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Product Innovation and Supply Chain Management: Part III

It takes more than plugging in good technology to accelerate innovation and improve customer satisfaction.
By Maha Muzumdar & Kerrie Foy
February 04, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the third and final installment of a three-part article written by Maha Muzumdar, vice president of supply chain marketing, Oracle & Kerrie Foy, PLM/PIM applications product marketing, Oracle.

Quality has always been important, but as we nurse our wounded bank accounts back to health, high quality is an absolute must to anyone buying anything. Quality as a discipline extends far beyond the final product. One of the keys to success is managing quality as a comprehensive approach, often known as Enterprise Quality Management, which gives companies a consolidated view of quality information at all times. This reduces risk and effectively manages quality processes from insight, which could come from any point along a value chain, to efficient problem resolution and corrective action. Leveraging both PLM and SCM solutions to enable Enterprise Quality Management provides real-time cross-functional collaboration to share design and manufacturing data with customers, suppliers and partners, creating an integrated audit trail and improving supply chain flexibility. For example, a leading medical device manufacturer in the U.S. implemented a PLM solution to establish an Enterprise Quality Management system as a single source of truth for all product processes. The product quality management and analytics tools cut change cycle time in half, and the company is able to provide two years of manufacturing change history data in just 30 minutes during audits.

Timely delivery is crucial. As manufacturing companies face stricter quality standards, a new trend is emerging in some industries – companies are moving closer to their demand to deliver faster with better quality. As a result, the productivity gains these companies achieve are delivering the means to make the move, thanks in large part to smarter investments and business practices. In Accenture’s 2011 report “Manufacturing’s Secret Shift,” 61 percent of respondents reported that they were considering more closely matching supply locations with demand locations by on-shoring or near-shoring manufacturing and supply. In today’s market, high operational agility powered by an integrated, best-in-class PLM and SCM approach is critical to help manufacturers achieve a faster time-to-market and transform value chains.

It takes more than plugging in good technology to accelerate innovation and improve customer satisfaction. A comprehensive approach to delivering profitable, innovative, high quality products on time must be driven by an integrated people-process-technology-performance measures framework to grow business successfully and secure customer loyalty.


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