New Product Development – The Solution your Supply Chain Uncertainty

A factory in a supply chain

Why Businesses Need to Develop New Products

Are you already selling products, but looking to take control of your supply chain, and secure the future growth of your business? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

When businesses rely on external suppliers, they face various challenges that can impact their operations and bottom line. One of the biggest risks is supply interruptions, which can cause delays in production and delivery. Quality inconsistencies or unexpected product changes can also harm a company’s reputation and customer base. Understanding these challenges is essential for businesses to navigate their relationships with suppliers and minimize potential risks.

Developing a new product can often be the solution to many of the challenges faced by businesses that rely on external suppliers. By creating a product in-house, companies can have greater control over the supply chain, reduce the risks of supply interruptions or quality inconsistencies, and ensure that the product meets their exact specifications. Additionally, developing a new product can open new markets and revenue streams, providing a competitive advantage. While developing a new product can be a significant investment, the potential benefits make it an attractive option for businesses looking to overcome the challenges of relying on external suppliers.

At D2M, we specialise in helping small business founders like you explore opportunities to increase your profit margins, reduce risk, and place a high value on customer feedback to create solutions that better align with customer needs and preferences. We understand that in-house capacity, time constraints and risk management are significant concerns for you, but with our efficient and effective product development solutions and risk management services, we can help you overcome these challenges. At D2M, we have the experience and expertise in design and manufacturing to help you achieve success. So let’s work together to take control of your new product development strategy and achieve your goals!

Case Study Part 1

Allow us to share a story with you about one of our clients, who was facing price hikes and quality control nightmares.  

In the fiercely competitive world of golf products, a leading brand faced a significant dilemma that put its market position at risk. The factory producing one of their top-selling products had announced an unanticipated 20% price increase, leaving the brand with limited options. Furthermore, product variations were slipping through the quality control process, resulting in a surge of customer returns and a costly cycle of redoing product photography. Despite repeated efforts to address design flaws, the brand’s relationship with the factory remained strained. With consumer trust waning and costs skyrocketing, the company was at a crossroads. 

To address these challenges, the brand turned to D2M, a team of experienced and senior designers. D2M’s mission was to create a superior product that would adhere to the original price point while reducing the return rate and enhancing the brand’s standing in the golf market.

As D2M’s expert designers worked on the project, collaborating at every step with the client,  the golf brand eagerly awaited the solution. Would it be possible to deliver a design that met the brand’s budget constraints and elevated its market position? While the brand was pleased with the product’s functionality and appearance, the critical question was whether the new design could be manufactured at the expected price point. We’ll come back to this story shortly, but for now, let us consider some of the challenges you might face in new product development. 

The Challenges of Developing Proprietary Products

Two key challenges of developing proprietary products, are resource constraints and accessing the right technical expertise.  Developing proprietary products is a challenging task that requires a significant number of resources and technical expertise.

One of the biggest challenges in developing proprietary products is resource constraints. This can include a lack of financial resources, personnel, or time. Companies may struggle to allocate the necessary resources to develop a new product, especially if they are already focused on other core business activities.

Another challenge in developing proprietary products is technical expertise. Companies need the right skills and knowledge to develop products that meet market demand and achieve business objectives. This can include expertise in engineering, design, manufacturing, and marketing. Companies may struggle to find the right talent or to keep up with rapidly changing technologies and market trends.

This is where partnering with experienced product development firms, such as D2M Innovation, can be beneficial. These firms have the necessary resources, technical expertise, and market knowledge to help businesses develop successful proprietary products that drive growth and sustainability. By collaborating with these firms, businesses can leverage their expertise and resources to accelerate the development process and reduce the risk of failure.

Phil Staunton, the Managing Director of D2M Innovation, firmly believes that developing your own product is key to ensuring the sustainability and growth of your business. He says, “Being in control of your supply chain by developing your own product isn’t just a strategy; it’s necessary for sustainability and growth.” This statement holds true, especially in today’s highly competitive business landscape.

