Guest post from LiveWorx Sponsor HCL Technologies

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest State is a narrative by James Scott on why and how humankind ever volunteered to participate in the rat race. From growing crops, hunting and building structures with bare hands (or, tools carved with bare hands) to a sedentary lifestyle where the master of it all (now) seem to be in danger of being replaced. The story of civilization though captivating dispels a treasure of wisdom in the course of its narrative.

So while robots (with some flying and others skating) by Google, Amazon/ Marble are being touted in the techno sphere, this combined with conclusions drawn from Scott’s book make two things clear- one, although repetition promises a sense of ‘consistency’, ‘consistency’ breeds boredom as a result of which ‘innovation’ is born! Social beings can never conform to the laws of constancy for long! Two, ‘innovation’ renders essentials a characteristic of being ‘replaceable’. It’s an unbreakable chain-each innovation runs its course only to yearn for a better change i.e. yet another innovation, this therefore, renders ‘innovation’ the characteristic of being almost dispensable!

Think of yesteryear innovators which have grown to be conglomerates in this century- Thyssen Krupp AGor Otis Elevator for that matter, the innovations of these giants have shaped the current world-making it a convenient and a better place to live in. But if these innovations or (every innovation of this era) were to happen today, a need for a mediator which makes the process smooth is a must! As it is an era of automation and IoT, it’s essential to have a mediator who can handle the ‘replaceable’ aspect of innovation, meaning, can keep up with changing times-industry no bar!

The bridge between actual and virtual should be sturdy right from phase ‘conceptual’. What considerations can be ignored and which are a must? Consider the following-

1.    CUSTOMIZATION

Customization is a master key to several avenues. A solution which can be fitted as per domain requirements and has the potential of fitting into a heterogeneous environment is a smart choice to make. 

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE

The characteristic of dependability is often showcased by years of experience. It additionally means an in-depth understanding of domain-specific standards and requirements. The familiar, the better-should be a sought-after motto!

3.    COST AND TIME TO MARKET

Be it automobile or electronics or fast fashion, for that matter-a solution which does not consider aspects like cost and time-to-market is not a solution in the first place. A speedy delivery by optimally making use of resources should be the ultimate promise of the solution.

4.    INNOVATION AND IDEATION

While a smart solution is almost promised by many but without the prospect of room for improvement, i.e. Ideating innovation. Keeping up with industry best practices and proposing positive shifts within an organization is a go-to solution. Be it design improvements or process restructure, a solution is fully smart only when it accommodates the room for growth.

5.    SEAMLESS INTEGRATION

And often on having found each of the above characteristics, user has a less than a pleasant experience at phase ‘integration’. It either demands expertise which translates into long hours of training involving cost. Given this, it is essential to seek out a solution which shines with the prospect of ‘seamless integration’ making the journey/ shift from one phase to another smooth.  

6.    DRIVES STANDARDIZATION

With continuous improvements, rigorous research and development and a dynamic market which demands an equally dynamic product, standardization must not be sidelined. A solution which understands market standards (at a given point in time) and emphasizes on establishing standard best-practices at all levels is a solution to fall back on.

Understanding the impact of a design through each phase of product manufacturing, one must fine tune-provide design alternates or raise red flags right at the initial stages of conceptualization, design creation and design detailing. An ‘innovation’ which smoothly proposes ‘replaceable’ at the right phase is a win-win, both for designers and manufacturers. Have you DFMPro’d yet?

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