5 Hidden Obstacles to Reducing Your Development and Operating Cost this Year

Ever year, the majority of companies are looking for ways to reduce development and operating costs. The ease of which is dependent on the methods for managing bills of materials and change order processes. This white paper outlines 5 hidden obstacles that you may encounter when attempting to reduce your development and operating costs this year and how to overcome them.

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to Reducing Your Development & Operating Cost this Year Hidden Obstacles Brought To You By: 2 /// 5 Hidden Obstacles to Reducing Your Development & Operating Cost this Year Quality Issues Missing quality goals and managing quality issues is critical. Using spreadsheets and email to capture complaints, defects, and nonconformities makes it hard to proactively plan, accurately document, or simulate the development of high quality products, especially across teams. Quality issues are less likely to be visible when they are not supported by a streamlined procedure setup to detect, correct, and maintain standards. Capturing quality issues at the part, where and when they happen, and taking corrective actions as part of an integrated software system allows a quicker collaborative review and approval by the groups that need them. Catching and dealing with issues before they become a problem is key to maintaining a lower cost of quality. Reducing quality issues saves costs by minimizing rework, retesting, rebuilding, internal costs of failure such as scrap and lost material, and external failure costs at a customer site due to returns, repairs, and recalls. Preparing and implementing quality plans help prevent quality issues from surfacing. Quality issues can be reduced using integrated methods instead of manual ones at all stages of the value chain, saving money and time. Scrap & Rework These costs are a reality of doing business, and they can come from anywhere. Not having the right parts ordered or available, not communicating changes to materials or procedures, using the wrong specs, discarding many single-use prototypes or tests, and product returns all raise the cost of scrap and delay development and can severely impact a business if not detected until late in the product cycle. The sources of scrap and rework can be hidden, especially when manual processes are used anywhere in the supply chain for documenting and communicating changes, creating or filling bill of materials (BOMs), or on the manufacturing floor. Manually passing forms from person to person is time consuming and distribution lists need constant updating. Keeping up with version control manually is extremely complex especially when multiple people, multiple products, and multiple parts change. Email offers limited options for automating notifications and virtually no option for notifying about upcoming changes. Keeping current and correct is key. The best companies consistently follow documented processes and have digitally managed new product development workflows, product, and project data integrating a wide variety of departments so they can get timely input. Companies managing their bill of materials and change order processes with traditional spreadsheet and email methods will always face un-scalable obstacles towards reducing development time and operating costs. Top performing companies with higher revenue growth, margin expansion, and portfolio expansion found a better way to avoid the five most common barriers and develop new products. 3 /// 5 Hidden Obstacles to Reducing Your Development & Operating Cost this Year Material & Supplier Spend Along with using spreadsheets and email systems for BOM management comes collaboration challenges which lengthen development time and create hidden costs. They don’t offer automation, notification, integration, or visible approvals for changes, and it’s harder to generate unique item numbers in a manual system. Automated, cloud-based BOM management tools now allow attachments that teams can quickly access, provide advance warnings about upcoming planned changes to parts, and the ability to easily compare previous BOMs making changes very easy for all stakeholders to see. They provide forecasting and reporting tools that capture all associated costs of a product or project in development, making it easier to locate hidden material costs that may not have been captured or attached correctly with a manual system. Inefficient Processes Manual and inefficient processes are costly. They erode timelines, budgets, and product revenues. There are many problems hidden inside development processes that may be considered status quo that increase the risk of error, duplication, and escalating costs. Using tools that don’t offer customization or those that are over-customized to the point of only being understood, usable, or readable by a single person also leads to inefficiencies. Looking at development processes to see where they can be optimized, streamlined, made consistent, more compliant, or in some other way improved is the first step. Identifying where new technology can help solve problems is the next. Companies that adhere to their product development processes and integrate them with their data and systems across projects, departments, and lifecycle, have better product development results. Taking a digital approach to integrating systems, building automation into tasks and workflows, and using cloud-based systems helps not only control processes, but it supports employees and provides them ways to collaborate to remove inefficiencies, and lowers logistics costs. Automated, cloud-based BOM management tools now allow attachments that teams can quickly access, provide advance warnings about upcoming planned changes to parts, and the ability to easily compare previous BOMs making changes very easy for all stakeholders to see. 4 /// 5 Hidden Obstacles to Reducing Your Development & Operating Cost this Year Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you’ve ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you’ve experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything. For more information visit autodesk. com or follow @autodesk. Advantage Business Media is a data-driven marketing solutions company leveraging content, technology, and business intelligence to match its audience’s job performance needs with its clients’ solutions. With a diversified portfolio of highly focused websites, e-newsletters, print publications, specialized directories, vertical search databases, conferences, ancillary media vehicles, and associated web-based services, ABM serves more than one million industry professionals in the manufacturing, science, and design engineering markets. For more information visit advantagemedia.com. About Advantage Business Media About Autodesk Time To Market Not focusing on hitting deadlines or paying attention to time to market impacts profitability sometimes causing windows of opportunity to close. If a product is too late to market, companies could lose their selection as a primary supplier, cyclical or seasonal products could be delayed until the following year. Missed launch dates could mean competitors gobble up high margins by being first on the scene impacting revenue targets and market expectations. In most industries, time to market demands have become shorter, putting pressure on new product development teams to shrink product development cycles despite the fact that products are becoming more complex to develop. This obstacle is hidden because it seems to be a no-win balancing act; companies often sacrifice time to market in order to hit other goals. Especially in companies with short life-cycle products, a desirable TTM is fast enough not to miss product and market opportunities and gain high ROI, but long enough to ensure appropriate time to ensure high satisfaction and fit for purpose. The best companies take a more integrated approach to compressing timelines as part of their emphasis on product quality and reliability. Understanding, monitoring, and integrating processes that focus on time allow top performers to get things right the first time. Rarely do spreadsheet or email systems contain reporting functions about the time to complete BOM changes, stages, gates, and tasks that could be emphasized as key performance indicators. Top performing companies implement Product Lifecycle Management solutions to avoid these barriers and out perform their competition to market. Understanding, monitoring, and integrating processes that focus on time allow top performers to get things right the first time.
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