While research and development (R&D) budgets have many components, engineering R&D is considered the most complex and is often at the forefront of the R&D portfolio for manufacturing companies. Engineering R&D is where most of the innovation happens, due to diverse teams with talent in various engineering disciplines and leaders with strong business acumen. The R&D engineering delivery teams work on devising new solutions to solve complex product and process problems, comprehensive planning, ideation, implementation and on-time delivery.
How work gets done for these complex and organization-specific requirements, and what it takes to achieve optimal returns on every dollar invested into R&D, forms the basis of R&D strategy and efficiency for the enterprise. While the execution teams’ challenges are mostly around flexibility to accomplish program milestones with high quality, business leaders’ challenges are not only to provide what the execution teams want but also to keep the budgets under control and to yield the enterprise R&D value.
World-class manufacturers have adopted several strategies to get the work done with greater flexibility and lower costs. They rely on a variety of alternatives including independent consultants, staffing agencies, MSPs and SOW-based services providers.
Thanks to globalization, companies in developed markets have established captive centers in low-cost countries and in emerging markets, so they can get the work done with lower costs and better velocity. How they leverage the alternative sources to get work done for lower costs and better outcomes could be a critical component of the overall R&D strategy. There are multiple attributes that drive the decisions on what alternatives and combinations companies should leverage to get their optimal R&D efficiency:
- Nature of employment (full-time workforce, flexible workforce)
- Execution approach (onsite, near shore & offshore)
- Execution location (work done in-house, work done externally)
- B2B engagement (contingent staffing, MSP, SOW-based)
Traditionally, multiple alternative arrangements are used to get the work done, and every alternative and combination of attributes has its pros and cons. If the R&D health and your company’s specific needs are not diagnosed often and accurately, it presents inevitable financial and compliance risks to the leadership and business. So, the ultimate success of R&D strategy can be measured or evaluated by:
- Preventing organization’s loss of differentiation and capital deterioration
- Proactively mitigating a variety of inevitable risks
- Enabling full-time workforce’s focus on higher value and greater return on R&D functions
- Gearing up for a seamless change tailored toward the organization’s culture and vision that is sustainable and scalable for enterprise’s growth and profitability.
- Identifying and capitalizing on opportunities for efficiency
At EASi, we offer strategic services partnership by being able to customize/blend work solutions into “engineer to order” (E2O) project- and organization-specific services engagement models. As companies seek to create the next generation of smart, connected products with the functionality demanded by users, it becomes ever more critical to have a well-planned engineering R&D strategy. Learn more about how EASi has demonstrated partnerships with multiple customers in transforming their engineering R&D for long-term success.
This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one, Maximizing Your R&D Investment.