High-quality industrial design ensures products will be as attractive as possible, a critical factor when more and more customers purchasing online, where visual appeal can literally sell more products. However, inefficient development processes in early-stage design can result in wasted efforts and longer time to market.
Streamlining the conceptual design process can reduce time to market and increase revenue. Tech-Clarity’s research study of 187 manufacturing companies examines how time is wasted in industrial design and offers best practices to avoid non-value-added work, including:
- Supporting reuse by leveraging the concept design during detail design
- Facilitating internal feedback with more-efficient design reviews
- Involving customers as early as possible
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways top-performing companies leverage industrial design best practices to beat the competition to market. Or, feel free to download the complete Tech-Clarity eBook Seven Industrial Design Practices that Reduce Non-value-added Work.
When industrial and detail designers use separate tools to develop and perfect concept designs, it can be difficult for detail designers to leverage the extensive work that was already done upstream. As a result, detail designers lose valuable time recreating what already exists in the concept model.
Industrial designers report that such challenges result in:
- Lost productivity (49%)
- Higher cost (44%)
- Lost opportunities for innovation (35%)
- Poor quality and errors (31%)
To help overcome these ineffective methods, industrial designers at top-performing companies use a single tool or a CAD tool that interprets native industrial design data without the need for conversion. As a result, they can avoid wasted efforts recreating the concept model. This is likely a significant reason why top performers have more-effective development processes.
Facilitating Internal Reviews
Design reviews are among the most common methods for gathering internal design feedback. However, many factors associated with design reviews consume time. Industrial designers report the most time-consuming aspects of design reviews are:
- Preparing design files for review (48%)
- Communicating design aspects during the meeting (44%)
- Capturing all feedback during the meeting (50%)
Top performers have adopted several practices that improve design-review efficiency. They are most likely to share concepts and designs as a 3D digital model as they solicit feedback. A 3D model can help improve communication because it enables easier visualization of the final product, especially for less technically savvy staff. Also, sharing existing 3D files is less time-consuming than creating presentation slides or screenshots.
Top performers have also found several other practices that improve design-review efficiency. For example, if all stakeholders have real-time visibility of the design, they can provide feedback throughout the process instead of waiting for the formal design review. Industrial designers also won’t waste as much time preparing for the meeting because stakeholders will already have access to the design details.
Soliciting Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is invaluable for ensuring a product will meet market needs. In fact, 71% of industrial designers say more early customer feedback would save them time. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to involve customers sooner in the development process, for many reasons.
The biggest reason involves the lack of security in sharing intellectual property (IP) with customers via design files while developing a product. However, customers cannot truly evaluate design ideas and product potential from flat images, and physical prototypes are costly and take time to build.
Also, it can be challenging to capture and associate customer feedback with specific design details. Finally, the more customers involved in a review, the better, but it is more time-consuming.
A single integrated design collaboration platform, like those available with 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Cloud Offer, is a great way to make efficient design reviews possible. You can share 3D designs via a web link, provide all stakeholders with real-time access, and automatically capture all communication and design data on the cloud-based platform.
By using connected tools you can access SOLIDWORKS-integrated industrial design and detailed design capabilities, while enabling consistent and timely access to a single design model as it evolves. This makes access to and feedback on design data possible from any location with internet access.
Imagine an environment in which it is easy to communicate concerns, identify issues, and propose resolutions at any stage of the development process. Communicating product ideas is a snap because all team members, from engineers to managers to executives, can participate in the design review process with 3D digital mock-ups.
Potential issues are discovered earlier in the process, so they are less costly to resolve. Designers have instant access to updates made by other contributors. This enables real-time concurrent design, enhanced decision-making, and faster design maturity—enabling you to beat the competition to market and improve the bottom line.
Download the Tech-Clarity eBook Seven Industrial Design Practices that Reduce Non-value-added Work or contact your local reseller if you have additional questions.