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MBAB 5P68: New Product Development

Information Sources for Technical Assessments

  • According to Robert G. Cooper's Winning at New Products, a preliminary technical assessment establishes rough technical and product performance objectives and may involve patent searching, technical and competitive literature searching, and identifying possible suppliers (2011, p. 198).
  • A detailed technical assessment may involve outlining the steps and costs involved in creating a prototype product; assessing legal, patent, regulatory, or safety issues; manufacturing or production (source-of-supply); facilities or equipment requirements, and the costs of materials and components (Cooper, 2011, p.216-217). 
  • This page identifies basic information sources to support technical assessments. Please feel free to contact the Business Librarian for assistance in identifying additional sources to meet your specific needs.

What is Technical & Competitive Literature?

Trade literature is a term used to describe the printed material published by a company to promote its products and may include: technical and repair manuals, operating guides, parts lists, price lists, sales brochures, advertisements, etc. (Source: Canadian Science and Technology Museum). 

  • Contemporary examples of trade literature are most often found on a company or distributor's website and may also include online product demonstrations (videos). White papers are heavily used in business-to-business marketing (Source: Investopedia). 

Trade shows are also valuable sources of competitive and technical intelligence. Well known examples include the Consumer Electronics Show (in Las Vegas) and the North American International Auto Show (in Detroit).

  • ExpoDataBase lets you search for international trade shows by detailed business sector and tracks events in 115 countries. 

For Public Companies, other valuable sources of competitive information are:

  • ​​SEDAR and SEC Filings, and presentations and transcripts from events for corporate analysts and the investment community. Some content may be archived on the company's Investor Relations website.
  • Transcripts of analyst calls are published by Fair Disclosure Wire and available via our Library Databases.

Key Library Databases

Intellectual Property, Regulatory & Other Legal Issues

The following websites provide information on intellectual property, regulatory, and other legal issues: 

Production & Operational Issues

The following sources can help when assessing production and operating requirements for your new product or service:

Special Topics: Fruit & Beverage Manufacturing / Processing

Sourcing Equipment & Suppliers

Consult one of the following trade directories in order to identify companies that manufacture or distribute industrial products and services. Most directories allow you to search by company, product, or brand name, or to browse by category.