- framing the project - definition of main and secondary results, limitations and assumptions, success criteria
- collecting data - collecting information on currently used solution or solutions available on the market, benchmarking
- analyzing data - analysis of collected data, finding possible improvements, changes, features that product should have
- selecting options - development of project options (various scenarios of achieving results), comparing options, choosing best option.
Concept engineering in costumer's environment
Concept engineering includes a process that combine two alternate levels of showing product. First one is the level when something is being design - this level is based on predictions and analisis. Second one is the level of acquired knowledge - this level is based on experience that company had obtained. Combining those two depictions allows to understand costumers expectations and how to meet and measure them (G.W. Burchill 1993, pg.18) Acording to costumer's analysis we can specify those five stages of concept product development:
- Analysis of costumer's environment - development team is obligated to discribe types of costumers and their environment to meet expectations of future buyers. We can say that this stage is a type of client's environment exploration.
- Changing into requirements - transformation of data collected in stage one into requirements that product need to enclose.
- Operations on collected data - main purpose of this stage is to ensure that main requirements that developing team explored in previous stages are easily measured.
- Generating concepts - at this stage team is using many perspectives of development to meet expectations. All problems with product's requirements need to find a way to solve them. Main, complex problems are putrefy into smaller, easier to solve.
- Choosing concept - at final stage development team choose right product concept. Thanks to previous stages team have many solutions to meet expectations (G.W. Burchill 1993, pg.20-23).
Meaning of product form or design
Concept engineering helps develop the type of good or service that will be wanted on marketplace. Form and design of product definded by this model are undisputed features causing succes of goods on their marketplace (P.H. Bloch 1995, pg.1)
Analyzing costumer's enviroment, searching for their expectations determine design and form of product. Concept engineering prevents situation in which company manufacture goods that are not selling in scale that manufacturer expected or are not selling at all. The importance of meeting costumer's expectations is unquestioned. In model of concept engineering expectations are not only defined but they are change into requirements of product development process.
New product can bind many problems that company tries to solve at many stages of development. This is cause of many changes in disign of goods or services. Concept engineering model can help to avoid this issue becouse of full preparation on development stages (S. Khandani 2005, pg.5).
New product development need to involve customers. Customers’ point of view on new products are analysing less often then providers’ (K. Brockhoff 2003, pg.1). Customers cooperation can be unsolicited which mean that potencial client can make complaints or suggestions. It is more common when comapny expands the range of products and customers feedback is linked to present goods and services but manufacturer can improve concept creation with those suggestions. Of course, suggestions are more desirable than complaints but both ways are easier and cheaper to collect. Every analysis is connected with costs of making it. If costumer is telling his thoughts about manufacturing goods, company do not need to search this information for itself (K. Brockhoff 2003, pg.3-5).
Schedule of Concept engineering
In entire model of concept engineering significant is plan of process. Model is based on team and individual work, but all working sessions need to be well coordinated. Really important section of plan is schedule of all stages. There is not one imposed period wherein all companies’ development teams need to make the plan. Concept engineering can be completed in term that depend on product type and customer’s environment. Especially stage of collecting data about customers can take a lot of time. Team need to understand environment within they will analyze customers expectations. Moreover, they need to know exactly what methods of analysis will be the best in their case. These factors contrubutes to time that is need to spend on preparation and making research (G.W. Burchill 1993, pg.153-155).
- Avramenko, Y., & Kraslawski, A. (2006). Similarity concept for case-based design in process engineering. Computers & chemical engineering, 30(3), 548-557.
- Bloch, P. H. (1995). Seeking the Ideal Form: Product Design and Consumer Response. "Journal of Marketing", July 59(3), pg.16.
- Brockhoff, K. (2003). Customers’ perspectives of involvement in new product development. "International Journal of Technology Management", 26(5-6), 464-481.
- Brown, S. L., & Eisendhardt, K. M. (1995). Product development: Past research, present finding, and future directions. The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 343-378.
- Burchill, G. W. (1993).Concept Engineering: an investigation of TIME vs. MARKET orientation in product concept development. PhD Thesis.
- Khandani, S. (2005). Engineering design process. Education transfer plan, August 2005.
Author: Maciej Soczówka