Monday, July 5, 2010

Quality or Economic Manufacture

Lots of money
Deciding between quality or economic manufacture of products present a challenge to companies wanting to develop new markets. With money tight customers have to consider the pros and cons of quality or economic products. They are more likely to accept cheaper, lower quality products (or even dispense with them altogether) rather than spend a bit more on a quality product.

A financially conservative approach may appear an appropriate path in the short term however the mid to long term consequences of economically driven decisions should be carefully assessed.

A well made, quality product that is pleasing to the eye carries those qualities with it through time. Poor quality products may do their job initially but actually get worse over time. Any initial savings are quickly dissipated.

Good quality or economic choices
There are times when a product is used only once so its manufacture can be more cosmetic. Products of this nature are easy to provide as they can be quickly made with a minimum of planning. The final product might look good on the outside but it may fail spectacularly on the inside. A product may only be cosmetic but it doesn’t excuse it from the engineering realities of the world. The balance between engineering and cosmetics is a fundamental aspect of any product whether it be a one-off prop, a long running production prop or a simple garden wall. Ignoring this balance is an area where serious errors (and injury) can occur.

"If people are prepared to accept poor quality goods and services
there will always be those who profit by providing them"

The challenge in quality manufacture lies not in the physical work but in having a clear understanding of what is required and how it’s going to be applied. Careful planning prior to manufacture helps identify problems before they become expensive mistakes. The time spent in this planning phase is more than offset by the time saved when doing the actual work and, in the longer term, not having to correct any mistakes.

Many companies can provide quality goods because of the procedural nature of their manufacture. They may, however, run into problems when manufacturing something that is"outside the square". A new product for a customer will eventually be completed but any overruns, caused by a lack of planning or inexperience in a specific area are borne by the customer. These overruns are generally blamed on unforeseen circumstances but many can be avoided or at least minimised with prior planning and preparation.

Do the best you can first time around because, quality or economic considerations aside, you may not get the luxury of a second chance.

Quality or economic considerations aside, there must be a market in the first place for a product.

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