The Advantages of Reducing Product Cycle Time
Product cycle time is the period it takes for a manufacturer to complete development and production of a new or modified product. The time it takes for this process is significant because it impacts the ability of a company to reach market windows or to react to changes in customer needs or desires. Reducing your cycle time can improve efficiency and optimize profit potential.
Typically, optimizing efficiency in production processes helps you cut down on cycle time, which saves you money. This often results from thorough analysis of every step of the development and production process, refinement of inefficient steps and removal of steps unnecessary to the process. Each hour or day cut from the product cycle time saves money spent on labor, equipment and utilities used in production.
Providers in technology or other industries that rely on innovation often use cutting-edge product features and benefits as selling tools. Reducing product cycle times increases the potential to develop and deliver innovative products and be first to market with them. This is especially true if you compete against multiple providers that offer similar products or close substitutes. Every day you reduce your cycle time is a day you gain in meeting or beating competitor product launch dates.
The ability to reduce cycle time and minimize the time it takes to get the finished product to the customer helps you improve customer responsiveness. Along with quality products, this is one of the key traits customers look for in a quality provider. This is especially important when you offer customized products on demand tailored to fit the specific needs of each customer.
Within a traditional distribution channel, manufacturers produce and then sell products to distributors or retailers, which eventually sell goods to consumers. Maintaining close relationships in your distribution channel is important to manufacturers, and reducing product cycle times helps you meet the needs and requirements of distribution channel partners. This strengthens your position and makes you more attractive for other resellers looking for efficient producers.