Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help. Product Design and Industrial Design Big Benefits ‘Designers’ can add to the Product Development Process Essential Product Development for Engineers
'Hands-on Help for SMEs' and Smart Technical People'
Small manufacturers can benefit significantly by working closely with a Professional Designer during product development. Commonly referred to as Product Designers and Industrial Designers, these professionals possess specialist skills that compliment engineering.
They help improve products and the broader user experience in fields like aesthetics, ergonomics, usability, graphic design and product feel. Alongside these areas, they can contribute through building a strong brand, better user manuals, improved packaging and enhanced promotional material, including digital videos. Additionally, designers are naturally creative and can bring a fresh perspective to your concept and idea generation activities.
Professional Designers (both Product Design and Industrial Design experts) offer the use of design as a strategic tool to benefit the business. They can assist with the management of the product development process, drawing on their experience to ensure the process flows from requirements-derived customer and market research.
Importantly user design considerations then continue throughout the development and manufacturing process, ensuring you end up with a product the customer wants and values, over and above your competitors. Clearly, this is linked to sales and profit.
Having a professional ‘hold your hand’ in this way is invaluable, particularly if you are undertaking structured product development for the first time. Most small manufacturing businesses simply cannot afford the cost of a failed product development project. Working with an experienced designer is an investment which significantly reduces the hazards associated with this inherently risky activity.
Real Industrial Design Example: Concept to Engineering Product
How to Obtain Professional Design Expertise
For Small Manufacturers, Professional Designer expertise can be accessed through freelance designers or design consultancies. Alternatively, they can build their own in-house design capability by recruiting employees with product design or industrial design skills.
Incidentally, small manufacturers who possess this capability often have tiny internal design teams. Only one or maybe two individuals perhaps, although they are usually well networked, with contacts to get things done within the professional design field. They can also beat the drum, informing others about the value of effective design to the business, as well as seek out design opportunities in the long term, therefore truly embedding the discipline within the organisation.
How the Best-in-Class Blend Great Product Design with First Class Engineering
World famous examples of what can be achieved with a blend of exceptional product design and engineering excellence exist in the automotive and consumer electronics markets. Here the appearance, ease-of-use and product desirability, work hand-in-hand with deeply technical advanced engineering, to ultimately provide a first class user experience.
Marketers describe this combination contributing to a ‘strong brand’ which customers will ultimately pay a premium for. As such, the manufacturer does not have to compete just on cost and can enjoy a greater margin on each product sold. For small manufacturers, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be the aim, as well as an aspiration that guides product development decision making. Professional designers are able to influence and facilitate this.
How designers assist through the whole design to manufacture process
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