The Product Development Challenge: Adaptation is Key to Survival

The Product Development Challenge: Adaptation is Key to Survival

By Stanley Chan, General Manager, RMA Automotive Product Development, RMA Automotive. 


Product Development (PDD) comprises of 4 main functions: Program Management, Engineering, Product Admin and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Knock Down (KD) Business Management.

PDD within RMA is a unique hybrid between a typical OEM disciplined process and meeting customer requirements (in a very short time frame). This makes it that much more challenging, and under such circumstances, we need to instill creativeness and risk management skills in what we do. Constantly thinking outside the box is key, whether it may be an engineering solution or finding a way to deliver the project on time. RMA has organically grown such a mindset and skills that allow us to explore new ways of doing things all the time.

The PDD team is very dedicated and committed to take on challenges, and in multiple cases, it is because of the drive and desire we have that has enabled us to deliver sometimes seemingly impossible projects.

The longer term vision is to have the team manage or engineer projects of different scale and nature, for example Small and Large Truck Modifications, KD, OEM, Accessories, Business Set Up, Localization, Armor, and ECE/ADR/JIS/FMVSS compliant vehicles, to ensure that we cover all potential markets and opportunities.

External challenges are another primary contributor to why we cannot be using the typical development and program management processes. While we still need to instill discipline to avoid mishaps, there will be cases where things are out of our control.  We need to adapt to these ever-changing environments. May it be specification change, timing change, business condition change, government regulation change and more, it will require fast turnaround reaction to ensure we deliver the following:

  • We still keep our profitability
  • Stock and inventory holding timing is managed
  • Engineering specifications are met
  • Production and warehouse planning risks are minimized.

Creativity is key when faced with managing such situations.

Change is inevitable… how to manage the change and DO IT is what will determine our level of success.