Material availability as a challenge – how product development can be kept cost-effective

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Even though material costs have slowly improved following the start of the pandemic, material availability still poses challenges and has introduced disruptions to various product development projects. Innokas’ sourcing team suggests how to mitigate the challenges by adopting the following three strategies to uphold cost efficiency; this promotes the Design for Cost principle, where design is developed with cost in mind. 


1. Tendering materials through supplier networks

During the product's design phase, scouting alternative suppliers based on longevity considerations and potential development hurdles is advantageous. Utilizing well-established supplier networks aids in eliminating the most challenging options and the suppliers who have the potential to have the most conflict with the project.  


2. Optimizing the use of existing in-stock materials across different projects

This tactic holds particular relevance in the MedTech sector, where smaller production volumes encourage the shared application of similar elements across diverse products.


3. Embedding sourcing within the design process to maximize flexibility


Having sourcing as a notable part to consider during initial design process allows for the elimination of unsuitable material choices early on and offers developers the latitude to tender suppliers flexibly, leading to the identification of the most economically viable materials. This approach helps to prevent future cost escalations and availability issues that sometimes arise after design freezes.  


Balancing cost and quality effectively


In summary, addressing material availability challenges in product development projects requires cost-effective strategies, such as early supplier scouting through material tendering, optimizing in-stock materials, and incorporating shared elements, particularly in the MedTech sector. Integrating sourcing in the design phase enhances flexibility, helping to eliminate unsuitable choices and reduce post-design cost escalation. However, it should be noted that opting for higher-quality materials, even at higher initial cost, often proves to be a more cost-effective investment than simply going for the lowest-priced option. 


Innokas' product development team has extensive experience on how to effectively integrate sourcing into the product developments initial design phases. This ensures that our customers get the best flexibility over choosing the materials for the project with the guidance of our industry experts. If a Nordic design and development partner is something that interests you, we invite you to leave a contact form through the following link so we can set up a free meeting and discuss how to bring your vision to life.


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