Most hard goods manufacturers are embracing the digital transformation by focusing on their factory floor operations. They are spending millions and, on occasion, billions of dollars on upgrading equipment and streamlining processes. Often though, very little attention is given to the front-end of manufacturing. Why do manufacturers fail to extend their digital transformation to the early product definition, planning, and design stage?
Product planners are like artists. They interpret and translate customer needs into product requirements. Unfortunately, they spend so much time managing the product requirements process that they don’t have as much time to truly innovate.
One of the biggest challenges product planners and manufacturers face is hitting the production schedule. You have to be careful that you don’t rush product launch and end up with a misaligned product, or miss fulfilling customer needs or market opportunities. The goal is to optimize around production and equipment efficiencies. And although changes are inevitable during production, having the tools to quickly react and resolve them is critical.
The complexities of manufacturing products can get out of hand quickly. Product planners and manufacturers need practical, robust tools to gain valuable insight into their product management.