Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What is more important, the product or the process?

The success of a product in the market depends not only on the product by itself, but depends on a set of factors including its distribution to customers. Even innovative products may have no success if they are not part of a global process comprising from its design to the user’s post-purchase experience.

This article is related to both topics for this week as it shows how a successful company in the photography industry partnered with a leader shipping company to reengineer its distribution network in order to make sure its innovative products are available to meet demand.

In this example, Nikon decided to shift from a distribution in-house process to a outsourced distribution process and it did well. Conversely,  as it is mentioned in the article "Demand Forecasting and Inventory Management in the Supply Chain" Nike shifted from its well-set demand forecasting system to the i2 system with no good results.

So, the questions are:
What is more important, the product or the process?
Is outsourcing a good option to improve your supply chain?
What processes are subject to be outsourced?
How companies can know when it is the right time to outsource its processes or systems in order to be more efficient?

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