Lean Design refers to a design that maximizes value – both to the customer and to the company’s profitability. Rather than adding new features and functions to a product in an never-ending effort to out-do the competition, lean design focuses on satisfying the customer’s needs at a minimum of cost. It starts with understanding what is of most value to the customer and then developing a design that satisfies this need – no more nor no less.
Our lean design consulting focuses on applying the principles of lean product development that maximize value. We can work with a product development team to apply lean design to their development project or we can provide lean design training. The typical consulting that we support facilitating a product team applying lean design is as follows:
- Understanding customer needs. Rather than assume an organization understands customer needs, an honest appraisal of their needs starts with a voice of the customer (VOC) research. We can provide training in conducting a voice of the customer investigation, we can assist in planning voice of the customer research, and we can support the actual VOC research.
- Establish target cost. Based the the VOC research, we can assist Marketing or Product Management determine the target price and work with Finance to derive a target cost. We can conduct target cost training as needed.
- Establish product requirements. After a thorough VOC investigation, it is important to assure that customer needs are accurately translated into the essential product requirements and appropriate trade-offs are made between customer needs and cost based on what customer truly value. We can facilitate this process with quality function deployment (QFD) planning and requirements definition of with QFD training.
- Design to cost. We can then assist with applying design to cost practices or providing design to cost training. We can also facilitate design for manufacturability/assembly (DFM/A) or provide DFM/A training.
- Track achievement. We can implement appropriate process steps to maintain focus on achieving a lean design approach in design reviews and gate reviews and by establishing systems to track achievement of target cost.
For further information, contact Kenneth Crow at DRM Associates
Phone +1 310-377-5569