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October Workshop Offers Innovative Strategies for Sensory Evaluation

ASTM Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products will present the workshop, “Becoming Part of the Strategic Business Team,” in Denver, Colo., on Oct. 9, 1-5:45 p.m., and Oct. 10, 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

Practitioners in marketing, business and technology will share their experiences; Robert G. Cooper, author of Winning at New Products and founder of the stage gate process, will be a speaker. The Oct. 9 session will focus on fundamental questions of business strategy and marketing, such as: What is strategy?; How does strategy drive innovation?; How is market opportunity assessed?; and What factors go into creating a marketing plan?

On Oct. 10, Cooper will describe the stage-gate process and discuss strategies beyond the process. The workshop will explore the “how to” element of building business partners with management, fitting sensory into the stage-gate process, and strategic use of sensory evaluation. “Marketing and senior management do not always see the strategic value of the sensory perspective and insights,” says sensory scientist Jeanette Ziegler, Ziegler Consulting, Kenosha, Wis., a workshop organizer. “As sensory professionals, we are too often reminded of this after attending major project meetings where we are participants not leaders,” she says. “The question is, are we speaking the same language? We are working towards the same goal but have a different point of view. It is the teams’ challenge to understand the strategic perspectives and insights and to bring all participants together to understand the products, the consumers and the concepts.

“As sensory scientists, our experiences with the current products and consumers is beneficial to the entire project team,” she explains. “Management may not know the depth of knowledge gained from previous projects and the process from outlining what worked and hasn’t worked. The ASTM workshop on Becoming Part of the Strategic Business Team, or what some call Marketing, Strategy, and the Stage-Gate for the Sensory Scientist, will change how you view yourself and your role, moving from a testing service for the company to becoming a critical member of the strategic team.”

ASTM Committee E18 invites sensory professionals to attend the workshop and boost the strategic impact of their sensory evaluations. For more information, contact Ziegler (phone 262/859-9460) or Kathie Donohue, ASTM administrative assistant (610/ 832-9724).

Committee E18 meets Oct. 7-9 in Denver. For meeting or membership details, contact Scott Orthey, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730). //

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