A vinyl manufacturer was planning to launch a new material for covering furnishings. The material had the appearance and feel qualities of cloth combined with the durability and washability of vinyl. The manufacturer felt that there must be a strong market for this material which combined the advantages of both cloth and vinyl. Some years previously the company had launched a floor covering material that had been unsuccessful. Research into the reasons for failure indicated certain areas of pre-market preparation and launch activity which had contributed to the downfall of the product. One of the executives involved in the launch of the new furnishing product remembered to look up the old research report on the floor-covering failure. The information contained in it was extremely useful to the company in ensuring the same mistakes were not repeated and where lessons could be learned they were applied in the approach to launching the new furnishing material._
This example illustrates how a library or database of past research projects and marketing information held by the organization can enable it to learn from past experience and so improve performance.
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