Did you know that 70%-80% of a product’s development costs are determined by the choices made by the engineering department during the design process? This instructive statistic is exactly why engineering teams who seek operational excellence are focusing on the design process.
So where should you start in your quest for operational excellence? Studies show that a critical element for the overall success of commercializing a product profitably entails having strong and effective collaboration between all groups from the very inception of the product development cycle. These groups include: design engineering, manufacturing, procurement and product engineering. Better collaboration enables your design engineering team to use valuable supply chain information early in their product design activities.
More effective product development
To effectively manage this type of operationally-focused product development, an enterprise needs effective processes in several key areas: design control, document control, and engineering change processes. In addition, engineering must have efficient management of processes that expands beyond the company’s boundaries into the entire supply chain. Processes such as supplier qualification and first article inspection are critical for the ability to meet demanding margin targets.
Executives in engineering must also have access to relevant process metrics and trends so that they can keep their fingers on the effectiveness of their product engineering activities. They need to be creative and efficient – while at the same time, maintain compliance with various regulatory standards (e.g. RoHS, WEEE, FDA, ISO).
As part of the overall strategy and the efficient use of capital, more and more companies are focusing on specific core competencies and partnering with other companies to achieve more efficient product design and manufacturing. This environment is creating a strong need for sharing of accurate product information both within the enterprise as well as throughout the supply chain.
Engineering: what are your critical processes?
Critical areas for engineering during the product development process include:
- Tracking of design revisions, product structure changes and synchronization of product information such as product requirements, design specifications, assembly procedures, manufacturing instructions, and compliance.
- Sharing of accurate information with design, engineering, and manufacturing partners
- Managing the life cycle of products and configurations
- Managing engineering change processes
- Accessing and incorporating supply chain information into the product development processes
So how do you ensure that all of these critical processes are being met? By using software that is focused on ensuring operational excellence for technology and medical device manufacturing companies.
QuadRite’s RitePro™ solution provides a built-in, best practice based information model, business rules and use cases to address the engineering group as well as facilitate the requirements of the other departments in the enterprise. RitePro is an out-of-the-box application that can be deployed within days, instead of months. As a fully web-native application that is offered as a cloud-based or in-house solution, it minimizes the IT support need and enables ease of information access and sharing across the extended enterprise.
RitePro includes the following capabilities:
- Product Structure and Configuration Management
- Managing Design Specifications
- Managing Engineering Review Process
- Managing Design Deliverables and Phase Gates
- Managing Test Protocols and Results
- Managing Bill of Materials
- Managing closed loop Engineering Change Processes
- Active collaboration for problem solving and issue resolution
- Enabling Integration with Supply Chain Systems
For example, Topcon Medical Laser Systems has been using RitePro software to streamline engineering and manufacturing processes for several years. Their story was recently highlighted in the publication, Today’s Medical Developments – click here to read the article. To learn more about QuadRite and RitePro, click here.