It wasn’t long ago that the default strategy for launching a new product involved vetting and engaging multiple firms to handle the various phases of the broader NPD process: design, engineering, manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain. But today, more and more companies are taking advantage of the benefits of integrative solutions.
What’s changed? Is it merely a matter of convenience? Is there an overarching principle that accounts for the advantages of uniting each phase of NPD under a single umbrella? Can working with a one-source partner result in a demonstrably superior outcome? Can it deliver a more secure, streamlined, seamless, and cost-effective approach to product development? In this piece, we’ll address each of these questions.
Synergy: The Case for an Integrative Approach
The advantages of an integrative approach to NPD can be summed up in a single word: synergy. Synergy tells us that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. From this principle, we can understand that a holistic (integrative) approach will tend to result in a superior outcome than that which can be achieved piecemeal. The principle of synergy allows us to think systemically and recognize that the real power and opportunity in any endeavor lie in discerning the relationships between things.
At Pivot International, we are a US-based global leader in fully integrative NPD with proven experience that spans fourteen industries, six markets, and three continents. For over 50 years, we have helped companies tap the power of synergy to seize market opportunities and transform their product vision into a profitable reality. Our teams of top talent are the driving force behind a portfolio of distinguished, award-winning innovations that position our clients for market leadership. With in-house DFM, advanced supply chain solutions, and 320,000 square feet of manufacturing capability (including domestic options), we are the go-to partner for companies worldwide.
Solving the Equation of High-Complexity Products
Understanding the nature and implications of synergy are the bar to entry for solving the equation of high-complexity consumer, medical, and industrial products. Over the last decade, product complexity has increased dramatically. A single device now depends for its success on multiple wireless, cellular, and sensor technologies — each with competing strengths and weaknesses. Calculated tradeoffs must be made in mixing and matching various product solutions to satisfy product requirements while remaining faithful to use case. Nothing less than an integrative approach to NPD and the broader product ecosystem can reliably factor the relationships between these and other considerations that include:
- Size, weight, power, and cost (SWaPc)
- UX and interface with existing business processes and institutions
- Technology systems, data security, and device interoperability
- Policy, compliance, and regulatory statutes
Medical devices, in particular, present developers with particularly steep complexity challenges. On the compliance front alone, medtech companies face a growing burden of regulatory challenges. For example, those with markets in the EU must contend with recently implemented mandates requiring device manufacturers to provide increasing amounts of clinical evidence for claims of safety and performance. Compliance challenges can be daunting, and Pivot helps companies successfully navigate the requirements of multiple regulatory bodies and compliance statutes, including:
- The FDA
- CSA Group
- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
- The Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
- The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive)
- Conflict Minerals
DFM: Synergy on Steroids
While any one-source NPD partner offers integrative advantages, few offer in-house DFM (Design for Manufacturing). DFM can be seen as synergy on steroids. DFM tackles the complex challenges inherent in reconciling the intricacies of product design with the limitations of manufacturing methods. Many of the benefits of DFM are immediately apparent:
- It creates unmatched levels of integration
- It optimizes design for manufacture
- It safeguards against sunk costs incurred by “back-to-the-drawing-board” scenarios
- It accelerates time-to-market
- It ensures scalable manufacture
But the synergy of DFM also brings less obvious benefits, namely by creating conditions that fuel innovative, out-of-the-box thinking and design. Because DFM teams work directly with the tension between idealized design aspirations and concrete manufacturing realities, this leaves them no choice but to act like scientists and innovate their way forward via experimentation and discovery. By narrowing the field of viable options, DFM acts as an innovation incubator that lends to the creation of best-in-breed, highly differentiated products. Moreover, DFM expertise can play a central role in surmounting supply chain shortages by configuring product designs to accommodate alternative parts and components. At Pivot, we’ve solved up to half of supply-chain-related issues using this strategy.
Looking to Launch a Successful Innovation?
There’s a wealth of reasons why companies are seeking integrative solutions for complex NPD challenges. If you’re gearing up to launch a new product, Pivot is the partner you’ve been looking for. We will work closely with your team to understand your business objectives and product vision, and provide a secure, seamless, cost-effective path to market success. If you’d like to learn more about how Pivot will help you scale, contact us today for a no-cost consultation.