Manufacturers' new product launch ambitions held back by lack of digitisation

Manufacturers are struggling to keep up in the race to bring an increasing number of new products to market according to research from SAP data management solutions provider, Winshuttle.

Winshuttle surveyed global manufacturing professionals who use SAP ERP systems to gain a better understanding of how large companies are impacted by changing market dynamics.

According to the survey, 75% of manufacturers from across industry sectors claim they are under increased pressure to reduce the time it takes to launch products, and 28% say they want to cut New Product Introduction (NPI) cycles by more than a quarter.

KPMG recently acknowledged that to remain competitive and achieve growth, manufacturers will need to introduce new products at a faster pace and on a larger scale than ever before. It claims 90% of manufacturers are concerned about customer loyalty, and 78% are worried about the relevance of their products over the next three years.

Three-quarters of the Winshuttle survey respondents both in Europe and globally expect the number of new products they need to bring to market to increase over the next four years. One survey respondent called the NPI pressure they are under a "nightmare."

Large manufacturers can have hundreds of new product launches in the queue at any time, and getting the high volume of data required to manufacture new products into their ERP system is for many a laborious and time-consuming process. According to Winshuttle's research, 51% of manufacturers reported that parts of this data collection process are still manual, while 37% were completely manual in their approach.

Respondents also cited visibility of data, inputting errors, insufficient resources, and no support for product variations as contributing to their NPI challenge.

Heather Oebel, NPI Enterprise Solutions manager at Winshuttle said: "Clearly the pressure is on for manufacturers to move faster and beat their competitors to market with new products. Our data shows that the most impactful improvement for respondents would be the automation of data collection and entry into their ERP systems. Respondents are also keen to see increased visibility into the status of new launches and improve the quality of their data.

"By implementing digitised solutions that accelerate the data collection process, organisations can gain the speed and agility needed to remain competitive in today's fast-evolving marketplace."

About the research

Winshuttle surveyed over 100 global manufacturers using SAP ERP systems to understand the current state of manfacturers' new product introduction (NPI) processes.

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