7 Essential IT Tools for Product Development

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For organizations involved in product development, IT is essential for smooth operations and quality products. A report by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services states that nine technologies are required for organizations that are into product development and manufacturing. The report also says that organizations were twice as likely to be highly satisfied with new product development if the IT department was a true partner in the process.

Below are the most essential technologies that are viewed as essential tools for developing better products and ensuring success.

[1] Product requirements management – Product requirements management helps a product designer add relevant features that will cater to the needs and estimate the raw material requirements accordingly. This also helps decide the time period required and cost per unit.

[2] Supplier management – Requirement analysis will provide clear insights into the raw materials required. Once the raw materials are known, it would be easier for the procurement team to analyze and find out the suppliers based on their expertise, track record, costing etc. An IT application to manage suppliers, their billing cycle, quantity of raw materials procured from different suppliers etc. will help the operations manager to plan the production accordingly.

[3] Design and Analysis tools – This helps the product designer make innovative product designs based on requirements. Well known tools are CAD/CAM/CAE etc.

[4] Workflow management tools – The sequential flow of processes in a production environment which helps convert raw materials to finished products is termed as workflow. An organized system that manages the complete workflow is very essential for accuracy and consistency in processes.

[5] Testing tools – Quality management tools or testing tools ensure that the finished product abides by the accepted standards and is of the highest quality.

[6] ERP & related tools – ERP is a popular tool that automates the complete business process and ensures efficiency in the production process, supporting the business from end-to-end. ERP is always integrated with various other tools across business processes and is able to capture data that is accurate and consistent all throughout.

[7] Collaborative tools – Tools that enhance collaboration with partners, vendors and distribution channels are given equal importance. The rising dependence on third parties for many business processes demands enhanced IT tools for better collaboration and transactions.