Like all manufacturers, you compete in the marketplace for customers. You can compete based on any number of factors, including price. But the most sustainable, and profitable, advantage comes when you establish competitive separation based on unique core competences—which enables you to offer highly differentiated, innovative products and processes that no competitor can match.
The Autodesk Fusion 360 Product Innovation Platform makes the way products are designed, made, and used more flexible and powerful.
So how do you achieve competitive separation? You structure product development to prevent your products from becoming commodities. You price based on materials and manufacturing costs plus your margin. But sticking to traditional product development processes keeps you mired in fixed product value. The old way is driven by linear processes and tools designed to support linear modes of working; you research, design, mass produce, and repeat, hoping to stay ahead of competitors (who rely on similar static processes).
But true competitive separation takes you a step further—by transforming product development to deliver smart products that can learn, evolve, and generate ongoing revenue. People want such products now, and they will demand them in the future.
To transform product development, you need to shift to processes that respond dynamically to a fragmented and volatile business environment. With these processes as your foundation, you become remarkably nimble—a full participant in the Future of Making Things. The other requirement is a completely new platform for product development. As the research firm Gartner explains: “With digital business, the nature of products is changing. This requires manufacturers to adopt new thinking and new IT, called ‘product innovation platforms,’ to define and design products and to manage product life cycles.”
Autodesk® Fusion 360 is just such a platform. It replaces linear product development with fluid, flexible, closed-loop processes, making product design infinitely more dynamic and supporting ongoing revenue momentum. You can even incorporate services from multiple vendors. Fusion 360 is unconstrained by traditional tools working in isolation, or by limited file translation as the primary form of integration. Instead, it takes you beyond traditional linear processes, in which data flows in only one direction.
This paper explores how a traditional product development process can hold you back, and how a product innovation platform like Fusion 360 can help you embrace flexible, closed-loop product development to transform your business.
Traditional product development is linear, advancing from stage to stage to produce a marketable product. The more effective such a process, the greater the rewards, in the form of higher fixed product value. Companies can streamline development, cut materials costs, and enhance margins with a strong brand—but the process still leaves them with a fixed product value. To see why, let’s look more closely at the stages and limits of a linear process:
The steps above are built to deliver fixed product value. Linear processes put you on a treadmill, one where profitability means recouping development costs plus margins through one-time purchases of mass-produced items. But in a world of rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations, that’s not good enough—and, most crucially, it’s not going to win the highly profitable customers who are willing to invest in products and ongoing services that truly meet their needs.
There is a new way of working. The Future of Making Things transforms linear product development into an iterative and closed-loop workflow, with the entire process building continually higher customer lifetime value. It eliminates the version control and interoperability issues that come from reliance on email and exchanging files across organizations. The elements of product development remain the same, but each aspect is transformed.
Instead of building toward a one-time sale, the new product development process enables ongoing, more profitable customer relationships, whose flow of revenue moves your business away from fixed product value. But traditional product lifecycle management tools can’t take you into the Future of Making Things. To get there you need a product innovation platform.
Autodesk Fusion 360, the Autodesk product innovation platform, brings together the capabilities you need to put your product development process on the path to the Future of Making Things. Fusion 360 lets you design, simulate, explore, and manage product lifecycle data using connected cloud-based processes. The flexible cloud infrastructure makes it easy to connect your organization, supply chain, and customers for ongoing collaboration. Unlike with traditional product lifecycle management tools, you can get up and running with Fusion 360 quickly, then drive product development at your own pace.
Fusion 360 helps transform the way you design, make, and enable customers to use your products. Concept development and design become seamlessly linked. You get access to interoperable data that supports more flexible manufacturing processes. And Fusion 360 keeps you connected to products and customers, helping you create personalized customer experiences and transforming each stage of the product development process:
Getting ahead in the coming manufacturing marketplace will require stepping off the treadmill of linear product development. The traditional process simply won’t take your products far enough, fast enough to achieve true competitive separation. You’ll keep chasing fixed product value—as you risk losing sales to competitors who embrace more flexible processes. Instead, you need to adopt iterative, dynamic ways of working that help you rapidly advance core competencies to higher levels.
A product innovation platform, like Autodesk Fusion 360, enables product development transformation, connecting your people, processes, and customers. It helps you turn to closed-loop processes that support the coming era of mass customization while building customer relationships that deliver ongoing revenue. Take the first step into the Future of Making Things by exploring Autodesk Fusion 360.