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Embracing Technology For Better Product Development

Have you ever heard the phrase "They don't make them like they used to"? This old axiom is a nostalgic wish to return to a time when products were made with better quality and more reliability - in the speaker's opinion.

However, the phrase doesn't ring true in all areas of manufacturing. We believe that many of today's products are often built using less raw materials than in the past, making them lighter, stronger, and of much better overall quality.

For example, decades ago, televisions were large pieces of furniture that took two or more people to lift. However, in recent years, new materials and technology have completely transformed the industry and product development. As a result, televisions are now much lighter and thinner than their predecessors, and boast bigger screens, better picture quality, and longer-lasting components.

The automotive industry is another example of how stronger, lighter materials have replaced the heavy-gauge bodies, frames, and parts previously used in assembly plants. This new approach gives us higher fuel efficiency and enhanced safety features with less impact on the environment.

Advancements in electronics are mainly due to innovative design tools and materials not previously available to engineers. This has led to better product development, design, functionality, and convenience.

Although modern tools and materials come with heavy upfront costs, the investment is more than worth it when the results are more efficient manufacturing and better quality products. The bottom line is undoubtedly crucial for manufacturers, but the advantages of adopting transformative innovation greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

Here are five ways how investing in innovation can help you better serve your customers and grow your business: 

  • Your products stay current: Technology will continue to transform business across the industrial spectrum. Building with modern tools will help ensure your products remain in-demand and compatible with your customers' needs and expectations.   

  • You gain a competitive edge: Employing new tools to make new and better products will set your products apart from those of your competitors.

  • Innovation creates a buzz: People love new things. Building a cutting-edge new product or enhancing and improving an existing product jump-starts excitement that could translate into sales.  

  • Products are of better quality: Innovative, good-quality product development that meets your customers' needs will lead to higher sales and increased profits. It'll also raise the profile of your brand as a market leader.

  • Reduced manufacturing costs: Innovation leads to added productivity and will reduce costs over time as it allows your processes to be more agile when adapting to market changes.

Although technology seems to transform how we do things with ongoing regularity, different industries advance at different rates. For example, residential home construction has changed relatively slowly, but for very valid reasons. Outside weather conditions play a large part in the quality of a build. It's challenging to concentrate on creating a quality build when working in the rain, snow, wind, cold, or heat. 

However, construction companies now have the ability to pre-construct houses within controlled conditions. For example, homes constructed in unique purpose-built factories can be built with a level of quality not easily achieved at an outdoor job site. Houses can also be created using more environmentally-friendly materials that offer optimum climate controls. This results in energy savings from less frequent use of heating and air conditioning.

If technology can help build better quality homes, it can help you make products that will better meet your customers' needs.

SWS Warning Lights believes in combining the best technology, processes, and people to develop cutting-edge products that can be used for nearly every application. We chose to take on the challenge of having the vision, building the teams, and engaging the tools available today to create products that equal or outperform others in our industry.

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Customer education about the benefits of tech-based manufacturing goes a long way toward acceptance and adoption. At SWS, our customers have commented on our products' durability, reliability, and performance, much of which we attribute to embracing technology.

We all owe a debt of thanks to the forward-thinking product development teams who introduced technology to the manufacturing industry. We can continue to give back by integrating their innovations into our processes, moving our industry and overall economy forward. 

Let's step into the 21st century to adopt technology that keeps our manufacturing industry competitive. Change isn’t always easy, but we owe it to ourselves and our future workforce to innovate with the long game in mind.

The next time someone says, "They don't build them like they used to," you can tell them they're right...and that we're all better off for it!

Tom Chopp is Managing Partner at SWS Warning Lights Inc. He can be reached at 905-357-0222 or tom@warninglightsinc.com.