CES 2018: Is Your Supply Chain Ready for a Successful Product Ramp?

CES 2018, the consumer electronics event of the year, is fast approaching. Now in its 51st year, CES is the event where the world’s most innovative companies showcase their latest products. With over 4,000 companies set to exhibit, this year’s event promises some big reveals including robots, cars, IOT devices, wearable tech, and smart home gadgets.

Months, sometimes even years, of hard work has gone into launching the new products set to be unveiled at CES. It is an exciting time at any company. While most of the focus is on technology and innovation, companies need to develop a plan to ramp quickly if their new product takes off. An innovative new product alone is not necessarily enough to guarantee success in today’s consumer technology industry. Factors like brand, pricing, and product marketing are important but, unless your supply chain infrastructure is capable of supporting a successful product launch and subsequent increase in demand, your product will not achieve its full revenue potential.

The Consumer Technology Supply Chain

Supply chain management at consumer technology companies is no easy feat. Factors like shortened product lifecycles, global supplier bases, and intense competition from innovative start-ups has added increased complexity to the modern supply chain. In spite of these challenges, industry leaders have been able to develop highly flexible and well-managed supply chains to support their products. However, managing the supply chain for your existing product portfolio is one thing, but successfully managing the supply chain during a new product launch is quite another.

A new product launch at CES brings with it a significant supply chain challenge and can cause a collision of business functions as marketing plans product launch campaigns, sales ramp-up, and finance keeps a close eye on budget. The supply chain must then successfully incorporate new manufacturers, maintain margins, and take on the extra risk and time pressure exerted by other business functions during new product launches - it is no simple task and supply chain failure can doom even the most innovative of products. Issues like missed deliveries, misread demand, inventory shortages, or slow time-to-market can devastate a product early in its lifecycle. Momentum generated by a successful product launch can quickly evaporate if your supply chain is underprepared for a surge in demand.

Is Your Supply Chain Ready for 2018?

All the innovative and technological brilliance in the world can only get your product so far. Without the operational expertise on board to support new product lines, you are limiting your chances of success. As you approach CES, you need to consider whether or not your supply chain is prepared for a successful product launch.

To give your new product the best chance of success, your supply chain should:

  • Enable speed to market
  • Support organic growth and seasonal demand surges
  • Lower costs through global packaging design and materials production
  • Consolidate multiple warehouse locations and suppliers
  • Provide a comprehensive global logistics solution
  • Deliver end-to-end supply chain visibility
  • Support same-day fulfillment

Launching a new product without the supply chain capabilities to support increased demand is a quick route to product failure.