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Getting up to speed

It’s more than just a race against time when it comes to getting new product introductions to market quickly. By Mike Richardson.

Today’s companies are under increasing pressure to transform their concepts into commercially viable products. Time to market can make or break a product and can have lasting effects on the business itself. Recognising this, many leading product developers are focusing on speeding their front end processes, from concept through design to new product introduction (NPI).
But whilst they more or less expect to outsource manufacturing activities, the lowest cost option doesn’t always deliver the best return. Certainly, the benefits of outsourcing have been well demonstrated, yet that’s not to say it is without risk or failure. Historically, the outsourcing decision has concerned the basic comparison of product cost which, inevitably, has fuelled the move offshore. However, an analytical approach focusing on value – rather than cost – can deliver better returns.
To offer best value, a CEM’s resources have to complement those of the product developer, rather than duplicate them. For a developer, design and marketing are core skills and often define the essence of their brand. The CEM can add value through design related competencies, such as DFM or DFT, but its key role is ‘productionising’ the design to the point where it is robust.

Mike Richardson

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