HOW ONE COMPANY EXPANDED OVERSEAS BY USING VALUE ANALYSIS
FLOOR CLEANING EQUIPMENT | INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
*Case studies have been anonymized for client confidentiality
Below is one of our favorite case studies of what Value Analysis can do to improve a product or process. We’ve recreated this particular story as a fairy tale of sorts in order to showcase the power of the Value Analysis Improvement Methodology in a brief and entertaining way.
An Arkansas-based company that manufactured and sold floor cleaning equipment sought to expand into the European market. However, they faced the challenge of establishing an international presence. One of the primary hindrances the company faced was the large cost of shipping.
After bringing in an expert business strategy consultant, they were guided through the process of Value Analysis (also known as Value Engineering). Throughout this product improvement process, the company discovered that the best solution to the problem at hand, was to cut costs by reducing the volume of product packaging.
Though reducing product packaging may seem like an obvious solution, tackling this problem was another thing entirely. The team’s Improvement Strategist guided them through various creative, ideation processes to find the right solution. They then realized that reducing the product’s total part count was ultimately the most effective solution. This meant redesigning the key components of the product for improved efficacy.
Ultimately, the company was able to reduce the number of parts in their product from 195 parts to 81. The reduced part count led to decreased weight, and most importantly, a lower shipping cost. The discarded parts also improved the product itself by making it easier to assemble. Furthermore, by simplifying the assembly process, the company was able to outsource final assemblage to their European counterparts, allowing the product packaging to be that much more compact.
The quality of the product also increased dramatically thanks to the lower cost and the small, yet effective product enhancements. The company was then able to introduce the product into the European market and continues to enhance their products and grow their international market share.
Using Value Analysis, guided by a business strategy consultant, a company can reduce overhead, and improve a product in the process.
The typical guidelines are as follows:
Adjust the company’s priorities to allow time for the study
Establish the team based on the “right people”, not on whoever is available
Establish a specific and measurable numerical goal to work towards
Get the customer to provide valid feedback and be involved in the changes
Fix all serious faults as identified by customers and your team
OTHER PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS: