I have been reading some new research from Motiv Strategies and the Design Management Institute that looks at the characteristics and performance of "design-centric" companies. The conclusion of this research is that the stock market return from investing in companies where design is at the center of their business model is 228% greater than that from investing in the market as a whole, my inference from this is that the underlying business performance of these companies has been significantly superior.
Some of the criteria used to identify these organizations were that "deployment of design should be an integrated function across the entire enterprise" and that there should be a "tangible senior leadership-level commitment for design". Some of the corporations who met the criteria where Apple, Newell-Rubbermaid, Procter & Gamble, Steelcase, Whirlpool, and Nike.
The research highlights Nike as an example of an organization where "design is a highly influential force that, when effectively integrated with strategy, marketing, and so forth, can help the company stay out in front of its competitors..."
This research focuses on large enterprises but I believe it can also be valid for small and medium sized manufacturing companies. What steps can smaller organizations take to move to a more "design-centric" model for their business?
2D drawings created by Solid Edge user Street Crane increasingly include 3D visualizations
A critical area where these smaller organizations can improve their performance in the area of product design is by using the best possible tools for communicating their designs both internally and to their customers. Solid Edge has some excellent built-in tools for documenting designs, for example by creating high-quality 2D engineering drawings that are easy to read and that include detail and exploded views. These 2D drawings are still an important means for communicating the technical details of designs and increasingly these 2D drawings include 3D representations of the product to further improve communication.
Presenting designs to potential customers in an attractive way is also critical for success and manufacturers are increasingly using rendering technology to create photo-realistic images of new products before they are manufactured. We will be presenting some significant new capabilities in this area at SEU14 in Atlanta, May 12th-14th and one of our solution partners Luxion will be demonstrating the latest version of their 3D rendering and animation software KeyShot 5. KeyShot 5 is closely integrated with Solid Edge allowing users to update their models without losing their rendering settings, and KeyShot's ability to use all available CPU cores, makes the workflow for the designer extremely fast and efficient. With the launch of ST7 in May our Solid Edge customers will see significant advances in their ability to create amazing product images that really communicate the value of their designs.
Photo-realistic rendering of a Solid Edge motorcycle model created using KeyShot