The Product Development Challenge: Adaptation is Key to Survival

Stanley Chan, Global Product Development General Manager, has been with RMA Automotive since 2008. Stanley leads the product development team with quick, lean turnaround in mind. He has been at the forefront of some of RMA Automotive’s most successful projects to date  Stanley gives us a peek into the functions, rewards and challenges of product development, plus key factors for success in changing environments.


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

PDD within RMA Automotive 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 Automotive has 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 our drive and desire 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 changes in specifications, timing business conditions as in the case of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Government regulations or others, it will require fast turnaround reaction to ensure we deliver the following:

  • Creative and robust solutions given the limitations we have with COVID 19 affecting everyone globally.
  • Maintain safety and engineering integrity of the product with RMA badge.
  • Maintain regulation and customer specification compliance with innovative engineering and business solutions.
  • Testing and validation to ensure product reliability and durability.


Creativity is key when faced with managing such challenges We know that change is inevitable. How we manage change is what will determine our level of success.