Are you wasting money by over-engineering?

There’s nothing worse than a broken or faulty product that doesn’t live up to its guarantee. To avoid this, engineers may design a product to be more robust than necessary, using components that will outlive the product’s useful life. And in doing so, money is wasted on an expensive part that isn’t even necessary for the application’s use.

Catching these over-engineering mistakes can save your business significant money. In fact, reducing a product’s production cost by 10% can be equal to increasing sales by 50% in terms of profit. While engineers may think erring on the side of caution safeguards the product, in reality, it’s likely doing nothing but hurting your bottom line.

How do I know if my product is over-engineered?

A simple example of over-engineering is designing a product to have a 5-year life, but building it with a part that has a 10-year life. The product has been designed with components that will outlive its application, which means you’re wasting money by buying a more expensive part than what is necessary.

What are the common causes of over-engineering?

Over-engineering can be very common in certain situations. Often if product requirements are unclear or there’s uncertainty about how the product will perform, engineers will stay on the safe side to avoid any under-engineering failures. The product may then be praised as a strong, robust design when in reality materials and money have been wasted on unnecessary, high-quality components—and those costs add up fast.

What are the impacts of over-engineering?

Higher manufacturing and material costs are two substantial impacts of an over-engineered product. Your business is buying expensive materials to build a product when in reality a cheaper alternative could satisfy the product requirements. Another overlooked factor is that you’ll face higher service and repair costs with the need for costly replacement parts and the possibility of more complex maintenance procedures.

How can I prevent over-engineering?

To find out if you’re over-engineering, the first place to start looking at is your product performance requirements. Work to understand each one as best as possible. Clarifying each requirement by asking “why?” will give you the clearest understanding of what specific solution is needed.

A second “pair of eyes” is always a good way to ensure accurate engineering as well. When it comes to ordering parts for your product, find a supplier that doesn’t just take orders but questions each application use to make sure you’re buying the most cost-effective solution. A vendor partner that asks these questions can also help you avoid any under-engineering failures, ensuring you maintain integrity.

Catching an over-engineering mistake will help you save money and increase your profit margins. Reach out to us if you have questions to make sure you’re buying the most cost-effective parts for your products.