The Business Development Department

The Business Development Department, separate from Marketing/Sales, functions as a steering group for deciding which new products or customer requests are to be pursued and which are to be dropped. Factors which they consider in making these decisions are: (1) the company's long- and short-term business plans, (2) current sales forecasts, (3) economic and industry indicators, (4) profit potential, (5) internal capabilities (both volume and technology), and (6) what the customer is willing to pay versus estimated cost.

The duties of Business Development also include the coordination of a project or new product from initial design through market availability. In this capacity, they have no formal authority over either functional managers or functional employees. They act strictly on an informal basis to keep the project moving, give status reports, and report on potential problems. They are also responsible for the selection of the plant that will be used to manufacture the product.

The functions of Business Development were formerly handled as a joint staff function where all the directors would periodically meet to formulate short-range plans and solve problems associated with new products. The department was formally organized three years ago by the then 38 year old president as a recognition of the need for project management within the Automotive Components Division.

Manpower for the Business Development Department was taken from both outside the company and from within the division. This was done to honor the Corporation's commitment to hire people from the outside only after it was determined that there were no qualified people internally (an area that for years has been a sore spot to the younger managers and engineers).

When the Business Development Department was organized, its level of authority and responsibility was limited. However, the Department's authority and responsibility have subsequently expanded, though at a slow rate. This was done so as not to alienate the functional managers who were concerned that project management would undermine their "empire."

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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