This topic is really a favorite with me. There are two sections and these are both brief. The first talks about how supply management should get involved internally with folks to figure out customer needs. These include understanding customer requirements, QFD etc.
Supply management can do a great deal to help the product and service development initiatives of the organization. These include Early Supplier Involvement (ESI), Qualified Product Lines (QPL) and Target costing.Of these concepts, qualified product lines is a rather nice concept. The supply management folks can tell the NPD team about which items are more easily available and which ones to avoid given the imminent supply situation for that item. Frequently, NPD teams can come up with great concepts but have huge delays because of delays in obtaining components or parts from the market.
Once however, the product or service starts taking off the supply management role changes from just trying to get things started to improving efficiency,lower costs and improve quality and reliability of supply. For example, a key manufacturing point to watch for is investment in tooling. It should not be too less to loose out on market demand and should not be too much to add undue capital cost.