How to adopt the design-to-cost process for your next product

Moss and Schmidt design to cost blog | Industrial Design

How to adopt the design-to-cost process for your next product

As much as industrial designers combine function and form to create exceptional product design, there is another consideration that is key to the success of every project. This consideration is adopting a design-to-cost approach that can provide a more efficient strategy for production.

However, this process is not meant to be merely a cost-cutting exercise. Although saving on costs is a benefit that it offers to industrial design, 

So, how do you adopt the design-to-cost process for your next product? Here are some guidelines to consider.

1. Start at the concept phase with a customer-first approach

One of the reasons why you should consider your target costs early on for a new product is due to the impact that it will have on your target customer. Expensive production costs, which could lead to equally expensive products, could impact your product’s viability in the market as well as your target consumer’s willingness to pay. 

Luckily, you can pre-empt excessive costs early on by applying a strategic approach through a design-to-concept process. This will ensure that you have a cost-effective approach in place that makes sense as much for design and production as it does for end-users.

2. Determine the “nice-to-haves” versus crucial elements of your product

Together with your cost considerations, you need to decide whether there are some aesthetic elements of your product that your consumers would enjoy, but wouldn’t necessarily need to sway their decision to pay, versus crucial elements that they must have. Say, for instance, you are designing an electric shaver for men. Aspects such as blade quality and being cordless would be vital, whereas various colour options wouldn’t be much of a deal-breaker.

Ultimately, your product needs to make sense in its design as much as it does with its costing.

3. Consider each cost factor

When you are looking at material costs and labour costs, it is important to draw up your cost loads as this will impact your overall budgeting too.

Considerations for materials would, for instance, include which elements would be better sourced locally compared to externally, as well as how direct labour costs are closely aligned with each element. During the cost factor phase, a design-to-cost approach can also help you pinpoint if any adjustments need to be made to your product design to make it more efficient or less cumbersome.

Design-to-cost: the approach you need for product success!

Having a design-to-cost mindset will not only benefit your budget – it will also enhance your business and make it more efficient as you dig deep and carefully analyse the effect of each component of your product design.

Once you have this methodology in place for your business, you will be capable of making more informed product design decisions that will benefit your consumers too – and they will without a doubt be more willing to pay for the exceptional quality they receive!

If you are ready to experience an exceptional journey for your next project, contact us today. We would love to hear from you and to provide the personal touch that we have become known and respected for!