Peer Check is a podcast for engineering leaders who want to challenge the status quo by finding better ways for design teams to work together.
Each episode features a conversation with an industry leader about how they’re innovating and the concrete steps they took to do it. If you’re looking to improve your team’s communication, collaboration, and decision-making, this is the place for you.
Welcome to Peer Check.
#25 - The cost of product complexity
Large organizations are already complex. When you’re developing complex mechanical products, things get even tanglier.
But engineers are problem solvers. And with 28+ years of experience in operations and product management, Bob Scillia — Director of Program Management at Kennametal — has solved his share of business problems within engineering companies.
On this episode of Peer Check, Bob joins host Adam Keating to share what he’s learned over the years.
Listen as Bob and Adam chat about:
Why better product design starts with the user
Handling the challenges of a fluctuating business environment
How to gain alignment across people and teams
Why Design to Value (DTV) is an effective cost reduction strategy
What engineering leaders need to understand about large-scale business operations
#24 - Turning suppliers into partners
Your suppliers have design expertise that you’re not tapping into. And that’s pretty common – because it’s challenging to get design feedback from your internal team, let alone suppliers. But the teams that do unlock supplier expertise are already achieving huge outcomes:With the help of key suppliers, one company redesigned an entire product line from the ground up using off the shelf parts. As a result, they gained market share, as supply chain shortages and long lead times impacted competitors.This is just one example. Other design teams are tapping into supplier expertise to:
Make products easier to manufacture and assemble
Improve margins by taking out cost
Achieve challenging specifications
And unlock more innovation
The benefits of strong supplier partnerships are clear. But how do you get there? How about by learning from companies already at the forefront? Listen to a recorded panel discussion from CoLab, featuring special guests from Ford, iRobot, and Mainspring Energy, discussing how to turn suppliers into partners.
#23 - Simplifying the handoff from design to production for Stage Gate NPD
If you’ve ever been involved in a Stage Gate process, you know one gate meeting causes the most stress — the hand off from engineering to production. After that, you make big investments – like tooling – and it’s hard to come back from a design error.
Still, with so much complexity, things can slip through the cracks. That’s why Adam Keating (CEO of CoLab Software) and Oleg Shilovitsky (CEO of OpenBOM) teamed up to share practical insights on how to improve this handoff and make NPI stress-free.
Why design freezes don’t always work — and how to instill confidence in your own
Bringing risk forward in Stage Gate
ECO management and cross-tier supplier collaboration
How one manufacturer released 300 drawings to suppliers with zero errors
What these examples have in common: the need for systems of engagement
#22 - Adapting engineering workflows for global and remote teams
Before COVID-19, only a small number of engineers worked from home. But the pandemic accelerated the transition to remote work: McKinsey estimates that 4x-5x more work can be done remotely without loss of productivity. Besides, manufacturing teams were becoming global long before COVID-19. Still, adapting engineering workflows to accommodate remote and globally dispersed teams is no easy feat.
In this episode, MJ Smith examines how teams are using PLM, virtual meetings, project management software, and other tools to collaborate remotely. She also discusses how some teams have observed better results through remote, digitally enabled workflows for processes like value analysis.
#21 - The enterprise leader’s guide to scaleable cost engineering
Running a VA/VE workshop is one thing. Delivering an 8-figure cost reduction target consistently year over year is another thing entirely. Building and leading large cost engineering programs requires careful planning and commitment to process. In this episode, we’ll bring you frameworks for planning and execution based on projects and conversations with dozens of global VA/VE leaders.
Program planning and internal communication for 8- and 9-figure VA/VE programs
3 types of events you need in a comprehensive cost engineering program
Why most cost reduction workshops don’t result in real savings and how you can avoid that
Creating a results-driven VA/VE culture
Top-down vs. grassroots VA/VE and how you can cultivate both
What good looks like (case studies)
#20 - What high-performing VA/VE programs are doing differently
With a new year underway, many engineering teams are facing higher cost down targets than ever before. Inflation is eroding gross margins and the status quo just doesn’t cut it anymore.
And yet… there’s still so much low-hanging fruit.
In 2023, we hope to see engineering companies approach cost reduction with the same rigor that they approach sales, on-time delivery, and quality KPIs. That’s why this episode of Peer Check focuses on practical tips to strengthen your VA/VE programs and culture.
Join Adam Keating, CEO at CoLab, and cost engineering leaders from Dematic, Adient, and Johnson Controls for a panel discussion on:
• Cost reduction in an inflationary environment
• The roles of engineering, procurement, and finance in high-performing cost down programs
• How to clone your best VA/VE teams
• What’s stopping your VA/VE event prep from being fast and easy
• How to get real follow-through on ideas
• Avoiding the “we already thought of that” trap
• Examples of successful VA/VE initiatives
Really informative and engaging!
Excited to see the learnings that come from these conversations!