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Autodesk survey uncovers key drivers for innovation

19 January 2011

A new survey undertaken by Redshift Research on behalf of Autodesk, has found that managing quality in product development (while keeping costs down) is currently seen as the key challenge facing the vast majority of consumer product manufacturers. The survey, which polled the opinions of 300 decision-makers and influencers working in the UK, Germany and France, found that nine out of ten respondents saw it as key for 2010 – making it by far the most popular choice.

The need to manage quality is, according to the survey, being driven by the need for consumer products manufacturers to rapidly deliver a stream of innovative, exciting products at the right price for customers to buy.
“On the one hand, this demands a strong focus on innovative design, especially in the early stages of product development (referenced by 50% of survey respondents as a key business objective),” says Kevin Ison, manufacturing marketing director, EMEA, Autodesk. “On the other hand, it means a tight control on manufacturing costs, highlighted by 74% of those surveyed as a key concern, and a fast time to market, referenced by 50%. If manufacturers get this right, the approach will help them achieve customer satisfaction and drive sales and profitability – currently their three leading business objectives.”

The survey also found that more than 50% of consumer products manufacturers see new product development as a key business objective and a similar percentage are focused on completing design projects faster.

Also, the need to be cutting edge and visualising what a final design looked like early on were seen as key challenges by almost six out of ten respondents.

“In today’s uncertain economy, manufacturers realise that to remain competitive they need to get new products into the market as quickly as possible” says Ison. “Seeing what a final design looks like early in the manufacturing process, helps to reduce inefficiencies and costs associated with having to go back to the drawing board when a design does not work out.”

“While many in the survey said that cutting costs was a priority, doing so in the wrong place can severely damage an organisation,” he adds. “As such, an approach is needed that enables manufacturers to reduce costs while at the same time allowing companies to innovate. The solution is technology, such as the digital prototyping solutions that we offer at Autodesk. These are easy-to-use and enable manufacturers to improve their business processes and get the most from their designs. Digital Prototyping helps companies create more innovative designs at a fraction of the costs associated with more traditional design methodologies.”

This is an ongoing study in which Autodesk is actively encouraging participation through its campaign landing page

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