The Little Tikes Co

By Sean Gallagher  |  Posted 2003-12-01 Email Print this article Print

The toymaker managed to get new products to store shelves. Problem was, some 40% were duds. How the company got its act together with the help of early prototyping.

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The Little Tikes Co. Base Case

Headquarters: 2180 Barlow Rd., Hudson, Ohio

Phone: (330) 650-3000

Business: A division of consumer-products giant Newell Rubbermaid, Little Tikes makes a variety of play products for children, including infant and toddler toys, trucks, sandboxes, activity gyms and climbers, slides and juvenile furniture.

Information Services Manager: Christopher Fuss

Financials in 2002: Sales are not broken out from Newell's other divisions. Annual revenue is estimated at under $350 million, less than 5% of Newell's $7.4 billion in 2002 sales.

Challenges: Take on toy giants Mattel and Hasbro in the small-toy market, increase profitability of the company's product lines.

Baseline Goals:

  • Reduce product-development time by 25%.

  • Get products in front of retailers and children as much as six months earlier to catch problems with products before they're sent to manufacturing.

  • Increase the rate of new products that hit profit targets, from 60% in 2001.

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    Sean Gallagher is editor of Ziff Davis Internet's enterprise verticals group. Previously, Gallagher was technology editor for Baseline, before joining Ziff Davis, he was editorial director of Fawcette Technical Publications' enterprise developer publications group, and the Labs managing editor of CMP's InformationWeek. A former naval officer and former systems integrator, Gallagher lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

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