Supply Considerations and Strategic Management

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Identifying customer needs and establishing commercial equivalents of the product are two elements pertinent to any organization. These processes are usually separated into two stages, where the customer needs identification becomes the procedure to be completed prior to defining commercial equivalents (Wang et al., 2021). This distinction is necessary due to the several differences between these steps, and following this tactic can be highly beneficial for the enterprise’s output. First of all, needs identification refers to ascertaining clients’ expectations and demands regarding the future product, but the determination of commercial equivalents is based on the results of the concluded expectations analysis (Wang et al., 2021). Therefore, while needs identification is primarily dependent on the consumers’ perceptions and desires, defining commercial equivalents requires a completed examination of these attributes to establish which options might be used to satisfy customer needs.

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After that, a crucial contrast between the two stages is the overall focus on information and future actions. Identifying clientele’s needs is the process during which necessary data is gathered and analyzed, clarifying the individuals’ expectations and demands. On the other hand, the strategy of determining commercial equivalents implements the accumulated knowledge to formulate the solutions that could fulfill these needs (Sabogal-De La Pava et al., 2020). Potential products and services, their sources, and other possible methods are usually outlined during this procedure.

Thus, while needs identification is a comprehensive collection and evaluation of customer data, defining commercial equivalents is the allocation of available resolutions to cover the identified requirements. In this regard, it is strongly recommended to separate these processes, as simultaneously conducting these actions can prompt data gathering issues, incorrect evaluation of demands, and the creation of improper solutions (Sabogal-De La Pava et al., 2020). Assessing consumer needs first allows establishing a complete overview of their perceptions, which is advantageous for initiating the determination of commercial equivalents. For instance, a firm might first process clientele demands regarding a future smartphone application, clarifying that usability and technical support are highly valued. After that, it becomes possible to choose relevant options, for example, employing a usability professional to fulfill these demands.

Early supplier involvement (ESI) is a crucial factor in the success of new product development (NPD) processes. As choosing an appropriate supplier can be a strenuous and time-demanding activity, involving potential distributors in the NPD as soon as possible can often produce significant benefits for the organization. One of the major benefits following an efficient utilization of ESI techniques is related to the concepts of values and culture, which usually develop during the early stages of collaboration and can be positively impacted (Hanson, 2018). When a novel product is devised with the suppliers’ contribution, the latter become involved on a more personal level, which is beneficial for the future partnership.

Another imperative advantage is a more efficient production process, which results in saved time and resources. For instance, while developing a technical appliance and working directly with the electronics supplier, the distributor might highlight potential options for the delivery and assembly processes (Hanson, 2018). Finally, ESI has proven to considerably influence the time required for the product to enter the market, as production strategies have already been optimized, and other routine collaboration elements have been established (van Weele, 2018). Altogether, efficient implementation of ESI techniques can substantially increase the suppliers’ interest, production outputs, and the speed of product introduction, contributing to the success of NPD.

Devising an affluent product requires significant consideration of its future performance. Specifying by performance is a beneficial approach that allows clarifying is the expected product performance outcomes at the initial stage of NPD, establishing such attributes as expected functions, resources required, and the overall output (Adewale et al., 2018). Identifying desired results includes several advantages, such as increased flexibility in the methods of product creation, the establishment of distinct goals to achieve, and the availability of greater creativity for the product designers.

Nevertheless, there are several vital disadvantages that can influence the NPD processes. A major limitation is a focus on end-performance, which necessitates the implementation of additional confirmation methods to verify that the set objectives have been met (Bondi, 2016). Moreover, achieving specific output targets considerably increases the time and costs of NPD. For example, to develop and produce an appliance that delivers certain productivity and energy consumption outputs, an organization must consider such complications as overload, performance antipatterns, and possible functioning risks (Bondi, 2016). Finally, product-relevant working systems are essential to accomplish the specified results, meaning that supplementary resources will be needed to maintain these processes.

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Strategic requirements established by an organization are substantial elements of its future growth. However, it is imperative to ensure that the constructed aims adhere to the basics of strategic planning, as the requirements might be influenced by personal and external factors, hindering the success of the project. In this regard, a supply professional relies on such categories as prerequisites, non-contributing features, contributing features, and preferred features, which highlight the most pertinent goals (Cox, 2016). Prerequisites are referred to as the most valuable product requirements, such as its functions and general appearance. For instance, when designing a smartphone application, it is crucial to establish its basic functionality and user interface attributes, as well as other technical necessities (Cox, 2016). After that, non-contributing and contributing features allow distinguishing between the regulatory elements to be included and the product’s benefit for the organizational development of the enterprise. Finally, preferred features are usually related to future improvements and performance standards (Tsutsui et al., 2020). Overall, considering these four components of strategic requirements allows the supply professional to determine product details and establish the strategy required to complete the project, accomplishing the goals created.


Adewale, B. A., Oluwatayo, A. A., Uwakonye, O. U., & Ogunkoya, A. B. (2018). Shortfalls of specification writing in Nigerian architectural practice. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 9(7), 497-506.

Bondi, A. B. (2016). Incorporating software performance engineering methods and practices into the software development life cycle. Proceedings of the 7th ACM/SPEC on International Conference on Performance Engineering, 327–330.

Cox, K. A. (2016). Strategic requirements analysis: From interviews to models. Routledge.

Hanson, J. D. (2018). Lead time reduction: Early supplier involvement and the information supply chain. International Journal of Procurement Management, 11(3), 370–386.

Sabogal-De La Pava, M. L., Vidal-Holguín, C. J., Manotas-Duque, D. F., & Bravo-Bastidas, J. J. (2020). Supply chain design by minimizing equivalent present cost considering weighted variable costs. In J. L. García-Alcaraz, C. Sánchez-Ramírez, L. Avelar-Sosa, & G. Alor-Hernández (Eds.), Techniques, tools and methodologies applied to global supply chain ecosystems (pp. 285–305). Springer.

Tsutsui, Y., Yamada, N., Mitake, Y., Sholihah, M., & Shimomura, Y. (2020). A strategic design guideline for open business models. International Journal of Automation Technology, 14(5), 678–689.

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van Weele, A. J. (2018). Mission impossible: How to make early supplier involvement work in new product development? In A. C. Moreira, L. M. D. F. Ferreira, & R. A. Zimmermann (Eds.), Innovation and supply chain management: Relationship, collaboration and strategies (pp. 141–162). Springer.

Wang, Y., Gao, J., & Wei, Z. (2021). The double-edged sword of servitization in radical product innovation: The role of latent needs identification. Technovation.

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