Parker Group teamed closely with Boothroyd Dewhurst and launched a program to educate product designers, nurse manufacturing engineers, sovaldi managers and executives about the sweeping benefits of the new methodology. The PR program documented the extensive cost savings to manufacturers from DFMA and challenged industry to recognize the shortcomings of existing “over-the-wall” engineering and serial management practices. We placed feature articles in both trade and business publications as the foundation for communicating this message.
A highlight of the early program was a page-and-a-half feature about Boothroyd Dewhurst in Businessweek. That article alone brought more than 1,000 telephone calls from around the world, mostly from CEOs and VPs who wanted to know more about the software. The company appeared several more times in Businessweek, often as a counterpoint to what was then seen nationally as the unchecked competitive successes of “Japan Inc.” During that critical timeframe, dozens of case study and bylined articles also appeared in trade publications ranging from Manufacturing Engineering, Robotics World, Assembly Engineer and Machine Design to the well-respected technology-management magazine IndustryWeek.
Communication planning efforts by Parker Group soon yielded another program high-water mark: In 1991, co-founders Dr. Geoffrey Boothroyd and Dr. Peter Dewhurst were given the National Medal of Technology Award by President George W.H. Bush. The award cites the use of DFMA methods and software as having “dramatically reduced costs, improved product quality, and enhanced the competitiveness of major U.S. manufacturers.”
Today, process vendors in every industry, from metals casting to composites, pursue part consolidation as a golden rule of design excellence. Leading manufacturers universally recognize the need to solve design and manufacturing challenges in the earliest stages to ensure their products are competitive and profitable.
More than twenty-five years later, Parker Group is still a close partner with Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc., striving as a team to educate the marketplace about DFMA. Together, we are researching and writing about the hidden costs of offshoring and ways to use DFMA analysis alongside Total Cost Management to make products so efficiently structured that they can be built anywhere. We are also continuing to raise the business argument that good design, done upfront, is the most assured source of manufacturing profits and that its benefits ripple from production through to end-of-life.