Importance of Product Design Production or operations
strategy is directly influenced by product design for the
(i) As products are designed, all the detailed characteristics
of each product are established.
(ii) Each product characteristic directly affects how the
the product can be made or produced (i.e., process
technology and process design) and
(iii) How the product is made determines the design of the
production system (production design) which is the
heart of production and operations strategy.
Further, product design directly affects product quality,
production costs and customer satisfaction. Hence, the
design of the product is crucial to success in todayâ€™s global
A good product design can improve the marketability of a
product by making it easier to operate or use, upgrading its
quality, improving its appearance, and/or reducing
A distinctive design may be the only feature that significantly
differentiates a product. An excellent design includes
usability, aesthetics, reliability, functionality, innovation, and
appropriateness. An excellent design provides a competitive
advantage to the manufacturer, by ensuring appropriate
quality, reasonable cost, and the expected product features.
Firms of tomorrow will definitely compete not on price and
quality, but on product design.
What Does Product Design Do?
The activities and responsibilities of product design include
I. Translating customer needs and wants into product and
service requirements (marketing).
(i) Refining existing products (marketing).
(ii) Developing new products (marketing, product design
(iii) Formulating quality goals (quality assurance,
(iv) Formulating cost targets (accounting).
(v) Constructing and testing prototype (marketing,
(vi) Documenting specifications (product design).
Reasons for Product Design or Redesign
The most obvious reason for product design is to offer new
products to remain competitive in the market. The second
most important reason is to make the business grow and
increase profits. Also, when productivity gains result in
a reduction of the workforce, developing new products can mean
adding jobs and retaining a surplus workforce instead of
downsizing by layoffs/ retrenchment. Sometimes product design is actually redesign or modified of existing design instead of an
entirely new design. The reasons for this include customer
complaints, accidents or injuries during product use, excessive
warranty claims, or low demand. Sometimes product redesign is
initiated to achieve cost reductions in labor and material costs.
Objectives of Product Design
(i) The overall objective is profit generation in the long run
(ii) To achieve the desired product quality.
(iii) To reduce the development time and cost to the minimum.
(iv) To reduce the cost of the product.
(v) To ensure producibility or manufacturability (design for
manufacturing and assembly).
Factors Influencing Product Design
(i) Customer requirements: The designers must find out the exact
requirements of the customers to ensure that the products suit
the convenience of customers for use. The products must be
designe to be used in all kinds of conditions.
(ii) Convenience of the operator or user: The industrial products
such as machines and tools should be so designe that they are
convenient and comfortable to operate or use.
(iii) Trade-off between function and form: The design should
combine both performance and aesthetics or appearance with
a proper balance between the two.
(iv) Types of materials used: Discovery of new and better materials
can improve the product design. Designers keep in touch with
the latest developments taking place in the field of materials
and components and make use of improved materials and
components in their product designs.