The research and development process (Research & Development or R&D for short) is needed today more than ever. In today’s world, we are facing very fast and fluctuating changes, each of which has had different effects in the business field; Both the changes related to the expansion of knowledge and everyday innovations (and as a result the need to adapt business policies to these innovations) and the changes that have affected the needs, wishes and demands of customers and the market in general. Therefore, different companies, organizations and businesses need accurate and up-to-date knowledge of possible future developments and conditions in order to achieve a suitable competitive level and, as a result, sustainable profitability. In this article, we are going to look a little more in detail at the way and mechanism of the research and development process in businesses.
Among the important factors that have led to the creation of a gap between countries is the difference in their ability to carry out continuous innovation in all dimensions, especially the economic dimensions related to production and business. Considering the rapid growth of technology, especially in the last two decades, and the prediction of its growth in the future, without a doubt, if appropriate measures are not taken, this gap will become bigger and bigger with the passage of time.
One of the ways to deal with the expansion of this gap is to increase the capabilities leading to innovation in organizations and businesses through increasing research and development activities in their financial and economic sectors.
We have always seen that some companies and businesses have been able to experience significant growth in a short time; But what really made the growth rate of these companies’ products or services so fast?
According to some economists, the factor of economic growth and progress of organizations, companies and, consequently, societies, directly depends on investing in initiatives, inventions and innovations with the specific orientations of each economic group.
Increasing the capacity, creativity and innovation through investing in the research and development process as well as continuously training the workforce and then connecting these researches with the market and needs can lead to the growth and expansion of a business in the following years of its presence in the market. to be
In order to have a better understanding of the importance of the research and development process, it is necessary to first define this process completely. This definition allows us to look at the research and development process from a better position.
What is the research and development process?
In simple terms, the process of research and development can be defined as the process of identifying the needs or potential capacities of any business and then generating ideas, evaluating hypotheses, designing, producing, introducing and publishing a product, service or technological process in a new way (either in the use of Defined a creative method in producing or presenting as better and easier as possible.
Taken together, the planned activities that follow the application of knowledge obtained from research or previous experiences, are carried out with specific goals and can lead to the production of new products, tools, services and processes, as well as the exploitation of systems or their significant modification and improvement, the nature of the process constitute research and development.
Although this process, if carried out in principle, will have very impressive results (both in reaching short-term and long-term goals); But there is always the possibility of danger or complete failure for this process; Because businesses often have to accept and manage this possibility of risk and even fear of failure in order to achieve their desired goals.
The existence of these concerns is mostly due to the fact that companies and businesses usually face many uncertainties in the field of business and their target market. Research and development groups, before taking any action and of course drawing a vision for the future ahead of the group, due to not having enough information, are not sure if the goals they seek to achieve are technologically feasible (conforming or adaptable to current technologies) ) and whether it is applicable in practice or not, and if they are not applicable, it is necessary to review and explain their goals again in accordance with other specific perspectives, facilities and programs.
The research and development process is an important part of many businesses. For example, offering and supplying new products or changing and improving existing products has always been an effective way for businesses to maintain their competitive advantage and then be able to have the most appropriate profitability plan.
During the development of a new product, process or service, as well as when reviewing previous products and correcting them, the research and development process is one of the first executive steps in the structure of any business.
The research and development process, or more precisely, the research and development cycle, often begins with ideation and hypothesis generation, followed by research and discovery of different ways to produce that product and service offering, and then enters the design and development phase. After that, the final tests are carried out to estimate the acceptability of those products and services and as a result of the production method and process, and whenever the output of this cycle, according to the research and development group, is at a competitive level (as well as a reliable level to maintain and continue that ratio) to other competitors), then that particular product or service will enter the stage of development and preparation for market release according to the same process that passed its test.
What kind of businesses is the research and development process suitable for?
Now that we are familiar with the nature of this process, you may be wondering what specific range of businesses need to carry out research and development on the process of producing their products or providing their services? In response to this question, it should be said that every organization and company that wants to grow and expand naturally needs research and fundamental activities (examining the progress of the collection so far and looking at the possible paths ahead in the future). So:
The research and development process is used by most businesses, large and small, as well as a wide range of sectors and industries. The application scope of this process includes industries that rely heavily on research and development projects; From food and pharmaceutical industries and natural sciences and medical engineering to areas such as software and technology, automobile manufacturing and the construction industry (its construction and engineering).
Research and development methods
All stages of research and development begin with ideation and hypothesis design. The ideas and assumptions raised can be related to identifying a problem or crisis with the approach of solving it or discovering new opportunities ahead and ways of exploiting them.
After determining the goal that the business is looking for, the research and development process in its next phase is focused on identifying and finding ways that can bring that group to the desired and determined goals.
In fact, as we have already mentioned, the research and development group is trying to make sure at this stage whether these objectives can be achieved in terms of technology (and the available facilities according to the field of each business) and if so, to evaluate to what extent. The amount of available facilities can bring that group and organization closer to its ideal, and after reaching the goals, estimate how long it will maintain this advantage among competitors?
What is important in relation to research and development is the research priorities and methods based on the needs of that particular company or business. Research is usually categorized based on different criteria. What follows is the classification based on the US National Science Foundation .
