Pressure from customers, regulatory agencies, and shareholders is driving manufacturers to produce higher quality products as they continue to strive for additional cost reductions. Although quality is a key determinate of customer satisfaction and long-term corporate viability, many companies continue to struggle with basics such as data collection, maintaining disparate systems, and enforcing standard operating procedures. Connecting quality processes from the supplier, through production, and out to the end-customer remains an elusive goal for too many manufacturers.
"The Global Product Design Benchmark Report" demonstrates that better performing companies have mastered the quality basics and are leveraging their proficiency in quality to gain competitive advantage. The data that was gathered for this study highlight three major attributes that set best-in-class companies apart from the rest:• Leaders are significantly more likely to have a global quality program in place relative to average performing companies
• Best-in-class companies are four times more likely than average performers and five times more likely than laggards to empower their decision makers with web-based, integrated technologies • Although IT is challenged to integrate disparate applications, leading companies are benefiting from integrated quality systems and about one-third are considering either business intelligence solutions or corporate-wide quality databases.
If managing product development processes was a challenge before, it is not getting any easier as companies continue to adopt global design strategies. Global design has cost benefits that are very attractive to today’s manufacturer, but adds new product lifecycle management (PLM) challenges and intensifies existing problem areas such as protecting intellectual property.