A research & development team is one of the essential parts of the company which seeks to gain knowledge and information to develop, design and enhance its company’s work processes and technologies. Not only do they contribute in updating existing practice but also helps in developing economic growth plans, marketing strategies and in finding new revenue streams.
When you do enough research, the story almost writes itself. Lines of development spring loose and you’ll have choices of galore – Robert McKee
Many successful companies invest in R&D departments which have helped them to achieve innovative breakthroughs. According to FactSet, Tech companies in US spent around $76 billion on research and development in 2017. Amazon being the top company on this list, spent about $22.6 billion supporting its projects like Alexa, Amazon Go, etc.
But what is research and development?
It is one of the initial steps that a company undertakes when wanting to introduce new product or update an existing one. It means constantly seeking for a products’ effectiveness and new ways to outline the market. A good R&D team’s work leads their company towards success, increases its productivity and makes it an anomaly within its competitors.
How to develop an R&D team?
A research team may comprise of Ph.D. students, company staff, co-investigators, experts and more who may belong to different backgrounds, disciplinary and culturally, and may contribute through their presence or virtually. These are a group of people working together in a common facility committed towards a common research goal in a systematic way. Acc. to National Science Foundation, there are three kinds of research methods – Basic, Applied and Development Research.
Basic research aims to understand a subject completely and builds understanding which may be of potential interest to the company. Applied research addresses a specific need focused in commercial objectives and Development research is when findings of certain research are utilized to manufacture specific prototypes.
While for a small company or startup, a research team may focus on improving the existing products services, for larger enterprises, these teams focus on both innovation and improvement and bring additional revenue streams.
What is the need for an R&D team in a company?
A proper understanding of your field would allow your company to rise. An R&D department helps you do that. It gives access to external knowledge and improves organizational alignment and decision making. It looks after regulatory changes that happen in the market, keeps a check on products created by the company and ensure good quality goes out in the market. It gains knowledge about emerging technologies which in the future become a threat to the existing and paves way for innovations to happen.
How to ensure R&D team delivers quality work in time?
Setting goals for a team is necessary to ensure that everyone is aligned, focused and is one the same page as
others. These goals help to define a company’s expectations in an easier way. While setting up these goals can be the first step, it is very important to set timelines in sync with the company’s timelines. This will ensure on-time deliverables and help people work efficiently.
What are the various fields R&D team could work in?
A research and development team can be formed for any section in the business industry. For example, the packaging R&D team at Outlook Groups continuously focuses on testing new materials and material selections, inks, coatings, adhesives, new packaging ideas, etc. In the Food industry, the R&D team may look at new product development, process change or recipe modification. While in the Fashion industry, the team would serve by identifying the target market, identifying competitors, research on color, trends, and prices and work on design improvements.
In conclusion, R&D offers tremendous advantages to any company, not only in economic growth but also in attracting new people to a company by doing innovative and exciting things. R&D is about exploring opportunities ahead of time to help a company make logical decisions.