EVOLVING THE NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION PROCESS: AN EMS CASE STUDY
Authors: Edwin B. Smith, III Company: K*Tec Electronics Date Published: 9/12/1999
Abstract: Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers that hope to grow into the next millennium must have a process for new product introduction and know the product, their processes, and their costs. This paper presents a case study of the evolution of a contract manufacturer’s new product introduction process, a process which didn’t exist a year-and-a-half ago. The new product introduction process was first instituted as a checklist-based system that ensured the tools, material, and software needed for product launch were available. British Approvals Board for Telecommunications certification presented the need to further integrate purchasing functions into the process. Eventual FDA and QS-9000 certifications made the greatest impacts on the new product introduction process. These requirements caused the introduction process to evolve beyond the “Lone Ranger” corporate estimator model into a cross-functional process with defined steps for pre-build activities. Also now in place are defined steps for the prototyping process. The quoting/estimating portion of the new product introduction process was fragmented in the past and has undergone significant changes such as the use of cross-functional teams to better understand the product being introduced.