Distinguish Yourself

Since software is one of this month's highlights, I thought it appropriate to share the following survey results from Aberdeen Group.

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Since software is one of this month's highlights, I thought it appropriate to share the following survey results from Aberdeen Group that offer interesting data analysis about today’s successful mold shops.

Where competitive pricing is the greatest determinant of success, leading mold and die companies are using specialized CAD applications to reduce wasteful practices and put greater emphasis on alternative strategies.

Moldmakers tend to pursue four common strategies to distinguish themselves: (1) increase efficiency of tooling design, (2) decrease tooling development cost, (3) offer value-added services and (4) focus services on niche tooling markets.

Strategies employed differ according to the number and variety of industries a given company might service. When placed in contrast to specialized manufacturers, companies that cater to a greater number of industries show as employing strategies emphasizing value-added services and a focus on niche tooling markets in preference to competitive pricing. These practices correspond to similar strategies used by those with best-in-class performance records.

At the same time those companies that specialize in only one industry report following cost controlling strategies that promote competitive pricing as a primary goal, with increasing the efficiency of tool design far exceeding the adoption of other approaches. Where these priorities tend to match those of companies with lagging performance records, they also figure as strategies required by business models emphasizing the assumption of a higher number of contracts.

The implementation of specialized CAD applications has proven to be one strategy that has allowed best-in-class mold shops to reduce inefficiency overall by streamlining redundant design processes. Three capabilities of CAD were reported as used more frequently by industry leaders (see graph):

  1. Specialized Tool Design: CAD equipped with tooling terminology pre-fit to the specific jargon of moldmaking allows companies to increase productivity in advance of companies that must adapt to language capabilities of generic CAD.
  2. Automated Tooling Capabilities: CAD that has automated redundant tasks that were previously performed manually have sped up slower tooling design tasks. These applications are further able to react intelligently to user operations to affect multiple compon-ents and are further speeding design processes.
  3. Libraries of Tooling Parts: Best-in-class mold shops reuse standard tooling components to shorten timetables to production.

This is just a sampling of the data and analysis from the report. For full details visit www.aberdeen.com.