What is collaborative design?

At Steely Products, we believe that great design is a collaborative process between the end-user and our design engineers. This process produces warehouse storage and handling equipment that works well and is made to last.

Collaborative design is the process of people with different roles coming together to arrive at solutions that solves user issues. Business owners, managers and the workers who use the equipment collaborate with the manufacturer to design equipment that is the exact fit for the job.

The three principles

When designing a new type of equipment, the collaborative design process is guided by three principles: safety, efficiency and durability. Our equipment must be safe to use, with no injury risk to the people who operate it. Equipment must contribute to the overall efficiency of the business operation, be made from quality materials and be constructed to last a long time.

The bespoke collaborative design process

Steely Products has a long history of successful design collaboration. All our equipment has been developed in consultation with end-users from many different industries. Their feedback is essential to the design process.

Sometimes, we find that equipment from our standard range is not an exact fit for a customer’s needs, even if it is made in a custom size. In this case, our bespoke design service is the best approach.

The first stage of the bespoke design process is to ask questions that help us fully understand what the new equipment is required to do. These could include:

“What equipment are you currently using, and why is it not the best for the job?”

“What difficulties do your workers have in using the current equipment?”

“What do you need new equipment to achieve?”

Sometimes, end-users will have a rough idea about a new design, or will have made a simple sketch of their idea. A Steely Products engineer will analyse the design to see if it is practical to make and will suggest any necessary modifications.

In every step of the design process, we welcome all ideas and feedback. We also make sure that any new design is safe to use and conforms to all health and safety regulations. We expect equipment to have heavy use, so it needs to be made to a high standard to last for many years with minimal maintenance requirements.

The prototype

Once a design has been agreed on, a prototype can be made. This is thoroughly tested by both management and the employees who will use the equipment every day. Further modifications may be necessary. After everyone involved in the design project is satisfied with the prototype, the finished design is made and delivered for use.

Does collaborative design cost more?

Steely Products designs and manufactures all our equipment inhouse, without outsourcing any stage. This helps keep costs down. In addition, the cost of designing equipment can be offset by the increased productivity that it creates.

To start a collaborative design conversation, contact us using the form below or call today.

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    Posted by Katrina
    1st January 2021
    Manufacturing

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