product or your product is better known as a service, this book is for you. It's for you whether you are a novice or experienced practitioner; whether you work in finance, production, marketing, sales, engineering, quality, or any of the other disciplines upon which success depends. The book is for you whether you wish to understand the whole picture or simply to learn how to do your own job more effectively. If you are an owner or executive, the book is most especially for you. Oh, and if you are still a student who cannot now know where your career will lead but want to be on the leading edge of an organization, it's very much for you.

Among the many important topics are: Disruption; what it is and how it can propel your organization to unimagined heights or see it sent to oblivion. Strategy; how to create a new product strategy that supplements that of the overall organization by aligning efforts and focusing resources. Leveraging the investment; how clear organizational and new product strategies and a climate and culture that actively encourage collaboration and measured risks is essential. Customer centricity: how to understand customer needs before he understands them himself by observing more than asking. Creativity; how to engender creativity and channel it towards the generation of breakthrough products. Process; how adherence to a disciplined yet flexible process, led by top management, will help to accelerate game-changing products to market. Effective product introduction, including such issues as positioning and pricing. Intellectual property; the importance of patents and trademarks in protecting your investment, what they mean and how to obtain them. And Product Safety and Products Liability; the moral and legal imperative to develop safe products and the ramifications of failing to do so.

Click here to see the book on Amazon.

Who We Are
jack welsch

Jack Welsch

A graduate of Lehigh University, Jack Welsch has had over 4 decades of experience in engineering and new product development at all levels and has been awarded over 35 U.S. patents. He has been directly involved with the phased and gated development process since 1979 and has spent much of his time and energy in the continuous improvement of the process.

While most of his career has been spent in manufacturing companies, he has taught the business aspects of product development as an adjunct instructor at both Lehigh and Wilkes Universities. He has been a speaker on the subject at numerous conferences, including those at Cornell, Lehigh and Wilkes Universities. He was also honored to be a featured speaker at the prestigious Stage-Gate® Innovation Summit hosted by noted Stage-Gate® guru, Dr. Robert Cooper.

In addition to his role as Principal of J. H. Welsch Consulting, he is Chairman of Wilkes University's Industrial Advisory Board.

J. H. Welsch Consulting, L.L.C. is dedicated to helping firms improve their new product development process.

( ® Stage-Gate is a registered trademark of Stage-Gate International)

Contact Us
Company Information
J.H. Welsch Consulting

Phone: 570-351-1722

Home: 623-633-3628

Summer Home: 570-303-6008

J.H. Welsch Consulting

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