Maintaining a high level of quality and service throughout your design and manufacturing processes is necessary to keep customers happy. Improvements in your agility, in particular your responsiveness to customer product requests, should be an open-ended topic for any engineering team. As requests for modifications or upgrades cannot be predicted, your business model must include some key agile manufacturing principles.
Following the core principles of the Agile Manifesto will provide valuable insights into how and where your processes need to evolve. However, this manifesto was written with software design in mind, prompting the question: what core agile manufacturing principles do I need to be most concerned with? Asking the right questions is perhaps more difficult than finding the answers, so adding the expertise of a product development company is a prudent choice.
Before starting your search for the ideal consulting fit, there are three important principles to implement that will aid your inceptive understanding. Equipping yourself with these precepts early on will give you the foreknowledge to make immediate changes to your product development strategies, and give you a concise list of questions to ask any product development company to determine the best fit for your manufacturing goals.
#1 Establishing Channels for Customer Communication
Coordinating and encouraging productive communication between the customer and your design and engineering teams is the perfect place to start. Building processes that ensure a rapid response to customer inquiries and identified market changes will keep design and production processes nimble, and on track to meet deliverables regardless of timeline. Getting to this point places a high level of importance on your customer and production communication processes.
Well organized and concise communication channels present you with the capability to perform rapid cycles of design and production, and the ability to deliver on multiple versions of each product. Communication promotes customer collaboration in all stages of the design process, giving them a higher level of investment and visibility while ensuring that the designs created are highly accurate, documented representations of the customer’s expectations.
Building deeper customer relationships come naturally when using agile communication controls. Working as a team with the customer adds a layer of flexibility into design development that yields a higher impact on shortening product deliverable timelines. By keeping the customer in the know throughout the design process, costly delays and re-design work is avoided, giving you more flexibility in all stages of design and implementation tasks.
#2 Build Flexibility Into Design and Manufacturing Processes
Agile manufacturing presents you with attractive options that can be leveraged to build flexibility into your processes. Adding lean manufacturing into your product design project flow is a realistic and game-changing option for product initiatives. Additionally, implementing a systemic, lean approach to your will maximize your flexibility to rapidly create products, but with the same high level of quality assurance.
This has a powerful and positive impact on your customer response times, including any prototyping that may be required. Minimizing turnover time for customer-requested changes into viable products is exactly what agile manufacturing is all about. The cutting-edge, organized nature of agile manufacturing places a high emphasis on adding motility to your design and production process flow.
Capturing the essence of agile manufacturing in your development approaches requires seasoned knowledge of modern manufacturing techniques. An expert third party will help you apply a logical approach to how you manage your customer responses by streamlining your design and manufacturing processes. Also, the best product engineering partners will give you another set of professional eyes on your design flow, further improving response times and quality control.
#3 Maintain High Levels of Quality Controls
Rapid production does not mean a sacrifice of overall product quality. The addition of another set of professional, experienced eyes on your quality assurance processes will be vital in ensuring high-quality control standards. Giving your project team the ability to utilize the skills and experiences of an outside manufacturing consultant will make the establishment of quality control processes comprehensive.
Creating a concisely laid out audit path will be instrumental in maintaining proper quality controls regardless of the speed of a project. Auditing adds accountability and visibility to each step in the development process. When applied to a product development strategy, all stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the design process. Such practice becomes a highly effective undertaking thanks to the establishment of open communication channels.
Achieving a perfect balance between rapid-response design, effective communications amongst all parties, and accountability in quality controls, brings harmony to your project initiatives. Customers feel valued through the ability to present input at every step of the process. Designers and engineers will have access to requested changes and feedback, allowing them to produce a product from spec with a high degree of confidence.
Can A Partner Help You Apply All Agile Manufacturing Principles?
Adding agile manufacturing to your product development strategy will equip you with a powerful set of tools. Allowing you to rapidly respond to changes in customer expectations and the market. Emphasizing communications, design flexibility, and highly effective quality controls combine, building a solid foundation for applying agile manufacturing principles into a product development strategy.
Adding the services of an outside partner that has in-depth agile manufacturing knowledge to apply to your projects will elevate your chances for product success. The best partner for your product development tasks will be one that relies on collaborative efforts to bring innovative designs and ideas to life. The best part being that your partner will provide you with the most innovative and modern agile manufacturing processes possible.
PRL is a full-service product development company that specializes in all aspects of production, from design to product fabrication and prototyping. Our experts are here to guide you through the full product development process, including the ideation, design, creation, and management of your product idea.