Design for Excellence:

a holistic methodology to radically reduce product cost and increase value


More about DfX  Have any questions? Contact one of our experts

Broad set of skills enhancing Design for Excellence

From our perspective, Design for Excellence (DfX) goes beyond the traditional scope of cost reduction by applying Design for Manufacturing and Design for Assembly. Using an end-to-end approach, we have identified additional methods for significantly reducing cost and incorporated these into our DfX methodology. This comprehensive methodology paired with our unique set of competencies allow us to help our customers drastically reduce their total cost of ownership for new and existing products.

How is Design for Excellence performed?

How to reduce cost and increase value with Design for Excellence

What are the 3 key benefits of our way-of-working?

  • Secure savings and create value potential
  • Leave no stone unturned
  • Apply a broad set of competencies

Read more

“Without Industry Consulting it would not have happened”

Frank van de Scheur
Division Head, MEMS & Micro Devices, Innovation Services

“The consultant took me and the team from merely knowing about Design for Six Sigma (DfSS) to actually implementing it in a project, I loved the ‘hands-on, working with the team’ approach. As a result of putting the Voice of the Customer first, we teamed up with our marketing colleagues and organized a joint R&D / Marketing workshop. This helped us to demystify customer needs before we began discussing specs.”

Simon Kuppens
System Architect LED Platform
Philips Lighting

“I am very happy with the proactivity of the consultant, the tools used and the pull for follow up.”

Peter Goritschnig
Product Management Global CFLi
Philips – Business Consumer Lamps

“The consultants from Industry consulting thoroughly analyzed the Front End Innovation part of the project. They demonstrated a great understanding of innovation processes. They pointed out to us the main reason why the results of this project were not used in the downstream development project.”

Ben Knapen
R&D Manager Office, Industry & Healthcare
Philips Professional Lighting Solutions Europe

“In improving our Innovation management process, several Industry Consulting consultants have been part of the core team. Their contribution was on program management, content and change management was instrumental in obtaining the results. The team was always prepared to go the extra mile, where needed.”

Peter van der Heide
Lead BPO I2M, I2M Excellence

“An urgent assignment to implement progress reporting of projects, based on certain KPIs, was kick started. Philips Engineering Solutions supported consistently with persistence and timely support, even at odd hours, to make it happen.”

Peter van der Heide
Global Business Process Owner Innovation to Market

Meet our skilled & hands-on experts on Design for Excellence

All our consultants are experienced professionals who have spent many years working in industry, tackling the kind of challenges you face every day. They understand your challenges and need for solutions that fit your unique opportunities and constraints. By bringing method and engineering discipline, but always by considering the bigger picture. They bring leading-edge know-how, insights and hands-on experience on the table. Meet us.

Nathaniel Jarvis | Management Consultant at Philips Engineering Solutions
Nathaniel Jarvis
Innovation to market development management, solutions design and engineering, lifecycle and continuous operational improvement
Iason Onassis, Managing Consultant, Industry consulting, Philips Innovation Services
Iason Onassis
Roadmapping, portfolio management, new business models, open innovation
Theo Rutjes
Theo Rutjes
Design for Excellence, Operations, Procurement, Supply Chain, Value Engineering, Program & Project Management
wil van mil
Wil van Mil
Lean product development, IT for R&D, product lifecycle management (PLM)
maarten van ' zelfde
Maarten van ‘t Zelfde
Portfolio management, new product development & launch, value proposition creation
julian veldhuijzen van zanten
Julian Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Product development, TRIZ, Lean, Six Sigma
geert vandaele
Geert Vandaele
Business re-engineering, program management, transformation management
laurens broekhof
Laurens Broekhof
Business re-engineering, program management, transformation management
jan dikker
Jan Dikker
Design for Excellence, supply chain foot printing & cost modeling, service logistics & recall management
mike schavemaker s
Mike Schavemaker
Innovation transformation, open innovation, business model innovation at scale

The evolution of world class Design for Excellence

The Design for Excellence (DfX) methodology incorporates a broad range of perspectives and tools. This approach was not created in a Big Bang but is the culmination of decades of real-world experience and the result of experiments, mistakes, insights, failures, and successes. At Operational excellence, a service of Industry consulting, we have taken part in this journey that has resulted in an exceptionally effective approach to reducing product cost and increasing value.

How it all started and resulted in DfX

The journey began in the 1960s. In those days there was a strong focus on improving product designs to make them suitable for operations. This resulted in the popular Design for Manufacturing (DfM) and Design for Assembly (DfA) methodologies and the many books and tools to support them.

