• 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 ]

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    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)
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    Medical Devices Manufacturers Software Selection Guide
  • How do consumer packaged goods companies manage quality? Please share your thoughts in our short Quality Management Survey. Tech-Clarity invites you to join a research study on best practices in quality management.  If you've already completed the survey  –> please share with a colleague or you social media friends using the “Share/Save” buttons above. If you haven’t taken the survey  –> please: Take the survey now Complete the survey and receive a free copy of the final report. In addition,  25 eligible* respondents will win a $20 Amazon gift card. *See rules and … [ read more ]

    How do CPG Companies Manage Quality? (Survey Invitation)

Survey Says … No Relief from Compliance and Sustainability Pressure

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A quick peek into some research on … how companies design their products to meet product environmental compliance, sustainability, and product cost targets. The report, Understanding Product Development Trade-offs: Designing Products for Compliance, Cost, and Sustainability, discusses how engineers and product developers can address these important aspects of their products early in the product lifecycle when designs are still flexible. Survey results and interviews show that while the market understanding of compliance and sustainability has matured, manufacturers are still facing the same challenges – and it has not gotten any easier.

The Research Findings

The report first talks about the challenges and the impacts that manufacturers face. By comparing to results in our 2009 report on Product Environmental Compliance, we were able to characterize some trends. From a compliance perspective, the regulations facing companies are relatively unchanged. The EU’s REACH and RoHS still top the list. To be clear, the regulations that companies are focusing on are the same regulations – but the regulations themselves have grown more challenging as they grow in scope and cover more substances.

One interesting finding is that more companies reported significant business impacts from these requirements. The table below, in fact, is a clear indication that more companies are suffering. One of the most interesting facts is that the only category that shows fewer people in it is “None” – which is down by 70%. Not a good sign!

So what is making this challenging for manufacturers? I will try to summarize the findings here:

  • About one-half (51%) have difficulty understanding design tradeoffs
  • Companies have a hard time collecting information on compliance, sustainability, and cost
  • Survey respondents had difficulty making the right information available to decision makers in a timely manner

There is more detail on each of the individual areas in the report, it is worth a read (or at least a skim to look at the charts and callouts).

Implications for Manufacturers

So what does this mean for today’s manufacturer? The job is getting more difficult, and gathering and sharing information so people can make good design decisions is a huge challenge. But there is hope. As the report says, only 11% of the companies surveyed have information on cost, compliance, and sustainability in a single system. In fact, 41% have disconnected systems for each. No wonder companies have difficulty making tradeoffs. As you have heard me say before, there is a significant opportunity for manufacturers to address compliance as a part of their PLM implementation. This is also true for other product analytics and “design for” processes such as cost and sustainability that rely on good product data.

So that was a quick peek into some recent research on designing products for compliance, cost, and sustainability. I hope you found it interesting. Does the research reflect your experiences? Do you see it differently? Let us know what it looks like from your perspective. Please feel free to review more free research and white papers about PLM and other enterprise software for manufacturers from Tech-Clarity. In particular, you might be interested in my views on designing for product cost and product cost management (PCM) or my post on the need to reduce the compliance tax on product innovation.

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