The success of new product launches is typically based on some primary supply chain assumptions. Packaging is usually developed based on common handling practices. Lead-times are established on published data or quotes submitted by suppliers. While baseline supply chain assumptions are important early in the life of a project, they may blindside you once your project is launched.
It has been said that “only dumb question is the one left unasked”. When working with our aerospace and manufacturing customers, we encourage them to take a virtual (actual) walk through their supply chain following all the steps along the way. While some of this work might be redundant, it is important to gain a thorough understanding of the supply chain prior to implementation.
- Who are your strategic supply chain partners? Where are they located?
- What are their material handling practices? (You might be surprised in a global economy.)
- Are there adequate shipping/receiving docks in place?
- What modes of transportation will be utilized in your supply chain?
- What are the capabilities/limitation of your packaging suppliers?
Answers to these questions will help drive continued improvements in the development and implementation of your packaging and supply chain solutions.