Whether producing a washing machine or a soccer ball, a vacuum-sealed beverage container or even the assembly-line equipment that processes food, manufacturers are focused on the same goal: to produce cutting-edge products at a price that customers will want to pay — and take these products to market faster than anyone else in their sector.
For the retail market, manufacturers are targeting a consumer who is focused on low-cost, durable products that, increasingly, offer energy efficiency or whose green manufacturing bona fides are stated upfront. A product that lacks any of these qualifications may not survive the sales cycle.
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Consumer expectations for home appliances are high: Users demand that a given product will perform day in and day out — and last for many years. Repairs are a major inconvenience, as anyone who has seen laundry pile up while waiting for a service call can tell you. A reputation for reliability is a key product selling point.
Food manufacturing is complex because of the inherent physics, a process that is seamless to the end user. From the design of the equipment that processes food, to the actual manufacturing of food, to the packaging of the final product, even to transportation concerns, the needs of product manufacturers are more demanding than ever. Increasingly, food safety, nutritional value and shelf life are important selling points. And, of course, these improvements need to be made while containing costs.
Great design attracts buyers to consider a piece of furniture, but it is comfort, cost and durability that will make the sale.
Creating successful furniture pieces includes incorporation of robust designs, bold configurations, outstanding performance including consideration of acceptable loads and advanced biomechanics, and well-functioning parts. Durability and design must go hand in hand when designing furniture for the consumer market.
Companies that sell household cleaners, laundry detergents, air fresheners and other home care items are constantly challenged to innovate while maintaining competitive price points. Finding the balance between innovation — which, in consumer language, translates to value-added features, bells and whistles, and improved performance — and cost containment is achieved through simulation driven product development.