Factors Affecting Determining Product Design
The factors affecting or determining a product design are depicted below.
Image Credits © Moon Rodriguez.
The factors that determine or affect a product design are as follows:
- Requirements of targeted customers.
- Availability and access to necessary production facilities.
- Type and quality of raw-materials used to produce a product.
- Cost to price ratio.
- Policy of quality standards.
- Availability of plant and machineries.
- Impact of upcoming product on existing products of the company.
- Reputation or goodwill of the company.
Now let's briefly discuss each factor affecting a product design.
1. Customers’ requirements
The product designers must consider and study the requirements of their targeted customers. The designed product must satisfy customers in terms of good product requirements like quality, performance, reliability, durability, etc. The product must create confidence among customers so that they become loyal to it and start entrusting its company. This will lead to repeated cycle of sales for the company, thus boosting its profits.
2. Production facilities
The product designers must check that production department has got all necessary facilities to produce a product. Simple product design requires minimum production facilities. This will make the job of production department easy, and it will also minimize the cost of production. The machines and tools which are used to produce the product must give comfort and convenience to the employees of production department.
3. Raw-materials to be used
The type and quality of the raw-materials to be used, greatly influence the design and making of a product. The designer must have proper knowledge about latest materials, which are required to produce the product. He must collect information about required materials from primary and secondary sources. He must also find out what materials are used by the competitors for their products.
4. Cost to price ratio
Cost is one of the main factors, which influences the design of a product. Sometimes the product designer is informed about the maximum cost of the product. So he has to design the product within this cost. In such a case, he has no freedom to over-design the product. The product designer is also guided by the cost of competitor's products. It may happen that the designer first designs the product and then the final price of the product is decided. In this case, the designer gets a freedom to design the products. However, he must never over design the product.
5. Quality policy
The design of the product is guided by quality policy, which is fixed by the top level of management. This policy gives, guidelines for quality standard. It sets the design trend for the future. It also builds a particular quality image of the company's products. Some companies prefer to have the 'prestige image' for their products. For e.g. Mercedes-Benz, Rolls Royce, Rolex Watches, etc. Other companies prefer the 'popular image' for their products.
6. Plant and machineries
The product design depends on the availability of plant and machinery. The designer must not design a product which cannot be manufactured by the machines available in the company. The machines to be used for production should be of good quality and in a better condition (well maintained) to meet the needs of the product designers and the quality standards.
7. Effect on existing products
The product designer must consider the impact or effect of the product design on the existing products of the company. An upcoming new product may badly affect the sale of existing products. The designer must avoid this situation. For e.g. a company may design a low-quality product, but it may badly affect the sale of its high quality existing product. Secondly, if a new product is going to replace a former product, then it must be able to use the same manufacturing and distribution strategies of the existing product.
8. Reputation of the company
The product designer must consider the reputation of the company in the market. Companies which have a good name and goodwill in the market will want their new product designs to match or keep up their positive image.