What is the NPI process?

The NPI process (New Product Introduction) is a complete blueprint that takes an idea through various structured phases and that results in a finished product being launched into the marketplace.

This process is driven and managed by a cross-functional team that keeps a check on every aspect of the project. The different phases are controlled by approval gates which ensure the project has met specific criteria before moving on to the next phase in the process.

These phase gates are ‘policed’ by a dedicated team normally involving at least one stakeholder in the business and one member from each of the business departments. The phase-gate teams have the authority to allow the project to move forward but more importantly to stop for revisions within the current phase or even to cancel the entire development program.

The phases of the NPI process can vary from company to company, but they generally follow this outline (this is the NPI process we use for larger volume productions, especially for electrical and mechanical products):

  1. Product concept/Design/Specifications
  2. Feasibility Study
  3. Prototyping (product design & Development)
  4. Tooling
  5. Pre-production
  6. Mass Production

Following this, the manufacturer will monitor and improve the processes.

sofest NPI process for products made in larger quantities

If the NPI process steps are followed, there is a great chance of product success in the market than if a product is developed and launched with no formal structure to follow.


Listen to this episode of our podcast where we discuss the NPI process in great detail:

If you need help with developing and manufacturing a new product, get your free copy of our New Product Launch Roadmap (XLS + Video) which we’ve put together to guide people in your position and help to assure your success.

You may find this blog post useful, too, if you’re interested in launching a new product: The 7 Most Common Product Launch Pitfalls in China

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