7 Ways to reduce costs in product development

With the right approach, it is possible to develop products while keeping costs low.

The aim of product development and optimisation is to reduce the total cost of the product without affecting its functionality, sometimes by improving certain features and functions. However, cost reduction depends on several factors, such as the right choice of materials, specialists and techniques.

In this article, we tell you 7 ways to achieve cost reduction in product development.

Objectives of product cost reduction

Maximising quality while minimising costs is the main objective of any product development specialist.

  • Improve design efficiency.
  • Reduce the number of parts and eliminate unnecessary parts to reduce the cost of raw materials and maintenance.
  • Create high quality products at lower cost and higher value.
  • Optimise the manufacturing process and simplify assembly to reduce costs.

1. Simplify to reduce costs

Cost and quality are two key factors that determine your position in a competitive market. For this reason, having clear ideas and setting an achievable plan is fundamental to achieving them.

In this respect, product cost reduction uses a set of techniques and tools to identify potential problems and preventative measures prior to manufacturing to ensure that the desired objectives are met. For example, by adopting simpler solutions, as unnecessary complexity is one of the factors that increase overall project costs.

Therefore, it is best from the outset to set realistic and achievable targets for the manufacturing of the product.

2. Achieving cost reduction by planning the production process

Proper planning is always important if you want to operate efficiently. Therefore, the first part of product development should be to carry out the necessary research to inform product decisions.

This includes the market and audience research necessary to predict the target audience’s response to the new product. This, in turn, will alert you to the adjustments that need to be made to improve the product and attract customers.

On the other hand, establishing the requirements early in the process ensures that all designs point in the right direction.

3. The prototyping phase is key to reducing costs

The proof-of-concept (POC) phases and prototyping  of the product development process present a great opportunity to identify any shortcomings in the product design and fix them before the product goes to market.

Every product must go through a prototyping phase to confirm that the design works. However, the way in which prototyping is approached will determine the usefulness of the process and, equally, the time and cost involved. This, if done in the right way, can lead to considerable cost optimisation.

4. Choosing the right manufacturing method

Selecting the right manufacturing method is essential for profitability.

We have already emphasised the importance of planning and research in the production process. However, part of that research should involve examining the different manufacturing methods available and deciding on the one that best suits the specific needs of the product. The goal is to choose strategies that reduce both risk and cost, as does, for example, design for manufacture.

Design for manufacturability is a specialised approach to design that prioritises ease of product creation over other factors. However, despite its focus on the manufacturability of an item, this technique is particularly useful for minimising costs, since manufacturing costs are highly dependent on the relative difficulty of creating the product.

5. Improving existing products through value engineering

Value engineering is a technique used to improve functionality and reduce cost by removing unnecessary functions from a product.

In other words, value engineering focuses on improving the implicit functions of a product in relation to its overall manufacturing cost. In this process, functional, efficient, yet cost-effective products are the ultimate goal.

Therefore, product engineering and development services, such as those we offer at Infinitia, take into account every function of a product throughout the entire product design process and discard those that do not improve it or add sufficient value for the consumer.

6. Selecting the most appropriate materials to achieve cost savings

Material options are very varied in manufacturing and current innovation and development processes, as each one has a series of characteristics that are worth taking into account when designing a product if we are looking for efficiency and cost savings. Here are some points to consider when drawing up a list of materials.

The different types of polymers, metals and other materials you can choose from present various challenges and advantages in the production process. For example, one aspect that is often overlooked when choosing materials is their shape – differentiating between their bar, sheet and plate shapes can help to drastically reduce costs, as some shapes are often cheaper than others.

On the other hand, often the creation of utility-specific materials in product development can not only improve functionality and set a benchmark in the market, but also achieve considerable cost reductions.

7. Use experts in product development to reduce costs.

There is a correlation between project success and the involvement of experts in its creation.

Every project must have a product development expert, as skilled designers are essential in finding the best solutions for each product. In this sense, working with specialists in innovation and engineering, who know exactly what you want to achieve with your product is a guarantee of success.

At INFINITIA Industrial Consulting, we have formidable product development experts who have proven their experience in multiple cases. Do you want to develop an efficient product and save costs? Contact our Product Development team to offer you the best solution.