Doing More Product Development with Less

To put it simply, there are not enough engineers in the United States.  A shortage of engineers means that a vital pipeline for innovation and manufacturing of new products has been narrowed.  For the eighth consecutive year, engineers are included on the annual list of the U.S. Top 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill, according to Manpower Group. From this same study, 82% of employers who hire engineers struggle to fill open positions.  95% of employers plan to hire engineers but 20% of employers are not confident their efforts will be successful.

New product innovation is our specialty so we were interested in how this might effect our industry.  An Aberdeen Group report identified the results of having limited resources for new product development.

When an organization is faced with a lack of resources there are options.  The first is to keep going with the same programs and try and make due with what you have.  Timelines are pushed out, essential design research is shortened, and design alternatives are not investigated fully which do not produce the best programs and products.

A route some organizations are taking is to dig deep, open the checkbooks and pay whatever it takes to get the best and brightest talent.

A third option it changing process to get more done with less.  We do this in our own operation by implementing tools like product lifecycle management (PLM), simulation tools like FEA and CFD, and rapid prototyping.  As an independent design firm we knew that we had to execute strong cutting edge processes so that we could compete so we are huge fans of starting here.

Another option is working with an outside product innovation firm.  With over 100 customers in the United States and throughout the world NLS has solved some of the toughest innovation problems.  We help clients achieve business goals by using advanced simulation tools to solve opportunities faster than can be done by traditional methods.    We have supported our customers by helping them develop innovative product lines with advanced technology making them more efficient.

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