The Changing New Product Introduction (NPI) Environment
The environment in which new products are introduced today is constantly changing. Factors contributing to this change in NPI operating environments are:
- Ever-increasing product complexity
- Demanding regulatory bodies
- Shifting workforce needs
- Complex value chain
- Shrinking product release cycles
On the other hand, initiatives to drive a quality culture change in organisations are common across the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Most of these initiatives focus on the message that organisations must evolve to a more proactive quality culture. One critical element to drive a proactive quality culture is early and effective management of NPI. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector still struggle to pinpoint best practices that have a beneficial impact on NPI. In other organisations, best practices may be identified but it still remains an uphill struggle to implement and sustain these best practices to deliver effective results in the area of NPI.
What Can You Do as a Manufacturer?
1. Conduct NPI Gap Assessment: The pressure is on and growing for manufacturers. The only way to remain competitive is a continuous review and adaptation of existing processes, practices and skills to deliver effective results in NPI. It is no secret that organisations that benchmark actual performance against best practices in NPI are able to drive and sustain higher performance levels.
2. Review Essentials for NPI: In many ways, you can compare NPI to rocket science; coordination of activities that need to happen at predefined moments and to a certain standard is not an easy task. To get the fundamentals right, companies need to work on a standard approach and review current processes and practices across the six process pillars for NPI.
The NPI Process pillar defines a structure and route map with cross functional roles and responsibilities to successfully complete a product introduction.
The Project Management pillar helps the governance of each individual product introduction going through an organisation.
The Design Excellence pillar helps in managing product risks and driving value throughout the product design and development process.
The Manufacturing Process Design pillar helps to pick the right and most efficient manufacturing solution, driving right first time approach.
The Product and Process Validation pillar helps to validate customer requirements related to product and internal organisation requirements of a repeatable manufacturing process.
The Supply Chain Readiness pillar helps to support the supply chain during NPI and ensure its readiness to launch products right first time and On Time In Full to organisations.
3. Management Support for NPI: The management team must advocate and nurture a collaborative NPI process and ensure NPI stakeholders are working together to achieve common goals. This forms the backbone to align teams, processes and data, and to remove obstacles that prevent collaboration and promote destructive internal competition. While product development is responsible for many tasks in NPI, an effective NPI process should include multiple roles, and integrate voices and processes from commercial, supply chain, manufacturing, quality and others.
We Are Here to Help
This year, Industry Forum has launched a new course to cover Essentials for New Product Introduction. To find out more about this course and to download your copy of our NPI training brochure, please click here.
We can help you with NPI gap assessment. If you would like to know more, please send us an email or give us a call on +44 (0)121 717 6600.
Industry Forum has also launched a series of NPI breakfast briefings. These are free events and the next NPI breakfast briefing is planned for 23rd April. To book your free space, please click here.
– February 2020 authored by Robin Talwar
A Bit More About Robin
Robin Talwar has over 20 years of international experience within the manufacturing sector, working with leading OEMs and cross-sector tier 1 suppliers. He began his career as a Quality Engineer for Honda Car Manufacturing, developing skills in Problem Solving, Kaizen and Quality Circles. Moving in to the role of Supplier Development Engineer at BMW Germany, Robin was involved in NPI activities and application of Core Tools with suppliers. Joining the Greenfield Project Team with Daimler Trucks, Robin led the Supplier Selection and Development activities to achieve a challenging 85% localisation target. Before joining Industry Forum in May 2015 as Principal Consultant in NPI and Lifecycle Management, Robin was Head of Logistics Operations for a brand new car manufacturing plant of Honda Cars in India, where he successfully developed a Japanese 3PL for inbound logistics and milk run operations.
Click here to contact Robin.