Successful product standardisation will reduce design time and associated costs in sales, engineering and production. Furthermore, it will provide a centralised knowledge bank to share information and eradicate design errors. Actual cost information will replace sales estimation and customers will receive information quickly in a uniform corporate style. Product standardisation will improve profitability whilst increasing customer satisfaction.
Product standardisation is a process of defining uniform characteristics for a product. Standardisation can but does not need to reduce features or options. A principal goal of product standardisation is to do more with less. Every feature and option will be carefully evaluated and challenged before being included, additional features and options will be added during the standardisation process.
Product standardisation is the start of other initiatives
Successful product standardisation is the start of many other initiatives that can transform a business. Product standardisation provides a framework where accurate costs can be attached, leading to more accurate customer quotations and product margin control. Quality improves as more consistent and better-prepared information reduces rework and creates fewer demands on management. Sales configurators become possible which can automate product selection and quote generation. A further step can lead to design automation, where the output can drive 3D modelling, drawings and document creation together with downstream processes.
The greater the product complexity usually increases the urgency for standardisation. Breaking down complex products into smaller re-usable sub-assemblies simplifies the management of the product and allows configuration to take place. Unless a company manufactures completely bespoke unrelated products there will always be opportunities to standardise the product. Parametric input variables are used whenever products need to be resized by user requirements. Defining selection and configuration rules is essential to ensure the product behaves correctly.
Product standardisation is essential to remain competitive
In today’s competitive world product standardisation is no longer an option, it is essential for any business manufacturing similar but different products. Product standardisation techniques can transform the business quickly. On occasions, companies may find it difficult to allocate sufficient resources to complete standardisation work, and it may be necessary to delegate some of this work. The rewards however of completing standardisation can be significant across the business and will usually more than compensate the investment made.
The concept of product standardisation is simple, however delivering product standardisation successfully is difficult to achieve. Gatehouse Design has had 27 years experience in product standardisation, product configuration and design automation. We would like to help you plan and implement successfully the standardisation of your products.
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