Interims Are Critical In New Product Development Teams – Here’s Why


Some food and drinks businesses across the globe have had to adapt to keep new product development (NPD) projects alive. Others have had no choice but to postpone innovation. This year, that’s all about to change as huge numbers of organisations look for ways to retain and regain their customers.

The disruption caused by COVID-19 is finally set to ease as vaccines are rapidly distributed to the public. That means it’s now time for businesses to innovate faster and more effectively. Naturally, a lot needs to be done to prepare for increased demand, and some may not have the internal skills and expertise to do so – which is why many have turned to interim professionals.

Here’s why interims are critical in NPD teams… 


They develop your existing team

New product development is the heart and soul of every successful food manufacturing business, but becoming proficient in NPD typically requires years of experience. That’s why you need someone in your team who has the necessary skills to develop products on time, to budget, and without any of the usual associated challenges.

However, onboarding the right talent may prove difficult and time-consuming – and you may not yet want to commit to a full-time, permanent worker. This is where an interim manager comes in. An interim NPD manager is capable of leading and developing your existing team so that you can achieve your business goals beyond 2021.

Interims who have worked in multiple businesses will be able to quickly inject a huge amount of knowledge and expertise into yours. You’ll be able to rapidly develop new products and upskill your future NPD leaders in the process.


They define your NPD strategy

If you lack a well thought-out NPD strategy, you’ll inevitably waste valuable time, money and business resources. Interims have the know-how to define your strategic intent, vision and goals in order to bring about the best results. 

Not only can they offer a fresh perspective as someone who is not ‘too close’ to the business to be objective, but they’re also familiar with various NPD conceptual models such as lean and ExPD. They can be pivotal in the implementation of these models and ensure that they are followed closely in order to launch successfully. 

Simply put, an interim NPD manager can help you lead an NPD strategy that meets both your needs and the needs of your customers.


They take a project from start to finish

Interim NPD managers have the skills necessary to deliver the innovation pipeline, developing unique ideas and taking them from a simple concept all the way through to launch. To achieve this, a good interim will keep on top of the latest trends in the food industry to inspire product solutions and feed the pipeline – but they don’t stop there.

From the moment they join your team, an interim will understand your products so that they can help your current employees strive, both now and into the future. Then, throughout the product development cycle, interims will work closely with your existing NPD team to flag any risks that could potentially prevent the delivery of new products. 

They also know how to secure the best costs for materials, packaging and design, as well as what the retailer needs before introducing the product.


How Silven can help

If you’re looking for a skilled interim NPD manager with experience in the food manufacturing environment, you can always turn to Silven Recruitment. Our team of expert consultants have the knowledge and experience to match you with the talent capable of joining your business and making a real, immediate impact. Contact us to get started.