The challenges of product development

Regional Steinbeis Engineering Day took place in Gosheim

Faster, better, more efficient – thanks to targeted product development processes. This was the motto on the invitation issued by Petra Ohlhauser, director of the TQI Innovation Center, to the first regional Steinbeis Engineering Day, which took part in Gosheim in June. And judging by the turnout, there’s major interest in the topic!

Opening the event, Petra Ohlhauser discussed the challenges faced in the product development process (PDP) when creating products and developing processes. Drawing on years of experience in the field, Ohlhauser convincingly demonstrated the insights she has gained in her career while consulting and carrying out projects. Audience members agreed that one area for potential is to use FMEA tools effectively for preventative troubleshooting and to apply other methods in project management teams.

Speaking on behalf of Steinbeis, Sandra Haltmayer then walked through the results of the Steinbeis Engineering Study, explaining the findings regarding key factors and the conditions of successful product development processes. The audience was given insights into the study design and the focus of the survey. Other points covered included the attitude of respondents to the PDP and support needed from management and co-workers during the process. The authors of the best practice section of the Steinbeis Engineering Study talked about the practical application of the PEP. There was lively discussion during the breaks, a reflection of the fact that there was still a lot more to say about the topic.

In a further presentation, Dr. Michael Zerrer (Pfisterer Kontaktsysteme GmbH) asked, “Is the PDP a practical aid or a stumbling block?” Drawing on actual examples from his place of work, he showed that the PDP really cannot be approached according to a strict agenda. Frequently, people discover new things or conditions change, so the actual procedures of the PDP have to be highly adaptable. The talk was also used by the audience as an opportunity to glean ideas about planning processes, hindrances and the results of the PDP.

In the subsequent discussion about the event, it became clear that efficient communication is key to the entire product development process. Product development is difficult if initiatives, needs and results are not matched up and discussed within the company or between departments or specialist areas.

The Steinbeis Engineering Forum is an opportunity for the Steinbeis organization to keep looking at different aspects of the product development process. If you have questions or ideas concerning the study, the Steinbeis enterprises in the Steinbeis Engineering Group would be pleased to assist you.

Steinbeis Engineering Group

The Steinbeis Engineering Group (SEG) is an alliance of centers within the Steinbeis Network. It acts as a platform for dialog on topics related to the product development process. Every two years the SEG organizes the Steinbeis Engineering Day. 

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