How to Minimize Supply Chain Impacts in Product Development?

Let’s face it, supply chain issues are still with us and will not be going away anytime soon. However, you can minimize the impacts, especially during the product development process. By considering the supply chain, you can avoid unnecessary redesign and significant production delays. Here are some ideas on how to adapt your product design to the current situation to save time and money.  

Also read : Top 5 Strategies to Avoid Backorders

Have flexible design standards

Make it easy for yourself and consider the supply chain when designing your products. A wrong choice of parts could lead to many surprises! We recommend designing your products keeping in mind the parts available on the market. Identify the critical parts in your design and have a plan B, C, and D to deal with supply issues that may arise.  

Avoid materials that are rare or have unique properties. Instead, use common materials that are available from many suppliers. Your design standards should be flexible and adaptable to the supply so that you are not dependent on a single supplier.  

Opt for minor design changes

It goes without saying that taking the supply chain into consideration upstream in your product development process will facilitate the launch and especially the production of your products. You don’t want to find yourself unable to meet demand due to supply issues. This is where the importance of flexible design comes into play! If you find yourself facing production delays due to supply issues, make minor changes to your design with equivalent parts or materials. These small changes will save you from having to re-certify your products, which could slow them down further. 

How to choose the right suppliers?

As you have seen, the choice of suppliers has a major influence on the whole product development process. What qualities make a supplier a good partner? We recommend that you capitalize on strategic partners who are willing to offer technical expertise in design. Integrate them as far upstream as possible by relying on collaborative engineering (Joint Design). These suppliers will be able to give you new solutions to optimize your manufacturing costs and save time.   

If you want to maximize your chances of avoiding production delays and product redesign, consider the supply chain and its issues in your product development process. Capitalize on the expertise of your suppliers to find new solutions to supply chain issues that are currently prevalent. Whether you’re looking for specific expertise in product development or procurement strategies, Merkur has teams of experts to help you find concrete solutions to the problems that are holding your business back.  


MERKUR was founded in 1994 as an engineering consulting firm working for manufacturing companies inside and outside of Quebec. At Merkur we are known for our in-depth offers and our knowledge of small, medium, and large manufacturing companies. Here at Merkur we are proud contributors of innovation and productivity in Quebec, for over the past 25 years!

KHROME PRODUCT TRANSPORT is an integrated manufacturing company located in Drummondville Quebec, specializing in the design and manufacturing of interior and exterior train cars. Its strength lies in its strong engineering capacity and manufacturing agility. Among its main clients are Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Kawasaki Rail Car.

SYNKRO is a software solution developed by Merkur and designed specifically for high-performance manufacturers. It collects, classifies, and distributes the right data to the right people at the right time. Synkro gives you real insight into your operations. Synkro is the software solution that finally connects your floor and your office!

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