Thinking Like A Designer

Through our comprehensive consultancy group, we can advise on strategy and implementation quality and marketing and product development processes appropriate to most products and services.

As china makes a move from a high volume low value manufacturing economy to one of innovation, quality and higher value, a review of how to achieve this is necessary in order to ensure supply of the required elements and to sustain growth.

The recent announcement by the State Council that investment in the ten areas of public development which they will support are all good examples of where to grow, but in some ways fail to predict how to grow. To simply expect innovative, creative solutions is only identifying the need, without supplying the methodology. In this way china may well leave itself open to the next wave of ‘foreign experts’ when it should be fostering its own solutions and manufacturing culture if it intends to fully exploit the ‘Made in China 2025’ blueprint announced by the State Council.  (The issue of manufacturing culture is one of great importance as the identity of Chinese manufacturing should reflect the culture ofChina, not simply imitate that of western manufacturers).

There is a need to introduce a less linear, more investigative form of strategic development and planning if the production culture is to be changed and evolve into the competitive entity outlined by the ‘blueprint’.

This can be initiated by introducing an approach that is less dependant on single decision makers and develops responsibility with authority at levels where new thinking (thinking design) can assist in meeting the challenges of this cultural change.

I believe there is a need for the introduction of comprehensive, design led product development processes whereby less predictive thinking and planning contribute to more divergent outcomes and so meet the challenges of these new technology applications and manufacturing. To turn innovation and creativity into marketable products and brands requires the input of experienced business focused designers. To ensure market success of these technologies and inventions requires the input of design led product development teams experienced in all the components of ‘bringing to the market’ ideas that otherwise may fail.

This product development strategy should be initiated at the same time as the push for the ten areas of government supported manufacturing. Universities could review the design and engineering education courses and include a business focus which seems to be lacking currently. Between the two departments a hybrid offering called Product Development should be developed using models from UK and Australasia that have been proven to support high tech business and so accelerate the availability of ‘thinking design’ in the management of the proposed changes to manufacturing.

Successful examples are spread across consumer manufacturers, Samsung, Dyson, Sony, Apple are all design led businesses and the Product Development processes they employ are superbly tuned to their technology, products and consumers.

B+SW can assist in the change programme for companies taking the challenge to modernize their products and processes through design and product development. To apply thinking design in their approach to manufacturing, marketing, materials and management in order to assist in the achievement of the ‘Made in China 2025’ challenge.

roger b.



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