To stay competitive, Philips focused heavily on these areas. Coordination of all these efforts was done at the Center for Manufacturing Technology (now known as Philips Engineering Solutions). They acted as a knowledge hub and trained many DfM and DfA specialists.

DfM and DfA were applied alongside techniques like Value Analysis (VA) and Value Engineering (VE) to reduce costs during product development and engineering. But they were also applied after release-to-market, not just to do ‘cost downs’ but also to create a feedback loop of learning to developers, so that future products are designed in a ‘first time right’ way.

In fact, what was really happening was that development was incorporating manufacturing requirements early in the design. This is, however, valid for many more disciplines. So over time new ‘Design For’s’ were introduced: Design for Reliability (DfR), Design for Supply Chain (DfSC), etc. To group all these different disciplines we started calling them DfX, where X stands for the different disciplines.

Design for Excellence

The next step was to get multi-functional teams to look at the current products to reduce costs and increase value. The teams would, in a high-pressure time-boxed approach, take a holistic view across the entire value chain. So teams were no longer looking at product cost and value, but at all costs to the company and the customers, and at how the product design influenced these costs.

The teams would look at first and second tier suppliers, but also at costs of logistics and warehousing, costs and value of the variety of the product mix, cost of use, and cost of maintenance etc. All of this based on real data so that difficult but valuable trade-offs could be made.

As the term Operation Excellence became popular, more and more people started translating the term DfX into Design for Excellence: a focused approach which centers on cross-functional teams, executed in a rigorous format, and supported by an extensive set of tools.

Leaving no stone unturned

The objective of a DfX project is to unlock product cost reductions, by looking into the way a company designs, makes and delivers products and solutions, challenging all aspects of the value chain, leaving no stone unturned. This is accomplished through a series of workshops led by DfX coaches that generate new insights and ideas using a variety of techniques.

Our experience across many DfX projects shows that Design for Excellence can provide much more than just cost reduction. This is done by applying all the techniques developed over many years such as methodologies like Design for Manufacturing and Design for Assembly, complemented with newer tools such as Stakeholder Mapping and White Spot Analysis.

Furthermore, looking end-to-end across the entire value chain we observed that many more competencies can bring benefits to the DfX approach.

Enhancing Design for Excellence with unique competencies

Operational excellence, a service of Industry consulting, offers a unique set of competencies and a broadened Design for Excellence methodology that enables our customers to drastically reduce the total cost of ownership, for both new and existing products. These competencies include:

  • Ideation – a structured idea generation approach, which is one of the most important elements of Design for Excellence.
  • Product architectures – we help to create a sustainable advantage for future products by applying our competence on creating product architectures, where we relate product features with market needs, manufacturing capabilities and supply chain options.
  • Lead innovation – by deploying Lean principles we help our customers to see and remove waste and to establish a culture of continuous improvement, needed for a sustainable process of introducing new products to the market in an effective way.
  • Open innovation – next to using one’s own capabilities only, you can make use of a wealth of ideas surrounding you at universities, suppliers, forums, etc. By applying open innovation approaches you can benefit from these ideas.
  • Design for Six Sigma – this is a proven practice to structure your product development using for example critical to quality parameters, and to rigorously reduce variation in products and processes.

So, going forward, Design for Excellence can be seen as an overarching methodology where many approaches come together to help companies to be profitable, now and in the future. The broad set of competencies in Philips Engineering Solutions makes us an ideal partner for you.

We are Philips Engineering Solutions

As an innovation service provider, we want you to be successful in delivering your innovations to the market, where they can matter to your customers and society as a whole. Our mission is simple: making innovation work. Inside and outside Philips, from start-up to multinational. Being globally active with almost 1,000 specialized experts and 10,000 m² of high-tech infrastructure, we can accelerate your innovation with development, realization and consultancy.

Design for Excellence is one of the focal areas of Industry consulting, one of the eight key areas of expertise of Philips Engineering Solutions. We have a team of seasoned business and industry professionals. With a hands-on approach and expertise, we create tangible results that last: we are implementation-oriented. Working closely together with your employees, we create an on the job learning setting. This enables your organization to strengthen or develop its own ‘continuous improvement’ culture.

News archive

February 28, 2017

Get out of the vicious cycle of poor product quality, delays in go-to-market, and increased costs

November 4, 2016

How to apply Lean during product development and set-up a Lean innovation deployment program.

February 28, 2014

Accelerate innovation using a strong content driven approach? Implement Design for Six Sigma!

November 21, 2014

A convention is a way to radically reduce costs and improve quality. Read how!

Contact us about Design for Excellence

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