Have you plugged into the smart product economy?

Have you plugged into the smart product economy?

Ulrika Mann

Ulrika Mann,

If you want to be part of the smart product economy, you need to take a completely new approach to product development; every single node in your value chain needs to be re-thought. We call this “informed manufacturing”. It begins with a human-centered approach to product and experience design, widely known as design thinking, and includes 3 main challenges you must address.

The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is paving the way to the future for asset-intensive companies. The key question for manufacturers, therefore, is not “why” but “how” and “when” to plug into the smart product movement. This means taking a new approach to product development, from selecting the right suppliers, to aligning digital infrastructure development with product launch, while also successfully navigating the continuous shifts in consumer preferences and integrating demand/supply synchronization. Ultimately, this requires a transformation of raw materials into a shape and form that delivers a unique product experience.

More informed manufacturing
To accomplish this feat, every node in the value chain needs to be re-thought, with the focus on delivering a superior experience to consumers and differentiating the organizations that deliver it. We call this approach informed manufacturing, a strategy in which relevant and contextual information is made available to all stakeholders – products, processes, people and infrastructure – across the extended enterprise. By adopting an informed manufacturing strategy, manufacturers can completely transform the value chain, bringing about operational efficiencies and effectiveness.

Informed manufacturing begins with a human-centered approach to product and experience design, widely known as design thinking. Design thinking embodies a bold approach to innovation that centers on understanding and analyzing the behaviors of people at the center of change. Based on these insights, designers take an iterative and agile approach to ideating, prototyping and testing their ideas.

Meet key challenges
However, many manufacturers struggle to deliver a superior experience to customers and employees because they take a piecemeal or siloed approach to implementing the underlying digital technologies. To ensure the right mindset and strategy, manufacturers must meet the three key challenges that drive effective product design:

  1. Understand why customer experience matters.
  2. Master technological convergence.
  3. Learn to apply design-thinking principles.

Learn more about manufacturing and design thinking at cognizant.com/perspectives