What a difference a year makes.

While the foundational skills and processes of product development haven’t changed over the past 12 months, the coronavirus pandemic has added extra layers of complexity and uncertainty to every business operation.

Consumer habits have radically changed in a very short time, with fewer people wanting to purchase products in retail stores (which already were struggling before the pandemic). Product differentiation and more frequent innovations have become even more important for products to grab the attention of online shoppers. This is not just a marketing/sales challenge – designing products that people want and need should impact conversations that happen before you even fire up your CAD system.

For B2B companies, such as those specializing in machine design, for example, there are also numerous new variables in play. How do social distancing regulations and new safety precautions change how the factory floor operates? Does automation become more of a factor?

Both B2B and B2C companies need to consider what percentage of their jobs can be performed remotely – and if they are currently equipped with the technology to do so. Businesses with multiple locations, manufacturing partners, and long supply chains need to come up with not only a Plan B – but Plans C, D, E and F as the pandemic can flare up and recede in different regions with little warning.

To better understand the challenges facing product development teams, during so-called “normal” times and under unexpected conditions, Onshape commissioned the independent third-party research firm Isurus to conduct a broad-based industry survey.

In The State of Product Development and Hardware Design 2020 survey, which took the pulse of nearly 1,000 professionals at manufacturing companies across the world, we wanted to learn:

  • How do executives, managers, engineers and designers rate their own productivity?

  • How do product development professionals rate their companies’ ability to drive innovation?

  • Do executives and engineers have differing views about the capabilities and performance of their product development teams?

  • How satisfied are product development professionals with the technology being deployed to do their jobs?

  • What aspects of the product design process need to be improved the most?

  • How prepared are companies to equip their employees to work remotely?

The report captures perspectives from a wide range of job roles. More than a third of respondents are in executive or other leadership roles. More than half of respondents are frontline hardware designers or engineers.

Job roles surveyed in the 2020 State of Product Development survey

Source: The State of Product Development and Hardware Design 2020

To learn more about the most urgent engineering, design and manufacturing priorities of forward-thinking companies, get your copy of The State of Product Development and Hardware Design 2020 today!