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Reducing costs with a view to expanding onto the export market
R&D manager, Marketing manager, R&D director, industrial director, France Sales representatives, Purchasing manager
1 mission director and 1 consultant
The company had developed an anti-mine troop transport vehicle for the DGA (Directorate-General of the French Army). Since the DGA purchased only a small number of vehicles, the company management decided to adapt the current vehicle to the export market to raise sales. The management set a cost-cutting target of 25%.
The first stage consisted of determining needs by means of a functional analysis and basing each performance criterion on several values: the value corresponding to the DGA's requirements and those corresponding to the various potential export markets. This approach proved extremely useful for defining the positioning of the vehicle and the different markets to target.
Then, taking the current solution as the starting point, a value engineering analysis evidenced the potential sales volumes. This diagnosis confirmed that the targeted reduction of 25% was realistic and different avenues of research into new designs were defined.
This diagnostic study took 3 weeks at a rate of one meeting of the project team per week.
The subsequent stages were based on the use of creativity, evaluation and design selection methods and risk analysis in relation to the designs under consideration. These were carried out over an 8-week period with, again, one meeting a week. At the end of this period, the cost of the vehicle had been reduced by 25%, 15% of this due to the fact that certain criteria were dropped and 10% to new design choices.
The recurrent vehicle costs were reduced by 25%. The global cost of ownership was also taken into account. The new product is well-positioned in relation to rival products on the target markets.
This structured methodological approach evidenced the utility of working in multidisciplinary groups. This approach was used for new projects; in particular the representatives of product industrialisation were included in the project from the beginning.