December 3, 2021

CHICAGO PIXELS

SEMICONDUCTOR RESEARCH CENTER

eInfochips Value Analysis and Value Engineering

To begin with, Value Analysis and Value Engineering help in gaining the right balance between cost, quality, safety, and resources to maximize the product value for the client. Globalization and steep competition are forcing businesses to invest heavily in R&D, in order to strengthen the continuous improvement process for their products.

Since consumers now have multiple product options available to them, businesses have to differentiate themselves from the competition by providing additional features for higher market share. These solutions can be achieved through a combination of customization/development at hardware, firmware, software, and mechanical level. The main aim of VA/VE services is to address the client’s business objective and it can be broadly categorized into the following:

To enter new markets by customizing products for different geographies

One of the main advantages of entering new geographies is that it can provide the impetus for a significant acceleration in global revenue and market share growth. However, entering a new market can have a lot of barriers in the form of product price-performance and cost.

Extend product life to improve ROI through longer product maturity period

Certain verticals like medical, military, and industrial have very long product life cycles of 5 to 10+ years. Long life cycles are important because device manufacturers in these markets are slow to migrate to next-generation product, new devices, and/or technology due to the following reasons:

  • High design and development costs for critical devices
  • High product unit and production costs due to compliance standards
  • High costs to qualify and certify

However to keep up with the changing needs and to meet market expectations, eInfochips offers various solutions including component obsolescence management, technology migration, new features support, legacy modernization, and product upgradation.

Compete effectively by reducing design cost or by enabling advance features for the product

In order to differentiate the product in a highly competitive market, the product price-performance index plays a critical role. Advance features at a lower cost would result in lower price-performance ratio, making that product likely to be more successful.

eInfochips leverages different value analysis techniques including FAST diagram, Quality Function Deployment, Value Analysis Matrix, and of Decision Analysis and Resolution to derive the best possible solution for the client. The diagram below just shows a very simplified pictorial representation of the VA/VE process, irrespective of the adopted methodology. It typically starts with the understanding the business objective or challenge, collating information about the current product and end functionality.

Based on the end goal and functionality requirement, come up with possible alternatives, evaluating them, and suggesting the optimum solution.

optimum solution

One of the most widely used techniques is Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR) that helps in determining possible solutions through a formal process. If we consider product design, it will typically consist of:

  • Criteria Establishment: Technical requirement, performance, cost, quality, and timeline.
  • Identify alternative solutions: Possible technology solutions, off-the-shelf hardware vs. custom design
  • Select methods for evaluating alternatives: Different techniques used are weighted average, PUGH matrix, Decision tree, etc.
  • Recommend the best solution based on the evaluation ratings

eInfochips has been using this technique frequently for deriving the product features based on clients’ objectives and end goal.

product features

Product companies are looking for engineering partners who can own the product customization to solve different business objectives whereas the core team can focus on next-gen product development and innovation. Leveraging its strong hardware-software expertise, eInfochips can help in BOM cost reduction, form factor reduction, performance optimization, technology migration, feature enhancement, and product re-design considerations. In many cases, product companies are also struggling in terms of resource bandwidth to cater to customization and feature enhancement requirements for their end clients. We also help our end clients in evaluating custom hardware vs. off-the-shelf solution depending on their volume expectations.

For example, eInfochips helped a startup that makes voice-controlled wearable communication devices with cost optimization, improved performance and device diagnostics. The device is targeted for employees in brick-and-mortar retail, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. eInfochips redefined the hardware architecture, carried out a detailed BOM analysis to lower cost by 45%. Customized firmware led to support new features with extended battery life by 2 hours.

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