Product development process management practices and problems in companies of brazilian food industry
This article shows and analyzes the results of a data collecting survey in Brazilian food industry companies, on management practices and problems in the product development process (PDP). The general objective is to characterize and analyze the PDP management within those companies as well as proposing improvement suggestions. The research method adopted is the survey, by applying a questionnaire in loco when interviewing the person responsible for product development process in those companies. The field research was conducted by the authors of this article by applying a 28 questions semi-structured questionnaire, involving amongst others, subjects like development strategy, PDP organizational structure, activities carried out, tools application, main problems and trends. Those subjects were considered starting from the bibliographic review on PDP managements dimensions. Out of the 32 sample companies, belonging to different segments of the food industry, 23 are large size, and 9 are medium size; 20 are Brazilian and 12 multinationals. The sample showed two observable PDP patterns. One of those patterns is more structured and evidences practices already established and closer to what is prescribed in the specific bibliography; the other pattern is more informal and empiric, where companies start the elaboration and analysis of products physical prototypes more quickly, with scarce use of techniques to support the resulting analyses and decisions.