Transforming Product Creation

How to build a platform for product data and processes that is tailored to your business goals

Published 06/23/2022

Do you know the benchmarks for a product development strategy that is designed for sustainability while enabling management to successfully respond to trends like smartification and customization? Do you know how market leaders analyze, control and regulate their business processes from an end-to-end perspective and achieve resilience in a global economy? Learn about a blueprint for the transformation that will make you part of the digital leaders.

Transforming Product Creation

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Trends impacting your business model

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) involve connectivity with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and high-end luxury articles, as well as medical technology, control devices for smart homes, vehicle engines and tooling machines.

To become part of this smart new world, businesses have to embed ever more microprocessors and transmission-enabled sensors in their products. A quick glance at the recent assembly line downtimes in the car factories will show you how far smartification has progressed in our modern economy.

The consequence is that product creation must find ways to efficiently manage the complexity of mechatronic systems. In other words, it must govern the development and interplay of mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering and software.

In a similar way, customizing has become pervasive across industries, from construction machinery with extensive configuration options to sneakers with custom color composition. For businesses, this individualization trend means they urgently have to find effective solutions for variant management and lot size 1 manufacturing.

Sustainability needs value-driven globalization

Our social obligation to pursue sustainability goals means that the opportunities of globalization can no longer be seen just as a way to obtain cheap mass-produced items. Instead, businesses are creating global value-adding networks and collaborative supply chains with partners compelled by similar values and visions (Youtube: Key Takeaways from Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/XPO 2021 | EMEA).

To manage such a “co-creative ecosystem“, product development must be driven by digitalized collaboration, both internally and externally.

How all these puzzle pieces will come together one day cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty. But in any event, businesses will have to have a stable, high-yield innovation process at their disposal – if “only” to manage decarbonization and survive disruptive competition which may arise next door or at the opposite end of the globe.

A product creation process to meet today's challenges

So, what’s the best-practice product development model that can make your business succeed in this new environment? CENIT’s consultants focus on five key digital capabilities that are crucial to a successful value-adding role of engineering.

Five Key Competencies for a value-adding role of engineering

  1. Master Data Management


    • automated end-to-end availability of product master data
    • support of cross-functional business processes


  2. Product Release and Change Management


    • cross-platform version and change management (ERP and PLM)
    • a seamless product audit trail (control and documentation of changes)
    • impact analysis and bidirectional replicability


  3. Variant Management, Configuration Management


    • management of product variants and product configurations
    • cross-functional visibility of engineering, manufacturing and sales variants
    • support of end-to-end release and change processes


  4. Handover to Manufacturing (Production Planning and Work Scheduling)


    • seamless transition to technical production processes (manufacturing engineering)
    • deployment of 3D software solutions to coordinate and optimize assembly and production processes


  5. Target Costing


    • cross-platform orchestration of product cost calculation processes (PLM, ERP)
    • continous product cost control, also for product variants
    • availability of target costing concepts from the early phases of product development


The goal is to represent and guide the products and services of a business by way of virtual twins. As a virtual counterpart, a digital twin undergoes a product lifecycle, meaning that it accurately mirrors all changes during the concept, product, simulation, quality, planning and production phases. This requires a virtual product platform and a digital process platform as an IT foundation.

CENIT e-book "Transforming Product Creation"

Our CENIT consultants looked into the challenges for your product creation processes.

CENIT e-book "Transforming Product Creation" highlights important background information, opportunities for action and ways of tackling the challenge.


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