Some hypotheses in product development are hitherto believed to be effective in the business of product development. However, over time those postulations have proven flawed and pose risks harmful to product development efficiency.
Each product development project is different in its way and demands distinct planning processes with continuous adjustments. By not understanding the before-mentioned complex variations, managers endanger their organizations to several risks.
This article discusses some of the risks small businesses face and how to mitigate such risks.
The following are the ways by which small businesses can mitigate risks involved in product development and improve overall business outcomes.
1. Avoid Design With Too Many Features
Adding too many features to a product is often referred to as Feature Creep. It is easy to assume that having too many features in a product will make it better and translate into more value for your consumers.
However, this usually does not turn out to be true. Often, these additional features are unnecessary and only make the product more complex to operate.
This Feature bloat adds to the complexity of the design. Consequently, this can diminish the product’s usability and become obnoxious in the market. Therefore, the need for the product team to develop a lean yet sophisticated product can never be overemphasized.
Deciding what features are relevant in a product can be daunting for the product development team. However, developing a customer-centric design is the backbone of every successful product.
Hence, the team can come together to identify and eliminate irrelevant features from the consumers’ viewpoint. This process, when completed, will leave the team with the most relevant features to incorporate.
2. Avoid Design with Tight Tolerance
Having a design with a tight tolerance of failure can have extensive negative consequences on the product development project. When expectations of victory are relayed after the first attempt, the team is likely to fancy the solution with the lowest risk.
However, these solutions may not be significant to the customer, increasing the chances of producing an unattractive product to the market.
3. Test Design
The most prudent way to approve (or otherwise) proposed product development is to test its design by producing a model or prototype of the product. This prototype can be used to test both the technical feasibility and market acceptability of potential consumers.
This experiment will go a long way in reducing the market risks. Is by testing the design and producing a prototype of the product. This experiment will test both the technical feasibility and potential market acceptability.
The investigation would also aid us in gathering feedback from potential consumers, which will help reduce market risk.
4. Choosing the Right Manufacturing Processes
There are several manufacturing processes available. Choosing the proper Manufacturing process largely depends on various factors such as costs, materials, etc. Let’s check out some examples
Custom plastic injection molding involves administering molten thermoplastic into a mold. This procedure is the most broadly acceptable procedure for the large production of plastic parts.
The molds used in injection molding are profoundly complicated. Hence the need for tight tolerance in manufacturing to produce the best and qualitative parts.
Notwithstanding the substantial starting costs and sluggish phase, injection molding is no match to any of the processes for utilization capacity.
Immediately the initial equipment requirement is set, you can produce tonnes of first-grade parts at a fraction (of the initial cost) of all the other manufacturing processes in a record time.
3D printers manufacture three-dimensional parts right from the CAD prototype by depositing the plastic layer over the other continuously till the object is made.
|3D Printing||Traditional Manufacturing|
|3D Printing needs no sophisticated and extensive machining.||It demands dedicated tools and high-end machines.|
|The production cost of a design part is negligible.||The initial startup costs are significant, and this affects the production cost.|
|3D printing is slow and also labor-intensive.||It is faster with minimal labor requirements for large manufacturing.|
|3D printing enables companies to manufacture parts and models with ease.||It requires expensive industrial tooling and trained operators.|
The vacuum casting manufacturing process involves heating and casting plastic using a mold. Different casting machines are available, from the relatively less expensive table-top equipment to the high-grade auto industrial machine.
Vacuum casting has a relatively low setup cost compared to other techniques.
CNC Machining involves shaping objects by removing surplus materials. This can be achieved with the aid of computer-guided systems.
The startup cost for CNC Machining can be classified as moderate but it varies according to the design processing difficulty. The more complex the object is, the machining time would be extended, and the greater the cost of production per unit.
While it is still the popular process in prototype manufacturing considering it has no limits in quantity and its high quality on product completion.
5. Balancing Cost and Efficiency
Usually, it is believed that producing products in large batches is cost-efficient, quicker, and generates economies of scale. However, much research has different findings. Some scholars claim that the trimming of batch sizes is an essential principle of lean manufacturing.
With the initial implementation in product development being almost invisible, it is crucial to manage perspective and use fewer batches.
This enables the product team to receive quick responses and make cost-effective adjustments. The ideal batch size is dependent mainly on: Holding cost and Transaction cost. The greater the batch size, the bigger the holding costs. And the lower the batch size, the lesser the processing costs.
Therefore, it is imperative to have a balance between these two costs. This will help in avoiding the risk of progressive cost increment.
According to a research paper published by ncsu.edu.com, a computer parts manufacturer brought down the batch size, improved its efficiency by a whopping 220%, and decreased the flaws by 33%.
In conclusion, the assumptions conceived by product development managers will cause several risk concerns linked to product development. It is important to understand how to avoid delays and huge costs through thorough preparation regarding risks that may come up.
These include lesser batch sizes, maximum application of resources, uncommon variations, and focus on a specific project.
A proper understanding will aid mitigate risks connected with product development. Moreover, conceding a certain tolerance for failure in the early stages can produce safer choices to reduce possible future losses.
Therefore, it is of the essence for companies to customize their strategy to each development project and prioritize bringing down risks connected with product development.