In some organizations product development costs are high due to a number of reasons. Sometimes the R&D department has to exist inside a manufacturing plant which is streamlined towards manufacturing. Inefficiencies can arise because of the following:
- Using suppliers who have supplied a high volume of parts or assemblies to a company for a long time and who are unsuitable for prototype manufacture.
- Relying on production to help out with testing a prototype.
- R & D engineers may have other responsibilities including supporting production and after sales.
- Engineers may use entrenched ideas and ways of doing things due to the company culture.
- Inter-departmental tensions or internal company politics may hamper the product development process.
- Design by committee.
- Engineers may feel like a small cog in the system and not take project ownership.
- Being constrained to using manufacturing orientated software, processes and systems to design prototypes.
- The manufacturing process is streamlined for reducing cost and lead times. High quality, skill and flexibility is required for prototype manufacture.
A small engineering design company can help solve these problems by:
- Easily controlling the pace of development and investment.
- The fact that good designs often arise from small dedicated teams.
- Designing prototypes using software and document management systems appropriate for prototype development.
- Being outside the company. This allows for lateral thinking, for an appraisal of competitive products in the marketplace and for using ideas from other industries / technologies.
- Using suppliers appropriate for prototype manufacture.
- Ensuring knowledge is kept in-house by using non disclosure agreements.
- Being fully dedicated to the project,and taking full responsibility.
- Not being subject to internal inter-departmental tensions and politics.
- Using external experts who’s specialized knowledge will speed up the development process.
One of the disadvantages of using an external company can be losing design control and proprietary information. However a good working relationship in conjunction with using non-disclosure agreements can lead to good results. Get in contact with us if you want to minimize costs and rapidly develop a product.