A recent article over on Supply & Demand Chain Executive on The New Product Shape Up had three great tips that will help any Supply Management department improve its product sourcing efforts. Simply put, these are:
- Focus on the Differences
What makes your offering distinct from your competitions and, thus, what are the most important supplier and product/component characteristics to focus on when sourcing. Not everything is relevant — and focussing on the wrong characteristics and/or issues will just help the supplier’s sales person pull the wool over your eyes (with the misdirection ploy).
- Implement Your Customers’ Ideas, Not Yours
Don’t start with a supplier solution and end with an end product — start with the end product your organization’s customers want and work back to the appropriate supplier capabilities. And if the customers want something that is more expensive it’s not a problem if they are willing to pay a premium!
- Conduct Interviews
Mail, telephone, e-mail, and website surveys are great, but nothing is more informative than actually talking with current and potential customers, especially if they want to talk to you. So get out there and understand what they really want. It will not only make your organization more successful, but knowing exactly what they want will make your job that much easier in the long run.