Managing Your New Product Development (NPD) Process

Product Realization Platform for Each New Product Development Stage

New Product Development Plans

Creating quality products in this fast-paced world isn’t easy. Product development involves multiple teams, locations, partners, suppliers, and vendors. These dispersed teams must be synchronized to the same design, ensure regulatory compliance, stay on budget, and respond to customer demands. You want to deliver better products, faster and easier. And you want to create innovative solutions to change the world.

An effective new product development (NPD) process is critical to meeting your goal. Once marketing has established a need, your NPD process generally follows these design stages from idea to manufacturability: development, limited production, and full production. At each stage, the product team further defines the product and adds information to your product record, so you have everything needed to manufacture, market, and support the product. While speed, quality, and cost are all important metrics in each NPD stage, the team prioritizes one metric during each phase.

A product realization platform accelerates new product development while reducing expenses, increasing profitability, and speeding the time to market. Such a platform supports the entire process by managing the product record—all the product information structured around the bill of materials (BOM). Product realization functionality includes change management, requirements management, quality management, and project management. With all this product data in one place, your team has what it needs to meet each NPD phase goal.

Development Phase

Development includes specification, design, and prototype activities, resulting in a product that meets market needs. The inputs to this phase are written specifications based on market research combined with technical insight from the engineering team. The development team iterates designs and specifications based on simulations and prototype results. What is the feedback on the look and feel? How does the prototype compare to market need? What design gaps need to be resolved in the next prototype iteration? The development phase is complete when all the information required for limited production, the defined stage-gate, is complete. In the development stage, production speed rules at (almost) any cost.

Solution Support for Speed in the Development Phase

Integrates with CAD Tools

Integration with eCAD and mCAD tools speeds the development phase. It accelerates system integration, ensuring all the components fit and work together. And it reduces time needed to rekey information.

Beyond CAD/CAM: Moving from Early Design to Production

Today's innovative companies are built on the shoulders of the engineering teams responsible for designing products. Smart companies invest in tools that translate into better products. A modern Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution removes tedious admin responsibilities, streamlines the design environment, and empowers engineers to collaborate more efficiently with other departments. In short, PLM enables engineers to make the organization more profitable by allowing them to spend more time focused on the task they do best: designing innovative, world-class products.

Read on to find answers to frequently asked questions about how PLM can help your organization from the earliest stages of product development.

  • Product development cycles are compressing. How can we keep up?

  • Who has the time to learn a new software application?

  • This is just a prototype. What happens when we make changes?

  • What about regulatory compliance?

  • Can PLM help estimate the costs of a new design?

  • How can I connect to suppliers and keep them in a loop?

Download FAQs on Beyond CAD/CAM: Moving from Early Design to Production to get answers to these questions and more.

Tracks Progress Against Requirements

Tracking progress against requirements accelerates the development phase by providing insight. Management and the team itself can easily see completed requirements as well as unmet ones. Observing this progress informs good decisions on balancing resources.

Provides Instant, Controlled Access to Needed Product Information

Providing instant, controlled access to needed product information in this phase reduces waiting and ensures version control for critical documents.

Limited Production Phase

The limited production phase focuses on working out the supply chain and manufacturability aspects of the design. The team checks to make sure you can source the OTS parts and that manufacturers can build custom parts to your specified tolerances. Can your supply chain partners manufacture products that meet your quality goals? This is an iterative step where specifications, work instructions, and tests need to be revised to meet design for manufacturing goals. The phase is complete when the defined stage-gate, all the information required for full production, is complete. In the limited production stage, product quality is the number one priority.

Solution Support for Quality in the Limited Production Phase

Manages the Approved Manufacturers List

Quality products need quality components. Managing the approved manufacturers list (AML) is a crucial step toward full production. Sourcing and engineering work together to find parts that meet availability and quality needs. Managing the AML with the rest of the design documentation provides visibility to the extended product team.

