• Jim Brown joins Autodesk's Michael Vesperman during this Engineering Live panel discussion moderated by Janine Mooney, Editor in Chief at Advantage Business Media. Jim and Michael share insights from recent survey results and customer experience in an interactive discussion on NPDI.  They share NPD best practices and technology including 7 things that Top Performers in NPDI do differently than the rest. Register for the May 17 event now! … [ read more ]

    Beating the Competition with New Product Development and Introduction (webcast)
  • On Thursday, April 27 at 2:00 EDT, Michelle Boucher will share tips to improve the efficiency of simulation preprocessing.  During this webinar,  Shawn Wasserman, simulation editor at ENGINEERING.com, will join Michelle. This webinar will reveal: The top improvement areas you should focus on to get even more value from simulation Common challenges during the preprocessing phase Best practices to overcome those preprocessing challenges Case studies demonstrating the benefits of efficient preprocessing   Register for this live event.   … [ read more ]

    Webinar: Solving the Bottlenecks of Simulation Preprocessing
  • The Design Data Management Maturity Improves Profitability, Analyzing Best Practices for Managing Designs report shares fresh survey data and interviews. It updates our design data management research to cover new trends like using cloud file sharing applications to manage data. It also drills down on the topics of complexity and non-value added time spent managing design data, and shares metrics on the business improvements available from design data management best practices and technologies. Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report or title to download the full PDF (free of charge, no … [ read more ]

    Design Data Management Maturity Improves Profitability (survey report)
  • How should you improve access to service and parts information? Please share your experience, thoughts, and lessons learned  in this new survey on managing product service and parts information. The survey explores ways to streamline parts information for service technicians and the associated benefits. We will explore questions such as: What are the biggest challenges you should focus on to improve the efficiency of service visits? What type of information would service technicians find most useful ? How can you improve the accuracy of service manuals? We would like to learn what you find hard and … [ read more ]

    Managing Product Service and Parts Information (Survey Invitation)
  • Tech-Clarity's Medical Devices Manufacturers Software Selection Guide helps manufacturers identify the right buying criteria for software solutions to support developing, producing, and servicing medical devices. This buyer's guide also takes into account unique needs for medical device companies including regulatory compliance and support for the FDA's Case for Quality. Tech-Clarity’s Buyer’s Guides go beyond software functionality to provide a framework of requirements that impact implementation success and long-term ROI, including: Software capabilities Implementation User adoption … [ read more ]

    Medical Devices Manufacturers Software Selection Guide

Innovating Through an Economic Downturn


Tech-Clarity Insight: Innovating Through an Economic Downturn – A PLM Action Plan for Small to Mid-Size Manufacturers Facing Difficult Times describes how manufacturers can weather the current, global economic downturn. This paper is intended to help manufacturers develop a strategy to make it through tough times and come out ready to take advantage of the eventual recovery by innovating products and processes along with the inevitable drive to reduce cost.

Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report or title to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Balancing Short and Long Term Innovation Needs
  • Reductive Innovation (decreasing cost)
  • Product Innovation
  • Process Innovation
  • Enabling Innovation
  • Getting to PLM
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Summary

Manufacturers today are facing significantly stalled markets as a result of the current, global economic downturn. Many companies are experiencing weak demand and lower sales, and reacting with budget cuts and other efforts to reduce cost. This can have a particularly large impact on small to mid-size manufacturers that have to make difficult trade-offs between product innovation and cost control. During this time, it is important to recognize that despite the reality of reduced budgets, companies that continue to invest in innovation will fare better during the economic downturn and beyond. This paper is aimed at helping companies develop an action plan that both recognizes the difficult reality that most manufacturers face today, and allows them to continue to invest in the future. Keeping these two priorities in mind will help these smaller manufacturers weather the current economic storm but also be prepared to capitalize on emerging markets during the eventual recovery.

Manufacturers with limited budgets and resources have turned to product innovation, product development and engineering process improvement to support this dual strategy and get the most out of existing resources. These leading companies have adopted a strategy that includes a combination of elements, including:

  • Product (and Market) Innovation
  • Reductive Innovation (innovation to reduce cost)
  • Process Innovation

These improvements are the result of thoughtful innovation strategies implemented with enabling Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technology. Perhaps surprising to some, two of the manufacturers interviewed for this report chose to invest in these technologies during downturns in their business. They used the technology to help drive their recovery and are reaping the rewards today. The conclusions and recommendations of this report highlight practical techniques for other manufacturers to adopt these strategies and technologies, including the importance of adopting a step-by-step approach to improve product innovation performance. This approach, the “PLM Program,” is made up of a series of small, self-sustaining projects – all with positive ROI and rapid payback – that in combination contribute to a broader PLM vision. For mid-sized companies in particular, this incremental approach should allow them to gain the efficiencies and productivity gains they need to make it through the downturn, but also prepare them to respond rapidly to new opportunities that will arise in the recovering economy.


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