Basic research used to be said that the purpose of basic research is deep understanding or knowledge about the subject being studied and not its practical application, but this foundation has revised this definition considering industrial goals and points out that basic research is that part of scientific knowledge. It does not have specific commercial goals. Although this research may be in the field of current or future interests of the research organization. Applied Research The purpose of applied research is to gain the understanding or knowledge necessary to determine and use a tool that will solve the identified need. Applied research in the field of business and production is the discovery of new scientific knowledge that pursues specific business goals about the product or its production process. Developmental research(Development) is the fundamental application of knowledge (in accordance with the development plan of that collection) or concepts resulting from research in order to produce products, provide services or use beneficial design and production methods.
In general, it can be said that the stage of product design and development is, in fact, the stage of moving from an idea to a specific product or a specific process, and it includes design, making a prototype, testing, checking quality and efficiency, and of course returning and correcting it. Making a prototype is an important and key step in the development and design phase; Because the issues and problems will be identified and resolved at this stage, and in this way the design process will improve and proceed more economically.
Research and development goals
The research and development process can be done in order to have different outputs as follows for each business:
Research and development to produce a product or provide a new service
The research process followed by product development often go hand in hand; This means that rapid changes in the type of customer demand and of course the technologies used make it necessary to always adapt and adapt a business to its surrounding conditions.
A very important step, before producing a product, is a deep understanding of the market and the potential space available in it for the supply of products or services, as well as a detailed understanding of the needs of users (depending on time and conditions). With such a view, any business, organization or startup (in which the need for innovation is felt more) can produce products and services in specific intervals and in accordance with predetermined principles (by research and future research groups) and the amount maintain their competitiveness or even think about improving it.
During the research process, different concepts and assumptions are created and evaluated in terms of their acceptability (in the market), and then a prototype is made according to them, and subsequent research and tests are carried out on it over time.
Research and development to improve existing products and services
Another essential part of the research and development process is the continuous evaluation of existing products, services and processes in a company, organization or enterprise. If some services, products, and processes are no longer profitable and have added value for a specific market, then continuing to produce them in the same way as before will cause losses for that business, so the ways forward (whether to correct the process or stop production) should be examined. become
In addition, the research and development process can also be used in the context of using a pre-developed technology; In such a way that either the service and access is easier than before or the new method reduces the cost, increases the efficiency or improves the security of a production or service system.
Why is the research and development process so important?
The main reason for this attention, especially in today’s organizations and companies, is due to several obvious and at the same time important and fundamental reasons; Including:
1- The environment that organizations deal with is not fixed and undergoes continuous and accelerated changes and all-round transformation, and only those organizations that can manage these changes and create the necessary and timely transformation in their organization based on the fluctuation of environmental conditions. They are able to continue their life and survival.
2- For their development and growth, organizations must transform from within and move towards excellence and competitiveness, so the development of companies and organizations will lead to favorable competitiveness when the main factor of change, i.e. the managers of those groups, can Pathology was timely informed about the occurrence of problems in the organization, and by discovering the causes of their occurrence , implemented improvement solutions (which requires deep consideration of the topic of future research ).
3- After understanding the need to create change and transformation within a group, the decision makers and executives of every business have come to believe that any change or improvement in their company is effective when it is based on knowledge and awareness and far from momentary decisions (although Those decisions seem appropriate at that moment. This is possible when the necessary knowledge and awareness is obtained in appropriate ways and specific to the same company. Studying pathology and following it, developing ideas and drawing possible, probable and desirable prospects for a business is one of these methods that is included in the field of research and development and future research.
Businesses and economic enterprises as an organization are always under the influence of three strong forces and it is necessary to acquire the ability to be flexible in front of these three forces so that they can minimize the destructive effect of these forces on themselves with timely change and transformation. Maximize the use of potential opportunities. These three forces are:
- Changes in the needs, desires and demands of the audience due to the gradual change in lifestyle, culture and other factors affecting the living environment of customers and service users.
- Creating rapid and ever-increasing change and transformation in technology and human knowledge
- The variety of actions of similar organizations and competitors with the aim of attracting customer attention and the growing trend of expectations of business owners and organizations
Due to the above reasons, not only the development and growth but also the maintenance of the current status of any organization is simply not possible and their managers and decision-makers must be fully and timely aware of their position and monitor the environment of providing products or services as well as having a sufficient understanding of the achievements of the field. technology, to discover the best solution for recognizing potential resources and capacities, as well as making more use of existing capacities and removing obstacles related to improving productivity and competitiveness, and implementing those solutions with timely measures.
The main basis and among the basic requirements of these actions in order to maintain the level and improve competitiveness is to carry out continuous development research in specific time frames, along with conducting specialized pathology studies to identify problem symptoms and root causes in time and, as a result, find suitable solutions for Facing them.
The main basis and among the basic requirements of these actions in order to maintain the level and improve competitiveness is to carry out continuous development research in specific time frames, along with conducting specialized pathology studies to identify problem symptoms and root causes in time and, as a result, find suitable solutions for Facing them. One thing that should be noted is that as much as the process of research and development and discovering harms and opportunities is important, it is also very important to deal with principles.