New Product Process
A large, internationally known zipper manufacturer was losing business in the high fashion part of their business because it was taking too long to develop variations of products to meet the rapidly changing demands of the market.
The objective was to maintain and grow the high fashion segment of the business.
Analyze the existing process.
Explore options that would allow faster response to customer needs.
Find a new product process that will provide variations of a product without sacrificing the the development of supporting Bills of Materials and Routings for the manufacture of the products.
What was done?
The existing process was analyzed from the customers request to the return response. The time to respond was frequently in excess of a month because nothing could be offered until a Bill of Materials was created and a Product Routing was developed from which an accurate quote could then be prepared. This timing was totally unacceptable in the high fashion world.
In the analysis, it was discovered that there existed a computer printout of existing variations that have already been established in the system with complete Bills of Materials and Product Routings. District Managers were provided with monthly updated printouts of all of the existing variations and trained in how to read these reports. This single change reduced the number of new product requests by 60% as many of the requests could be satisfied with existing products that were previously unavailable to the sales force. With the lower number of requests, the remaining requests could be processed faster helping the company to maintain and grow their share of the high fashion fastener business.