3 Ways Your Supply Chain Can Impede Product Development

Posted on 
November 3, 2020
Laura Foti
CMO, Specright

You’ve got a million-dollar idea. But unfortunately, that isn’t enough to launch a successful product. Now, it’s a matter of determining its viability in the market, and much of your success comes down to how well your supply chain functions.Time to market, costs, and how you respond to shifts in market demand can make or break a new product. Let’s uncover some of the hidden impacts of your supply chain.  

Production Lead Times Slow Down the Process

Lead times (the time between order placement and order fulfillment) can have a serious impact on product availability, consumer response, and profitability. Companies are often wary about ordering too many of a product upon launch because if it flops, you don’t want to be stuck with inventory you can’t sell. However, products that sell out quickly will leave companies scrambling to fill backorders and maintain the initial hype in the interim.In either case, production lead times are a major consideration when launching any product. Lead times vary depending on the product, but in most cases, domestically-made goods will have shorter lead times compared to goods made overseas. This time doesn’t take into account the time for fulfillment and delivery to your end users.

Lack of Flexibility Prohibits Rapid Shifting

Supply chains aren’t necessarily the linear machines they used to be, but rather an increasingly complex network of partners. This shift to a more web-like structure has created more flexibility for companies to source materials and shorten fulfillment times, but inefficiencies may still slow down responses to market shifts.For example, if a product is selling particularly well in a certain geographic area, does your company have the intel and resources to quickly distribute more products to that area? Or, if a natural disaster like wildfires or hurricanes were to occur, would you be able to quickly recreate your supply chain for impacted areas?Increased visibility and transparency throughout the supply chain can help address flexibility issues by improving forecasting and finding the fastest routes to market at any given time.

Key Production Metrics are Tough to Calculate

Sales alone are not always the best measurement for a new product’s success. Things like cost, quality, and efficiency must also be taken into account to ensure profits aren’t being burned through due to fulfillment issues. Companies can maximize transparency in their supply chains by relying on supply chain master data management systems to track and measure each product’s journey. Breaking down data silos deliver deeper insights that take into account hidden supply chain costs and determine a new product’s viability for the long term.

Improve Product Development with Specification Management

The supply chain is just one consideration of new product development, but it’s an important one that can single-handedly determine a product’s success or failure. At Specright, we’re putting specification data management in the spotlight to uncover hidden supply chain issues that could be preventing you from reaching your potential. Download our ebook to learn more.


Laura Foti

Laura leads marketing and investor relations at Specright. Prior to Specright, she led advertising and analytics at GE Digital, GE’s Industrial Internet software business. Before that, she was a consultant at Deloitte Digital working in enterprise digital transformation, where she helped clients design and deploy eCommerce experiences, develop revenue-driving mobile apps, and reimagine their global digital marketing strategy. Laura was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for marketing and advertising and Brand Innovators 40 Under 40 and 100 Women to Watch lists. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She resides in Newport Beach, CA.

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