Lifecycle Insights 2021 Sourcing Study: Introduction and Series Outline


Editor’s Note: This is the first in a six-part series outlining findings from a 2021 NPI and Sourcing Study in partnership with Lifecycle Insights. These articles were authored by Lifecycle Insights and provide a deep dive into the study’s findings. Below you will find a table of contents to read subsequent posts in the series, and a link to register for a webinar detailing the findings on December 2nd.

Manufacturers need a clear plan to take a new product from a simple idea to its final, manufacturable form. Creating such a plan involves an array of checks and activities within the new product introduction (NPI) process. Organizations that seek to improve that process are focusing on streamlining communication, speeding up design and production, and reducing waste and scheduling mishaps. In a nutshell, they’re looking to save time and money. 

The pressure of consumer and market demands is driving product complexity upwards. As a result, the NPI process is harder and harder to manage. In response, many organizations are making targeted investments in digital transformation (DX) initiatives to help improve their NPI processes. They are looking for new ways to support the launch and on-schedule delivery of more products while simultaneously satisfying key NPI success criteria concerning time, waste, and costs. 

To gain more insight into the moves different manufacturing organizations are making to support more complex NPI processes, Lifecycle Insights executed the 2021 NPI and Sourcing Study, a survey-based research program. Specifically, the survey examined how more progressive NPI processes, activities, and IT solutions affect organizational performance.

Table of Contents

Article #2 – “The Escalating Complexity of NPI”
Article #3 – “Benchmarking Analysis and Methodology”
Article #4 – “Strategic Initiatives”
Article #5 – “Tactical Enablers”
Article #6 – “Summary and Recommendations”

Study findings demonstrate that when organizations tackle NPI risk with modern approaches and tools, they launch or deliver more products on time. More of their products also meet all NPI success criteria. This is because these solutions support extensive participation, more activities, and more accurate information.

This report discusses progressive approaches to NPI management, including:

  • Change drivers, especially the escalating complexity of new products. The report highlights how rising product complexity and the increasing volume of potential suppliers, is pushing manufacturing executives to look for process improvements.
  • The study’s benchmarking process. The report explains how survey respondents were divided into most progressive, moderately progressive, and least progressive groups, and how these designations relate to their success in meeting NPI criteria.
  • The strategic initiatives surrounding NPI improvements, including how long and widely an organization has invested  in NPI DX initiatives.
  • The tactical enablers that offer the most progressive organizations tangible benefits and improvements. These include more extensive participation in the NPI process by key stakeholders, increased activities to support NPI criteria, more accurate information to drive the NPI process, and more comprehensive factors in bill-of-materials (BOM) trade studies.

Manufacturers must find better ways to mitigate risk and streamline the NPI process to meet their criteria amid skyrocketing complexity. This study reveals that the most progressive organizations have invested in vital NPI DX efforts that are helping them do just that.

Bradley Ramsey
Bradley Ramsey
Articles: 102