(Simpler Consulting LP: Pittsburgh) -- Simpler Consulting LP, a global management consulting firm that helps companies improve processes to stimulate business-affecting results, has launched the Simpler Design System (SDS), a new service that assists organizations with the product development process. SDS applies lean management techniques that enable companies to save time and money in getting high-quality products to market across the manufacturing, high-tech, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries.
“As businesses in every sector are clawing their way out of a recession, launching new products that deliver value to customers and new revenue streams is critical, but no easy task,” says Marc Hafer, CEO of Simpler. “The ability to launch products quickly and cost effectively has never been more important but also never more challenging. With SDS, product cost reductions of 25 percent or more are common even when redesigning mature products, while time to market will typically show reductions in the order of 50 percent.”
Today, businesses in most sectors are under increased pressure to adopt improved quality controls without sacrificing creativity. Product engineering has become progressively more dependent on technology and paperwork often overlooking the many fundamentals of innovation and design. As a result, companies are investing a large amount in research and development to bring new products to market but do not get the desired return on investment. Bringing a new product to market while the world’s economies are still on the road to recovery is an expensive proposition. The 2010 Global R&D Forecast, created by Battelle analysts and the editors of R&D Magazine, predicts overall global R&D will increase 4.0 percent in 2010 to $1,156.5 billion from $1,112.5 billion spent in 2009.
SDS provides a suite of management techniques that ensures that the pace of knowledge capture and decision making supports the creative process of product development. This allows better decisions to be made throughout the product development process—leading to reduced cost and lead time to make a product while at the same time improving its quality.
Elekta, a provider of innovative technological advances in radiation oncology, turned to Simpler Consulting in July 2008 to help expedite the product development process of its new multileaf collimator.
“In the medical device industry, the ability to get a product to market quicker and ahead of the competition is critical,” says Rob Westrick, vice president of business transformation at Elekta. “By implementing SDS and reducing risk at an early stage of the project, we were able to do a much better job of minimizing manufacturing, assembly, servicing, cost, and performance issues, and still unveil the new collimator on time at the largest industry meeting of the year—the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.”
Establishing flow (i.e., projects, knowledge creation, decisions, information, and enterprise knowledge) with new product development is instrumental in eliminating waste and reducing time to market. It is a key component of creating a lean process, when work is done on demand in a continuous sequence of value-adding steps without delays, reversals, or rework.
“In new product development many challenges exist that prevent flow,” says Hafer. “SDS provides the techniques to overcome obstacles to flow—including how to efficiently front load projects to identify and solve problems during early phases, manage knowledge, manage risk, effectively perform several tasks at the same time, focus design on customer need, and prevent endemic rework.”