The Not-so-Ugly Side of Value Engineering

Value Engineering—to some, especially designers, is an “ugly” term where you’re taking a cool design and making it look, well, cheap…but this is not the case or at least, it shouldn’t be.

When creating designs for clients, I always start by keeping these 4 points in mind:

1. Intended use (for form and function)
2. Longevity (for engineering)
3. Budget (for material and manufacturing choices)
4. Shipping

Shipping a product has a lot to do with the overall cost, especially with the price of transport these days. When designing a product, I always stress how the item needs to be engineered and manufactured in order to be properly (but not overly) packaged. I take into consideration how it will ship in a specific fashion (“KD” /”knocked-down”—another ugly term) in order to reduce the overall cost of a specific product.

Shipping a product KD isn’t always the right way but is a means to an end to maximize container space which significantly reduces costs.

To close the loop—value engineering—the only “ugly” thing is that designers don’t think about it early enough in the process.

– Enzo

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