What elements are needed to achieve a successful product launch? First, the product development team should consist of product design engineers, quality control engineers, and manufacturing personnel, as well as marketing and finance personnel, and any stakeholders on the executive team. A top-down understanding of the importance of good design is essential to create and promote a good culture in your business, as is a process that can accurately track and analyze the metrics discussed in this article. Whatever the process, software, or internal system you use, you must ask yourself the following questions:
1. Can I accurately track and measure the cost of quality of our design decisions and process proactively?
2. Does my finance team understand the importance of design decisions early in the process, and do they have an accurate way to measure total accounted costs before prototype and full production?
3. Are we producing an easily manufacturable device, or are we our own worst enemy, throwing road blocks and cost drivers into our own process due to a lack of design due diligence?
4. Do we have a focus on weight reduction?
5. Do we have a process and mandate in place to create the simplest design possible, or are we overburdening ourselves with overengineered designs?
6. Do we have processes and measures to get out our product on time and on cost, or are we at the mercy of a series of variables that we can neither track nor control?
7. Do we seek innovation outside of our own industry, or are we stuck with our own ways and trapped by our own bad habits?
8. Do we have methods for assessing the sustainability factors in our products, or is this an area that we ignore?
9. Do we exceed best manufacturing practices, or are we just meeting the minimum standards?
10. Does our culture promote thinking outside the box, or are we firmly stuck in one?
Alistair Munro, is both director and business development manager for Lean Design Canada, operating out of Windsor and Toronto, ON, Canada. Lean Design Canada is the sole affiliate of Munro & Associates in Canada, but the firm operates independently and in other global regions. Munro is also the current editor and main content contributor to the
Munro Report, the newsletter of Munro & Associates. He also contributes to several other online and printed magazines and newspapers, most notably
Manufacturing Engineering, a publication of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Contact him at [email protected]