Lead times from 6 months to 3-6 weeks. Engineering time from 1-2 hours to 15-30 minutes. Standards & Processes turn the biggest bottlenecks into the most consistent performers.
Creating automotive design Standards & Processes may sound difficult, but will save your businesses TIME + MONEY. These are two different things, but will work whether you are starting a new product line or revamping an existing line.
STANDARDS – WHAT YOU PRODUCE
Standards are unique to each company / brand. You must determine what your product is (how it’s differentiated from your competitors), and create rules for you and your employees to follow whenever creating, updating, or expanding your product line.
By identifying unique product properties, you simultaneously simplify your options. This enables you to pre-complete routine design / engineering tasks, as well as anticipate upcoming needs.
Simplifying is not limiting, rather it’s doing a better job of speaking your customer’s language. For example, high end / luxury brands do not exist to be “all things to all people.” They speak to a specific audience and everyone knows it. This principle applies to lifestyle and economy brands as well, because each has their own target market with its own set of expectations.
When you create brand standards, a few things simultaneously happen:
1 – You drill deep into exactly what your customers want.
2 – You don’t waste time making products that won’t sell or speak to your customers.
3 – You maximize the efficiency of production.
4 – You’ll be able to produce products faster and deliver them sooner.
5 – You’ll be positioned to create product lines / series within your brand that offer variety – but maintain a consistent brand language.
All of these work together to strengthen your brand’s visibility and position in the marketplace, thereby increasing your sales. When you get to the heart of delivering the product your customers desire, you attract more customers.
- Simplify engineering
- Save time
- Decrease supply complexity
- Improve consistency
- Decrease errors
PROCESSES – HOW YOU PRODUCE
To create processes, you must determine exactly how you produce your product. Creating documentation enables you to determine how to streamline efforts, as well as optimize your design and engineering efforts.
I’ve had success with these tasks in two major scenarios: starting a new product line, and revamping an existing line. In order to explain how these work together, I’ll use examples of working with an existing line and a startup product line…
SUCCESS WITH NEW & EXISTING LINES
REVAMPING AN EXISTING LINE
When I began working with ADV.1 the situation was dire. There was no engineering department, few drawing standards, and inconsistent styles. There was also a 6-month backlog of orders which had to be engineered to keep the company alive.
At that time, engineering files took roughly 1-2 hours each, with difficult applications taking 4+ hours each.
I determined the best course of action would be to revamp the entire lineup, and only engineer the updated styles. Since many of the orders had been placed based upon photos of the old, inconsistent styles, I kept the basic styles intact, while updating all of the detailing.
I also started to create semi-standard profiles that would work on multiple vehicles, rather than designing new profiles for each order.
When my systems were fully implemented, any order using existing files could be engineered and sent for final approval within 15-30 minutes.
With the addition of another engineer, the backlog was finally cleared, and at peak production we were running about a 3 day turnaround in the engineering department.
How did ADV.1 fare? Sales went from $250K per month to $1M per month in the time I was there.
STARTING A NEW PRODUCT LINE
Starting a new product line involves its own challenges, however it also presents unique opportunities. 1221 Wheels started in 2016 with a clean sheet, so I’ve been able to use my experience to create a line which would be flexible, consistent, and support many future updates.
1 – By establishing specific details which can be applied to any design, I keep design consistency.
2 – By designing profiles using existing application data, I can keep the program efficient.
This system also allows for custom designs and private label styles. As a startup, the goal of 1221 is to allow a full spectrum of designs and design services to cater to the unique demands of the custom forged wheel industry. Technical precision, custom-built machinery, and unheard of runout tolerances have already positioned 1221 to be an industry game changer.
Would you like a Consultation?
I can help you streamline your efforts and develop Standards & Processes for your business.