Juggling product components

Product Strategy

A product strategy must be simple and deliver reliable results. Our product strategy uses a process of product standardisation to ensure products are fully defined before the information is requested or used. Having one repository of quality data reduces time and cost across sales, engineering and production.

Product design audit

At Gatehouse Design we are keen to help our customers develop a product strategy that adds value to their business. We do this by providing a free Product Design Audit which considers five areas;

  • Company objectives
  • Products
  • Sales
  • Engineering
  • Recommendations

We believe that by taking a proactive approach to product management, your company can reduce cost, deliver faster and reduce errors.

Product standardisation

Product standardisation is a key process, this allows product information to be developed in advance in a manner that allows re-use and later for configuration. Standardisation does involve simplifying product structure, however, it does not necessarily involve the reduction of functionality, features or options. Product standardisation is about doing more with less. The more complex products benefit most from the standardisation process. Following product standardisation, time will be saved in sales, engineering and production. Design errors will be eradicated and information will be available to anyone authorised to access it without the need to wait. Often product standardisation leads to more product innovation and will extend product life.

Product configuration

Product configuration builds upon the product standardisation process. Selection rules will be employed that ensure the product is sized and configured in accordance with engineering requirements, this removes further risk. Costs associated with product components can be assembled quickly to reflect the configured assembly. Usually, product configuration leads to the automatic generation of customer quotations and other documents, saving time and ensuring accuracy. Configured products can be passed from sales to production within minutes.

Design automation

Design automation builds upon the product configuration process. This can be used to drive computer-aided-design (CAD) and other downstream processes. Virtually every documented process can be automated, removing in some cases thousands of man-hours of work.

Product development

Product development falls into two main areas;

  • Existing product development
  • New product development

Existing product development is aided considerably by product standardisation. This gives a centralised platform for the product and frees up resource to look at new features and options, and also manufacturing optimisation. Because products share many common sub-assemblies this makes product improvement very efficient. Product life can be extended by making continuous improvements to the sub-assemblies.

New product development should be planned from the start to embrace product standardisation disciplines. This is a business culture which will accelerate innovation and ensure that engineering work remains pro-active.

We are here to assist

Our team have 32 years of experience helping product manufacturing companies optimise design processes. Gatehouse Design can help in a number of ways. Firstly we would be pleased to come and talk to you about your plans and design issues you are currently facing. We offer a free design audit to determine whether your business would benefit from product standardisation, configuration or design automation. Following this, we can help you formulate a strategy that includes product standardisation. We would be pleased to demonstrate how this can lead to increasing profitability, reducing lead times and reduced errors. We can also offer specific advice and assistance to complete product standardisation work, or even implement product configuration and design automation.