Manufacturers consistently do not meet new product development delivery dates. According to Tech-Clarity, manufacturers miss project launch dates 45 percent of the time. Another recent Tech-Clarity survey found that engineers waste about one-third of their time on non-value-added work—that’s more than a day a week.
Are engineers to blame?
The answer is more complex than you might think. Of course, there are tools and approaches to product development that can keep your engineers more focused on what’s important, but the full answer does not rest on engineers’ shoulders.
Tech-Clarity’s research report How to Stop Missing Product Development Due Dates reveals the secrets of how top-performing companies that are consistently hitting delivery targets. Let’s take a brief look at just one issue from the report: Individual productivity versus process efficiency.
An Intricate Relationship
First, let’s be clear that manufacturers can’t choose between individual engineering efficiency and product development speed and agility. They are inextricably related. New product development relies on efficient and effective engineering, but developing a successful product requires input and coordination from multiple disciplines and departments, including the supply chain.
Process Efficiency Matters
When it comes to meeting product development due dates, inefficient processes can make even the most efficient engineering teams fail to meet time-to-market objectives. Tech-Clarity researchers asked what has a larger positive impact on meeting product development due dates:
- Productivity of individual contributors (designers, engineers, etc.)
- Overall process efficiency (workflows, project execution, collaboration, working as a team, etc.)
- Both equally
Only fourteen percent of the respondents indicated that individual productivity had the most significant impact. However, about one-quarter of respondents believe it has the same impact as NPD process efficiency. The majority state, however, that overall process efficiency has a more significant impact.
But that doesn’t mean [individual] efficiency should be ignored.
Instead, the results show that process inefficiency significantly compounds the issue of wasted time in engineering and causes companies to miss their product time-to-market deadlines. Manufacturers need both: higher levels of process efficiency and individual productivity. Most manufacturers recognize that they get a “first mover’s advantage,” including higher market share and price premiums, by getting to market before their competitors.
Missing a product development window may have even more severe consequences for some companies because they miss new product introduction opportunities at specific industry events or seasons. To quantify this, respondents from the Tech-Clarity survey say missing product development due dates negatively impacts profitability by 37 percent, on average.
Finally, Tech-Clarity researchers found that top-performing companies are more likely to streamline their new product development processes by creating digital continuity. Learn more by downloading Tech-Clarity’s research report How to Stop Missing Product Development Due Dates to learn how you can adopt new product development practices and tools that will help your company to more consistently hit target delivery dates.
The concept of digital continuity includes leveraging a common data model across the stages of new product development. This common product definition with full digital continuity creates a cohesive digital thread.
SOLIDWORKS® empowers you to work smarter by focusing on high-value activities while letting the system handle more repetitive, routine, and time-consuming tasks, which translates into an optimized design environment that enables you to focus on innovation while accelerating the product development process.
Connecting SOLIDWORKS to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which many SOLIDWORKS customers have done in the past 18 months, enables off-the-charts collaboration with more people more easily—colleagues, customers, and vendors—regardless of location. Plus, all the data can be managed from a single location in a secure, cloud-based environment. This portfolio of solutions will help you achieve a digital thread throughout your product development activities.
If you’d like to learn more right now, contact your local reseller to see how SOLIDWORKS and the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help you maximize process efficiency to bring more innovative products to market faster.