Developing your own product gives you complete control over the entire supply chain, from design and development to manufacturing and distribution. This level of control is crucial for maintaining high-quality standards and ensuring that your product meets the unique needs and demands of your customers. By developing your own product, you can tailor it to your target market, providing them with a unique value proposition that sets you apart from competitors.

Moreover, developing your own product also allows you to build a brand image and reputation that is unique to your business. By creating a product that is synonymous with your brand, you can establish a loyal customer base that trusts and values your business. This can lead to increased customer retention, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth marketing, all of which contribute to the growth and sustainability of your business.

Case Study Part 2

Let’s revisit the case study, where we left off.

D2M’s latest product launch marked a significant milestone in the golf company’s history. After months of development and testing, the brand unveiled an innovative design with a 24% lower price tag than previously inflated rates. It turned out that the new golf trolley was more than just a victory; it was a complete game-changer.

The new product’s improved design and attractive price point received positive reviews from top golf magazines, leading to a surge in sales and a larger market share in the brand’s home country. The success extended beyond borders, with international opportunities opening up, inviting the brand to compete on a global stage.

What’s more, D2M took a strategic move to file patents before the launch, ensuring the protection of their investment in the design and securing the brand’s future and legacy in the golfing world. The move not only demonstrated D2M’s commitment to innovation but also their ability to take control of their new product development strategy.

By doing so, the brand resolved their supply chain woes and positioned themselves for unprecedented growth and success. The launch was a testament to D2M’s dedication to quality and innovation, establishing them as a leading golf product development agency. 

3 Tips to Help You Find a Reliable Manufacturer for Your New Product

Finding a reliable manufacturer for your new product is crucial to the success of your business. Here are three actionable tips to help you find the right manufacturer:

1. Conduct thorough research to identify potential manufacturers: You can use online directories, trade associations, manufacturing agents, trade shows (consider international and national shows) and industry events to find potential manufacturers. Once you have a list of potential manufacturers, research their reputation, experience, and capabilities. Ask for testimonials from other Western customers, as well as any certifications or awards they have received. (Only give weight to certifications and awards where you can independently verify the reliability.)

2. Request samples: Once you have identified potential manufacturers, request samples for your product. This will give you an opportunity to evaluate the quality of their work and ensure that they can meet your specifications before committing to production. You can also use this opportunity to test the product with your target market and gather feedback before moving forward with production. This can be a problem if your product requires significant tooling before the factory can produce samples. Often in this scenario the manufacturer will produce a prototype but this will be made using different techniques and so can’t be used to assess the quality of the final product to any degree of certainty. As such, if you are in this scenario, it’s always best to use a trusted, recommended manufacturer as you are taking a big financial risk. Your product design company may be able to recommend one or you might be best using an agent. Still request and sign off samples before the first production run in this scenario.

3. Visit the factory: Before finalising your decision make sure you visit. As they say, “Nothing compares with meeting in person and seeing the whites of their eyes.” Check out their operation firsthand and ensure that they have the necessary equipment and resources to meet your production needs. This will also give you an opportunity to meet with the manufacturer’s team and ensure that you have a good working relationship with them. A manufacturing agent may be able to make this trip on your behalf, but either way, it’s important to make this visit.  Even if they are on the other side of the world, we can’t recommend this highly enough.  

Allow me to share an insightful anecdote that I encountered during my visit to a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. This story sheds light on an intriguing aspect of Far East manufacturing practices.

I had the opportunity to tour a sportswear manufacturing facility. Toward the end of the factory tour, I engaged my translator in a conversation about the operational dynamics. I inquired about how the factory could viably support a substantial sampling team consisting of 20 seamstresses, while there was only one floor with 80 production line seamstresses. The ratios appeared to be commercially unfeasible.

The factory owner, upon hearing my question through the translator, wore an expression of acknowledgment and perhaps a touch of sheepishness. She then proceeded to divulge that the factory indeed had an additional facility located a few hours’ drive away, shedding light on the strategy behind their operations. In fact, it’s not an uncommon practice in the Far East for manufacturers to present what are often referred to as “show” factories. They are not manufacturers who make our shortlist for recommending to our clients!

