Future visioning system for designing and developing new product concepts in the consumer electronics industries
This thesis discusses development of a future visioning system model that can be adopted to create new product concepts for consumer electronics companies operating in a highly competitive business environment. The research work investigates consumer electronic product companies and their market environment to identify problematic issues and indicates that a proactive new product strategy which opens new markets through developing concept-led products is a strategic priority, thus the concept development stage in new product development process is in need of improvement. An evaluation of existing concept development tools for the purpose of proactive product strategy is presented and concludes that future visioning procedure is the most appropriate tool. To develop a future visioning system model as a concept development tool, the theoretical future visioning system models are analysed and mapped to extract essential structure and contents of future visioning procedure. The consequent future visioning system model is then revised according to the findings and suggestions from the field research work which investigated four major consumer electronics product companies in practice. The findings also validates the necessity of adopting a proactive product strategy and evaluates acceptability of the future visioning system model for practical use. The final future visioning system model is defined after the opinions of the design managers are considered and applied. The major suggestions from the research findings are: (1) Executing proactive product strategy can be a valuable strategic tool (2) A new process is necessary for the companies to create one-step-ahead product (3) Future visioning system is recommended as an advanced approach that creates new product concept. (4) Future visioning system model should consist of eight stages: project initiation, environmental scanning, future visioning, generating product concepts, scenario planning, concept testing, concept visualisation, and finalized concepts. (5) Product concepts can be generated from future vision by applying backcasting. (6) Scenario planning should be used in the future visioning system model as a concept testing tool providing objective validating criteria. (7) Executing a future visioning system model creates new roles for the designer such as information integrator, process moderator, and futurist.