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Design for Manufacturing (Part 2)

Start out by reviewing the metrics that are used to evaluate good performance by design teams. Check specifically if there is a bias toward design costs versus the long-term costs of a product. Look for things like lifetime buys of parts, or discounts for purchasing parts in large quantities.

Secondly, create channels of communication between design teams and production teams. Look for ways to align resources. Long backlogs of ECRs (engineering change requests), or a high rejection rate are both indicators of a misalignment of effort. Stronger communication and shared pain are a good way to spur action.

Finally, look at product oriented leadership versus a functional focus. Product line managers are committed to global improvement and bottom lines on income statements. Functional managers are more focused on their own budgets which have a way of altering (increasing) other people’s budgets.

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