Tear Down the Walls – New Product Introduction and Sustaining Engineering Best Practices

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall - President Ronald Reagan


Although the situation cannot be compared to that of the Berlin Wall, the presence of invisible walls and process (or lack there of) induced silos continue to bedevil New Product Introduction and Sustaining Engineering Processes.



An ideal cross-functional new product introduction process looks more like this with overlapping functions and free flow of information.

Most organizations find that achieving the above ideal situation for cross-functional NPI and Sustaining Engineering is difficult because of the hard organizational boundaries, silo processes and isolated applications. When you add suppliers to this mix it gets even more complex.

We at Cambrian Lab have been working diligently on NPI solutions for many years and we think arrived at a workable solution that is practical and achievable. The solution we arrived at is a workflow driven NPI solution that is able to

  • Bring cross-functional teams together
  • Organize workflow streams for each business process that supports NPI/Sustaining Engineering
  • Connect the workflows together for information flow and continuity
  • Support rich information models (requirements, parts, BOMs, validation, manufacturing process, supply chain..) that are created and managed with different NPI workflows
  • Integrate with relevant applications (PLM, ERP, Validation and Verification, MES, Supply Chain Planning, etc.) as part of workflows



Cambrian Lab’s Cogence provides the above framework for NPI and Sustaining Engineering. Cogence includes a number of applications that support New Product Introduction processes, but the most important is the fact that Cogence incorporates cross-functional workflow and integration capabilities of ZFlow.


NPI Applications and Processes


High Level Process


Rich Information in the NPI Process