Relationship Between Design and Manufacturing

  • How do our existing manufacturing capabilities limit or constrain product design? What portion of these constraints is truly unchangeable and what portion is bureaucratic, procedural, cultural, and/or political?
  • Will our next-generation (or generation-after-next) products require radically new materials or processes? If so, what are we doing now to prepare our manufacturing organization to incorporate those new materials or procedures?
  • How much do our product designers actually understand about the manufacturing process, its capabilities, its leading-edge practices, and next-generation materials and processes?
  • How much of the reluctance to experiment with (or even to become familiar with) manufacturing and process technology is driven by real (as opposed to assumed) assessments of costs and benefits? By product strategies that ignore the potential for process-based product innovation? By history, politics, and culture?
  • Do our accounting practices unduly limit or misdirect investments in process knowledge and innovation? What might be more instructive or revealing measures of return on investment in process knowledge?
  • Do our staffing, compensation, and career development practices contribute to an undervaluation of process knowledge?
  • What exactly are the unwritten rules of product design?

Cash Flow Forecasting: Keeping Your Company One Step Ahead
by Clare C. Jones, CCM Knowledge Center

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