Our client had a very successful family of professional wireless communication products that were based upon a common technology platform. While acknowledged as a leader in their market, they faced increasing competitive pressures, threat of new entrants and evolving market requirements. Our client wanted to explore whether architectural changes to their platform technology could lead to both cost advantages and performance improvements. Cambridge Consultants was engaged to undertake a product architecture study to understand what platform would deliver benefits well into the longer term.
Cambridge Consultants familiarised itself with both the current and future requirements, and the existing (and already highly cost-optimised) platform technology. We then used our proven Design to Cost (DtC) methodology, supported by our cost modelling tools, to understand architectural options for cost reduction and performance enhancement.
Evaluation criteria were established that included the development costs to create the new platform, ongoing development productivity enhancement, technical risks, overall obsolescence management and, of course, the product cost achievable. Several candidate architectures were discussed with the client and analysed in more detail and then scored against the evaluation criteria with the client.
The study resulted in a structured appraisal of potential architectural options to deliver product cost savings, product performance enhancements and reduced future development costs through simplified partitioning and enhanced verification. Our client has subsequently gone on and changed the architecture of their portfolio and have maintained their leadership position in the presence of much increased competition.