Product development rocket

Product development solved

Product development does not always need to be groundbreaking blue sky work. For existing products,  product development should be a continuous incremental improvement process. Well executed incremental product development eradicates problems as they occur and adds features and options as needed. New customer requirements are incorporated providing new sales and extending the life of the product. Product development does not need to be a massive project. One person or a small team can usually achieve incremental product development for a number of products.

 

Problems:

Without, development, products become static and quickly obsolete. Product manufacturing problems accumulate and operational problems draw customer attention. Product life shortens as a product becomes dated and competitors offer new solutions.

When production demands drive engineering schedules, product development work often gets low priority. The business focusses on the immediate priorities delivering products to customers. When improvements occur, little of this information passes to the broader product range.

 

Solution:

For each product located in a standard product library, maintain a list of improvements required. Review the proposed changes to ensure they add value. Prioritise to implement the most beneficial improvements first.  Routinely schedule product development work outside of production workload. Product development should retain the same modular principles as used by product standardisation. Improvements should be carried out simultaneously to all components eligible for change.

Changes resulting from product development may have implications for other products or components. The product engineer should look at how the change may affect interfaces or operational factors. Review documentation linked to the product and ensure the product continues to comply with technical or statutory standards. Ensure the cost base is brought up to date.

Closely monitor product development changes after implementation. Does the product continue to perform as expected? Are the changes welcome by customers?

 

Advantages from different perspectives

 

  • Frequent availability of new features and options
  • Continuous product improvement
  • The company listens to feedback
  • Continuous product improvement
  • Better product development planning
  • Extended product life
  • New marketing opportunities
  • Manufacturing optimisation
  • Increased customer satisfaction as customers receives products faster with fewer errors.
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Better product development planning
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Frequent availability of new features and options
  • Continuous product improvement
  • The company listens to feedback
  • Increased customer satisfaction as customers receives products faster with fewer errors.
  • Continuous product improvement
  • Better product development planning
  • Manufacturing optimisation
  • Extended product life
  • The company listens to feedback
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Continuous product improvement
  • Manufacturing optimisation

 

Further help and assistance

Gatehouse Design are specialists in product standardisation, product configuration and design automation. We can help companies develop highly effective product strategies, maximising profitability, productivity and customer satisfaction. We can help you implement incremental product development and improve the efficiency of your business. Please contact us to discuss any product design related issues that you may have.

There is an offer a free product audit to help identify opportunities for product standardisation, product configuration and design automation. Additionally, Gatehouse Design has published many helpful white papers and articles which are available on this website.

 

The author

Written by Peter Slee-Smith 14/05/2018.

Peter Slee-Smith founded Gatehouse Design in 2012, a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with more than 30 years experience in industrial design. Peter qualified with a Masters Degree and has held senior positions in many leading engineering and product manufacturing companies. He is passionate about product design efficiency and has written many articles on the subject. Based in Littleport just outside Ely in Cambridgeshire, Gatehouse Design specialises in product standardisation, configuration and design automation.

 

Leave a Reply