If you follow these three tips, you’ll be able to find a reliable manufacturer that can help you bring your product to market successfully. Using an agent or recommendation can take the stress out of this if you are concerned about doing the necessary research. If you’re going to approach finding a manufacturer yourself, remember to take the time to conduct thorough research, request samples and prototypes, ask for references, and visit the manufacturing facility before making a final decision.

In conclusion, developing proprietary products is essential for businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s market. By investing in new product development, businesses can ensure supply chain reliability, differentiate themselves from their competitors, build brand loyalty, and increase profitability. With these benefits in mind, businesses should make it a priority to develop proprietary products that meet the needs of their customers and stand out in their market.

Ready to take control of your supply chain? Contact us for a consultation on developing your own product and securing the future of your business. Start your journey towards supply chain certainty today!


What is meant by new product development?

New product development is the process of bringing a new product or service to the market. It involves all the stages from ideation to market launch, including research, design, development, testing, and commercialisation. The goal of new product development is to create a product or service that meets the needs of the target market, is competitive in the marketplace, and is financially viable for the business. It is an essential process for businesses to stay competitive, grow, and meet the changing needs of their customers.

What are the 5 stages of product development?

The 5 stages of product development are as follows:

1. Idea Generation: This is the initial stage where new ideas are generated for a product or service.

2. Product Design: In this stage, the idea is further developed into a tangible product or service. It includes creating a prototype or a mock-up of the product/service.

3. Product Development: This stage involves testing and refining the product to make it functionally and economically viable.

4. Market Testing: Once the product is developed, it is tested in the market to determine its acceptance and potential for success.

5. Launch: After successful market testing, the final stage is to launch the product or service in the market.

How long does it take to develop a new product?

The time it takes to develop a new product can vary depending on the complexity of the product, the industry, and the company’s resources. On average, it can take anywhere from several months to several years to develop a new product. In some cases, it can take even longer, especially for complex products such as pharmaceuticals or electronic devices. The product development process involves several stages such as ideation, design, development, testing, and launch, each of which can take a significant amount of time. Additionally, factors such as market demand, competition, and regulatory requirements can also impact the product development timeline.

How do you develop a product idea?

Developing a product idea involves several steps, including:

1. Identifying a Need: The first step in developing a product idea is to identify a need or a problem that the product can solve or address. This can be done through market research, customer feedback, or by analysing industry trends.

2. Conducting Market Research: Once a need is identified, market research is conducted to determine the potential demand for the product, the target market, and the competition.

3. Brainstorming: After conducting market research, the next step is to brainstorm product ideas. This involves generating a range of ideas and evaluating them based on their feasibility, market potential, and alignment with the company’s goals and values.

4. Evaluating and Prioritizing Ideas: The next step is to evaluate and prioritize the product ideas based on criteria such as market potential, feasibility, resource requirements, and profitability.

5. Developing a Prototype: Once a product idea is selected, a prototype is developed to test the product’s functionality and feasibility.

6. Testing and Refinement: The prototype is then tested, and feedback is collected from potential customers. The product is refined based on this feedback to improve its functionality, usability, and market potential.

7. Launch: After successful testing and refinement, the product is launched in the market.

What are the 4 Ps of new product development?

The 4 Ps of new product development are:

1. Product: This refers to the physical or digital product that is being developed. It includes defining the features, design, packaging, branding, and quality of the product.

2. Price: This refers to the price at which the product will be sold to the target market. The price should be competitive and aligned with the product’s value proposition, target market, and the company’s financial goals.

3. Place: This refers to the distribution channels or the places where the product will be sold. The distribution channels should be selected based on the target market, accessibility, and convenience.

4. Promotion: This refers to the marketing and promotional strategies used to create awareness and generate demand for the product. This includes advertising, public relations, sales promotions, and personal selling. The promotional strategies should be aligned with the target market, product features, and the company’s marketing objectives.

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Bonus 40min extended case-study video!