Product and Process Design for Supply Chain Management (back to catalog)

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Explore three fundamental design concepts: component commonality, modularity vs. integral design, and universality, and a cost/benefit framework showing what to expect as you integrate these ideas into product design plans. Learn process improvements such as postponement, mass customization, resequencing production operations, and shifting the push-pull point; these design changes can significantly improve the performance of your supply chain.

Product design for supply chain management means building products that thrive in and enhance your supply chain architecture. Simply "giving customers what they want", while fundamental to customer satisfaction, is rarely enough. Companies must be able to give customers the right products in the most resource-effective manner, without sacrificing quality or service. If your supplier, manufacturing, and post-sales support networks are being stressed to the breaking point, if your products require excessive inventories to maintain service levels, if your offerings aren't attracting new buyers in a saturated market, or if you need to reduce costs and complexity throughout your supply chain, designing products to take advantage of and strengthen your supply chain can provide extraordinary benefits.

This module, the final in our series on "Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management", will provide you with a powerful set of tools to achieve these goals. You will start by exploring three fundamental concepts: component commonality, modularity vs. integral design, and universality. A framework for costs and benefits will help you understand the value of these ideas and what to expect as you integrate them into your product design plans. You will see an excellent example of postponement, a strategy that can enhance service levels with lower inventories. You'll also learn how to quickly estimate the positive impact of a postponement strategy in your own company without analyzing sales data or using complex calculations. You will see examples of how postponement can be implemented through software, applied to product packaging, and even how it can help during a new product launch.

Product design is not the only place you can make improvements. The production process itself is often overlooked as an incredible opportunity for enhancement. Resequencing production operations, shifting the push-pull point, or even something as "simple" as administrative postponement can all provide significant benefits. Mass customization is often a hybrid of product and process design; finding ways to offer unique items with little or no additional lead time can increase market share and breathe new life into your products.


  • Learn the opportunities presented by component commonality, modularity, and universality
  • Understand how postponement can reduce inventories while maintaining service levels
  • Discover supply chain enhancements available from process improvements


List Price: $60 -

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Save $25 on "Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management" bundle; buy modules SCM102, SCM103, SCM104, SCM105, and SCM106 together and save $25 (see course catalog for details)

SCM106 Specifications

Title: Product and Process Design for Supply Chain Management

4.3 / 5  (916 ratings)

Total Reading Time: Approx. 1 - 2 hours (for average readers)

Word Count: Approx. 10,600 words


Certificate: Counts toward Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management

Datasheet:  Download


  1. Introduction; Component Commonality, Modularity, Modular vs. Integral Design
  2. Universality
  3. Framework for Costs and Benefits
  4. Benefits of Design Changes
  5. Benefits of Design Changes, Continued
  6. Postponement: The HP Deskjet Printer
  7. Postponement Costs and Benefits (Deskjet Printer, continued)
  8. A Quick Estimate of Postponement Benefits from Reduced Inventories
  9. Packaging Postponement
  10. Postponement via Software
  11. End-of-Life and New Product Situations
  12. Process Design for Postponement
  13. Mass Customization
  14. Incentive Issues
  15. Conclusions
  16. Test Your Knowledge
  17. Feedback
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