Overcoming cost challenges
Developing a product to meet a price point is a very common R&D constraint. Similarly taking existing products that have become uncompetitive for cost reasons and which require re-engineering to create a lower price point is another challenge.
Sagentia believes that the issue of end-cost is a fundamental part of the development process and needs to be understood and tackled right at the beginning of the development process. It is important to address cost early to avoid following paths which ultimately result in a product at the wrong price point. We believe that if the cost target is not met then the project is deemed to have failed.
- Challenging the scope of the product – our experience tells us that it is possible sometimes to make small de-scoping changes to the specification of a product which can reduce the end costs hugely
- Bill of Materials (BoM) analysis – it is imperative when looking at cost to work with cost-effective alternative approaches and materials. This means that the systems architecture needs to take account of the limitations that will come with less-expensive options
- Consideration of the system architecture – decisions such as using off-the-shelf components vs. custom developments are made with the end cost in mind
- Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) – ensuring that the design fits the manufacturing process is an extremely important part of cost management
We frequently work with clients on innovating around existing products, addressing the issues of product cost and improving technical performance to extend product life. Our approach, Product Challenge, combines front-end market understanding with product development experience and is particularly appropriate for complex electromechanical devices where our expertise in systems engineering, electromechanical actuation, and sensing can be applied.
We work with you to identify the commercial objectives and then use applied science and knowledge of materials and associated manufacturing to provide specific recommendations on product roadmaps. Importantly we take a more holistic view of the product cost and contributory factors, fundamentally challenging the current implementation and specification. Considering the product at a system level, rather than at component or sub-system level allows more innovative solutions to be generated.