Design-centric businesses have an opportunity to minimise supply chain costs, improve supply chain agility and minimise supply chain risk
Professor Omera Khan.
The ‘4Cs’ is a model that I have developed to build a sustainable design-centric business. This sets out the guiding organisational principles necessary to optimally align product design with the supply chain and reduce sustainability risks at the drawing board. Decisions we take on packaging for example, or on sourcing and manufacturing will have huge implications to the transport intensity of our supply chains.
Cooperation in the extended enterprise.
Ensuring that the impact of design decisions are understood by both the supply chain function and external suppliers. Through such cooperation, the business and its suppliers jointly mitigate design and sustainability risks, and ensure the smooth transition of products through the supply chain to the end customer.
Co-location of concurrent design teams.
All functions that contribute to the design and development of a product are either physically co‑located together—or if geographically dispersed, are virtually co‑located with information transfer on as near real-time basis as possible—in order to ensure the smooth transition of products from the drawing board to market.
Cross-functional teams consisting of expertise that contributes to the design development process work concurrently to effectively translate and fulfil demand These teams are multi-functional from trend/social forecasters to technologists, from logistics to sourcing and procurement and may include suppliers and consumers.
Champion of product
Tasked with making sure that this dialogue takes place, and is responsible for making the final call on its outcomes in terms of design decisions. The product champion manages the interface between design and supply chain, oversees the concurrent design process, and ensures that there is a match between the product architecture and supply chain design.