Controls Changes to Supporting Documentation

Quality products are built and tested using the latest assembly instructions, work instructions, test instructions, and packaging specifications. You will have revision-controlled instructions, procedures, and specifications as part of your complete product record. Therefore, you will avoid errors down the line, because everyone will have the current revisions of a document they need to build, test, or support your product.

Integrates with ERP

Integration with ERP and other enterprise systems improves quality. Manufacturing receives the latest released design, minimizing scrap and rework from building to a past revision. ERP integration also eliminates errors caused by rekeying information.

Tracks Progress on the Phase Tasks

Project management helps meet quality goals by keeping track of tasks and resources for the entire product team. Seeing progress on every task—with the deliverable—helps ensure each task is complete.

Manages CAPA Processes

The corrective and preventive action (CAPA) is a fundamental quality system process. With a product realization platform, your quality processes are integrated with the product record. This single source of truth for the product record, engineering changes, and quality processes provides visibility into the entire CAPA process, including the action needed.

Why Quality Management Belongs in PLM

Quality Management System (QMS) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) are two proven disciplines that help companies improve quality and product profitability. Unfortunately, these highly complementary initiatives are typically owned by different departments and managed as separate processes—this leads to disparate QMS and PLM systems implemented with little integration to support either quality and product innovation.

When companies bandage together silo’d systems, design processes are compromised and products suffer from serious costly quality errors. Does Quality Management belong in PLM? Discover the answer by downloading this eBook. Read the first-hand story of four Arena Solutions customers whose businesses benefited significantly from having quality and product lifecycle management systems in a single solution.

In this eBook, Tech-Clarity clearly demonstrates how an all-in-one Quality and PLM solution enables companies to:

  • Better manage their quality management processes and regulatory requirements

  • Develop an accurate, cohesive view of the product and its history

  • Focus on their core competencies: delivering world-class products, on time and on budget vs battling complex third-party vendor integration challenges

Full Production Phase

In the full production phase, building to volume at a competitive cost of goods sold (COGS) is the goal. But the product team work is not done yet. The production and engineering teams work together to solve challenges. How can COGS be reduced? Where is the risk for parts shortages? Does the quality meet market expectations? Product changes must be controlled, as they impact inventory and sometimes your customers. In the full production stage, product teams work to reduce cost without sacrificing quality. The phase continues until the product is replaced or phased out.

Solution Support for Cost in the Full Production Phase

Enables Collaboration with Your Various Suppliers

Your suppliers are experts in their fields. Collaborating with them to leverage their expertise can help you meet your COGS goals.

Provides Visibility into Volume Component Costs

With a product realization platform, you can reduce purchased component costs by aggregating the use of all individual components across multiple products. Knowing the total aggregated usage of the components in advance provides leverage to negotiate with supply chain partners on price-based volumes.

Controls Engineering Changes

Fast, accurate engineering change save time by reducing scrap and rework from building to old revisions. Access to pending changes helps sourcing procure components that will soon be phased out.

Product Change Management: Three Challenges, Five Fixes White Paper

Often small to medium-sized businesses make do with the tools they have to manage their product data. Paper, spreadsheets and email are often used throughout the product development and engineering change management processes. These tools can wreak havoc when product information is released into production.

But there’s no need to settle for inefficient, frustrating product change management. There are other options to help control product information and share changes across the organization and supply chain.

This white paper outlines three product change management realities which may be holding you back and five fixes to rescue your change process. Download this whitepaper and learn how to accelerate ECO turnaround by 80 percent.

Integrates with Your CRM System for a Closed-Loop Formal Complaint Process

Provide quality professionals and engineers the customer information needed to efficiently drive resolution of complaints. Complaints and other customer feedback inform sustaining engineering improvements.

Streamline Your New Product Development Processes

Throughout the NPD process, your product team generates and revises mission-critical documentation. Relying on shared drives, email, or other ad hoc systems will hinder your team’s ability to operate in sync to bring good quality products to market quickly. No matter where you are today with your NPD process, schedule a demo with Arena to see for yourself how easy it can be.

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