Lifecycle Insights NPI and Sourcing Study: Summary and Recommendations


Editor’s Note: This is the sixth article in a series discussing the findings from a 2021 NPI and Sourcing Study, done in partnership with Lifecycle Insights. The content below was produced by Lifecycle Insights. Click here to see the series overview and register for our upcoming webinar on the study!

Today’s smart, connected products have introduced unprecedented complexity to the manufacturing industry. These products are subject to more challenging requirements and rely more on electronics systems than their predecessors. This growing complexity also affects organizations’ NPI processes. 

To better understand how changes in market forces and products influence the NPI process, Lifecycle Insights conducted the 2021 NPI and Sourcing Study. The findings show that traditional NPI methodologies can’t mitigate the risk involved with complex new products. However, the most progressive organizations, which have invested in DX for NPI initiatives, are seeing success where other companies are foundering. This report highlighted:

  • The escalating and evolving complexity of modern products. Today’s requirements are more sophisticated, yes. But manufacturers also must manage increased complexity in electronics systems and a greater number of supplier partners.
  • The differences in the DX for NPI initiatives of the most progressive, moderately progressive, and least progressive organizations. All companies are grappling with increased complexity. Yet, the most progressive organizations are still launching and delivering more products on time while meeting all NPI success criteria.
  • Both the length and breadth of an organization’s investment in a DX for NPI initiative matter—a lot. Progressive organizations have pursued broader and longer NPI DX initiatives.
  • The tactical enablers of these investments are easy to see. The most progressive organizations support more extensive collaboration, more activities, and more accurate information across the NPI process. In addition, they include more exhaustive factors in their BOM trade studies.

The study illustrated key variances between the NPI processes of the most progressive and least progressive organizations. There were clear differences in the length and breadth of their DX for NPI investments, the performance of new product development, and the specific tactical enablers of improved performance. Based on these findings, Lifecycle Insights makes the following recommendations:

  • Plan and invest in a formal DX for NPI initiative to improve launch and delivery schedules, while also successfully addressing NPI criteria.
  • Assess your products and manufacturing processes to determine how broad your DX for NPI improvement initiatives should be.
  • Involve more participants representing different functional departments in the NPI process. This offers a holistic view of the product during development. The resulting feedback will help your team make better-informed decisions.
  • Incorporate more NPI-related activities and up-to-date sources of information to fuel the NPI process. This will improve decision-making across the entire development process.
  • Include a broad set of factors when conducting BOM trade studies to better understand the implications of design or production decisions and the potential costs and consequences of any changes.
Bradley Ramsey
Bradley Ramsey
Articles: 119

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