Lean management to minimize long-term risk
Although there is a risk in making a big change like adding a supplier, a diversified supply chain reduces your risk in the long term.
The product just might be the same after all
Adding a new product line is the perfect chance to try working with another supply chain, especially if you haven’t been happy with your current team, or have been working with them for a long time. Who knows? If the new suppliers really impress you, it may make sense for you to bring all your business to the new supplier when your product reaches maturity.
Choose the “best” to get the best results
The notion of “best” for each line implies obvious gains. Having suppliers whose competencies are matched with the needs of your product can lead to faster delivery, higher quality, and lower cost—which in turn can lead to increased customer satisfaction and increased profits.
Take the opportunity to implement Lean Management
The prototype and early production phases are a great time to shake things up. There are few times in your company lifecycle that you have the opportunity to really innovate, so make the most of them when they come. Even if you are happy with your current supplier, adding a new supply chain shakes things up, and allows you to flush out new ideas for your product and process. By sticking with one supplier, you miss the opportunity to find a new and better way to do things.
Tips for making it work
If you stick with your current production partner through a new product introduction, it may make sense to use the new product as a bargaining chip for better terms, or as a way to demonstrate your faith in your partner and improve the relationship. Remember, happy supply chain partners do a better job, and ultimately create a higher level of customer satisfaction.