decline — product maturity may last B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

decline — product maturity may last B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

Please answer the following question in 1 or 2 paragraphs.

“In which stages of a new product design and development project are supply chain operation managers most likely to have the greatest impact? Justify your rationale using examples from real-life scenarios.”

Copying the following text from my book:

The product life cycle has four phases: launch, growth, maturity, and decline.

  • Launch—A new product launch is usually the culmination of an intense product design and development effort. Supply chain process innovation may be required too if the product does not make use of existing process technologies and capacities.
  • Growth—As sales begin to grow, customer responses give the firm information about how to refine the product specifications. Product modifications continue until standardized forms of the product begin to emerge. During this growth stage, major investments in process innovation are usually postponed. Operating processes in the supply chain must be flexible in accommodating a high mix of low-volume product orders, and they must be able to rapidly increase capacity in order to avoid losing sales.
  • Maturity—Once demand stabilizes and product refinements become less frequent, costs become more critical because low-cost competitors often enter the market. Process innovation is usually needed in this stage to increase supply chain efficiencies. Process innovation is justified because the product specifications are fairly stabilized, and early profits have generated funding for process investments.
  • Decline—Product maturity may last for many years, yet eventually products enter a decline stage as customer needs change or as new technologies supplant existing ones. As demand declines, operations process managers across the supply chain face intense pressures to reduce cost and to efficiently decrease capacity. Firms often try to avoid the decline phase by using incremental product design and development projects to revitalize products with new or better features or replace them with next generation products (new versions of iPads, new types of credit cards, added sites to guided tours).

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