Product planning plan

Product planning solved

Product planning is difficult when the majority of work is reactive to order fufilment processes. Customer priorities generally take precedence over any planned strategic work. Product development initiatives start off with good intentions. As other priorities take precidence, many product development projects are shelved. By working differently, product design can be planned without pressure from production deadlines.

 

Problems:

Engineering management spends considerable time planning work for projects and providing engineering resources to complete those projects on time. Errors, sales support work and changes disrupt these programmes. Sales and production support activities require urgent attention and receive a high priority. Scheduling product development and product improvements are difficult to manage when there are so many customer-driven projects to complete. New work consumes any spare capacity.

There are several main issues;

(1) Product improvements are attempted as a continuation of sales support and customer fulfilment. Production deadlines rarely allow sufficient time to provide a comprehensive solution.

(2)  Many regard product development as a major exercise.

(3) When product improvements are made, not all products are upgraded

 

Solution:

Product standardisation provides a structure where products are broken down into reusable components. Careful management of these components ensures integration across all product configurations.

(1) Separate product design from the customer fulfilment process. Without the need to support sales or the order fulfilment process, Engineering can schedule product design. Development tasks can be smaller and released more frequently.

(2) The product is formatted in a modular fashion which allows incremental product development.

(3) The new component is immediately available to all products using the reusable component.

Product standardisation removes much of the inefficient reactive workload and gives engineers the opportunity to plan product work to achieve the best results. Up-front engineering investment is repaid many times during the product life. Product planning is more achievable without attempting to fit work in around customer delivery programmes.

 

Advantages from different perspectives

  • Increased customer satisfaction as customers receives products faster with fewer errors.
  • Product development planned and monitored
  • Marketing activity can coordinate with planned releases of product improvements
  • Fewer bottlenecks requiring management attention
  • Increased customer satisfaction as customers receives products faster with fewer errors.
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Product development planned and monitored
  • Fewer bottlenecks requiring management attention
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Marketing activity can coordinate with planned releases of product improvements
  • Increased customer satisfaction as customers receives products faster with fewer errors.
  • Plan and manage product design is  without production deadlines
  • Increased engineering support for 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 improve planning 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.

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