In the supply chain, NPI refers to introducing a new product from the initial concept and design stages to the final post-production distribution. The process of NPI involves many people in the supply chain, such as the product development team, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers, and distributors. Effective management of this process can help ensure that your product is delivered on time and within budget, meeting your customers’ quality and performance expectations. Key components of NPI include:
- Product idea & concept
- Pre-production & prototyping
- Market research
- Product launch
- Product design & development
- Innovation and post-launch support
- Mass production
Eight Key Phases in NPI Supply Chain Process
Product Idea & Concept
In the first step of the NPI process, your team members will work together to develop product ideas based on gaps in your service or the overall market. They’ll create a presentation that will show the following:
- Background details
- Main goals
- Project scope
- Key results and dates
- Project budget
- Identifying key stakeholders and project managers and defining the team.
Once the product concept is approved, market research begins. This includes identifying who is interested in the product, finding out what characteristics ideal customers have (age, interests, and more), and segmenting the total addressable market (TAM) into smaller groups based on those characteristics. Market research helps define the final design of a product before it is manufactured.
Product design & development
After sufficient research has been done, the product design and development phase can begin. This process involves working closely with the design team and engineers to develop product features and properties. During this phase, several detailed meetings are held to understand the risks associated with the securities, assess the method’s reliability, and determine whether the product can withstand changes in market conditions. Once the project manager has approved the final design of a product, that product can go into production.
Pre-production & prototyping
In the development phase of the NPI, an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is created to confirm that the project will meet the standard when turned into a complete product. This prototype is then tested against the requirements of governing bodies and the companies themselves. Market testing is also used to help determine the usability of products so that it can gather enough data.
Prototypes are developed, and a pre-series is introduced, which involves inspections and tests to ensure that raw materials are safe and compliant. Chemical testing is often required to ensure that the final product is safe for consumption. Manufacturers and suppliers are required to follow strict regulations when producing their goods. If the controls are acceptable, and the data indicates that the product is ready for more regular production, it moves to the NPI production phase.
When the product is ready to market, it’s time to start manufacturing it. At this stage, factories begin making the product according to the specifications given at the design stage. It’s essential to ensure that you’re following the best practices, and you should keep a close eye on your products to ensure they are free of defects. You should also be aware of the regulations that apply to your product to become a production star and comply with them.
To ensure smooth operation, it is vital to perform due diligence throughout the product supply chain so that all components and parts needed to manufacture the product are on schedule. If you use chips in your product, lead time can be up to 32 weeks due to shortages. To ensure your business meets demand, you must have an accurate inventory forecast.
To improve the efficiency and quality of your production line, consider investing in machinery that can help you streamline the manufacturing process. Additionally, you can schedule special training for your employees. This is especially helpful if your product line is typically different from what your factory manufactures. Otherwise, errors may arise. Line layout evaluates factory production lines and how they are set up for optimal production.
If your product components differ from typical factory-made products, an objective look at existing processes can provide additional optimizations. To keep production running smoothly and on schedule, it’s essential to monitor it diligently. Delays could be a problem if issues are addressed slowly.
Innovation and post-launch support
The product has been delivered and is now being used by customers. However, this is not the end of the story. Companies must constantly monitor customer feedback to drive innovation and continuous improvement. Efficiency gains revealed by continuous end-to-end process monitoring can be implemented iteratively to improve results further.
Product reviews are essential in helping companies make improvements to their products. Monitoring the entire manufacturing process can help companies decide which steps in that process to adjust so that they can make improvements with minimal impact and optimal results. After you launch, the data you collect will pay for itself. It enables forecasting, modeling, and data adjustment for production, cost savings, and supply chain management.
Benefits of NPI Supply Chain
Introducing new products into the supply chain can bring many benefits. It can help to increase sales, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. New products can also provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace, allowing companies to stay ahead of their competition. With careful planning and implementation, supply chain managers can ensure that their NPI supply chain processes are successful and beneficial. They can develop strategies that maximize efficiency while minimizing risk by considering the potential risks associated with introducing new products.
Zetwerk’s Supply Chain Managed Services may include the following:
- Sourcing and procurement of raw materials.
- Production and manufacturing.
- Logistics and transportation.
- Warehousing and inventory management.
- Order fulfillment.
When you’re ready to take your business or product to the next level, our team of skilled technicians is here to help. Contact us today.