Considering that the final cost of a new product is often more-or-less determined in the first 10% of the design cycle, you need the best New Product Design (NPD) process you can get. One way to get this is through the application of a Continuous Improvement (CI) Initiative to your NPD process. Through the application of value-stream mapping, you can identify activities in the process that don’t add value to the customer’s perspective. Anything that adds more resources or slows the process down without adding value needs to be scrapped.
The best NPD process is one that includes supply chain and strategic suppliers who can come up with alternative designs that use low-cost raw materials and cost-efficient manufacturing processes. And, if the organization is lucky, a lean transformation will occur and the effort will prevent design creep from adding features and functions the organization’s customers are not willing to pay for. So take advantage of the unexplored opportunity. It will be worth it.