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Importance of Product Design in Operations Management

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What is Product Design in Operations Management?

Product design is a crucial aspect of operations management that requires a systematic approach to creating and modifying products that meet customer needs while improving business performance. The process involves identifying customer requirements, assessing feasibility, determining production costs, and evaluating market demand.

Effective product design can help organizations reduce costs, improve product quality, and enhance customer satisfaction, leading to increased profits. However, the product design process requires collaboration between various departments, such as marketing, engineering, and manufacturing, to ensure the final product meets customer expectations.

Design in operations management is the business side of design. Design managers need to speak the language of business and the language of design. Check the importance of product design in operations management in the article below.

The Most Important to Consider About Product Design

The most important criteria for choosing and purchasing a product for the buyer are functional compliance, ease of interaction with the product and comfort of its consumption, ease of transportation, installation, and repair, maintenance and disposal, issues of safety and environmental friendliness of the product, as well as an aesthetically perfect form, not only pleasing to the eye but also allowing to successfully use the product in a modern interior in combination with its other elements. All these aspects of quality form a system of consumer properties of products and services and are within the competence of types of product design.

Product design in operations management is a field of study that uses project management, design, strategy, and supply chain methods to manage the creative process, support a culture of creativity, and build the structure and organization of design. The goal of design management is to create and maintain an effective business environment in which an organization can achieve its strategic and mission objectives through design. Many teams during the planning stage focus on creating high-fidelity designs, which creates references to the traditions of the waterfall model during the implementation stage.

To ensure successful product design, operations managers must carefully consider various factors, such as materials selection, product testing, and supply chain management. This requires a holistic approach to product design that includes the use of technology, such as computer-aided design software, to create prototypes and test product functionality.

The Stages of Product Design in Operations Management

With roles or processes in place to help designers achieve these goals effectively and efficiently, designers can focus on their core business: design and user research. The process of product design in operations management can be divided into the following main stages:

1. Analysis of needs and forecasts for new products.

It is very important at this stage to take into account not the temporary needs of consumers but the future needs of tomorrow based on forecasting.

2. The stage of searching for an idea for a new product.

A characteristic feature of this stage is the organization of a constant flow of new ideas that must correspond to the capabilities of the enterprise.

3. Preliminary evaluation of the idea.

The pre-evaluation phase of a new product performs two tasks. Firstly, clearly unsuitable for implementation projects are rejected, and, secondly, according to the number of ideas left after the screening, the most successful and promising ones are selected that can be recommended for experimental development by the field.

The Main Principles of Product Design in Operations Management

Today it becomes clear that the activities of designers and ergonomists cannot be limited only to the process of designing industrial products. They must – and this is a real fact – actively participate in the processes of control, regulation, and management of that aspect of product quality that falls within their competence. Unfortunately, in the existing quality management system, there is practically no place for representatives of design and ergonomics, which contradicts their real contribution to solving the main task of the system – ensuring the quality of the final product that meets the requirements of consumers.

The main product design and operations management principles are:

  • Start with customer needs.
  • Do not do too much.
  • Driven by data.
  • Simplify everything, even if it costs a lot of work.
  • Create for everyone.
  • Understand the context.
  • Be consistent but not monotonous.