Design, an Integral Part of the Value Chain

06.07.2010 http://www.dotkite.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DotKite_4Steps.jpg

Have you ever heard of the value chain?  If so, then you know that design is not mentioned in it.  So then why is design an important part of the value chain?  To answer this question, we must investigate what the value chain is and how design adds value.  Design is all about integrating the different parts of the process so that they add universal value.

Plainly stated, good design attracts people to it.  Think of designer products; the way in which they are designed and the materials used in the design make them appealing.  The same goes for services.  The manner in which services are designed, as in the usefulness, efficiency, and effectiveness, affect the way in which the services are perceived.  Good service design will portray luxury and exceed the expectations of the client.

There is a special way in which designers get to the point of delivery. The way in which Dot Kite works is separated into four phases. They are as follows:

  • Observation
  • Brainstorming
  • Prototyping
  • Implementation

The first step is to observe how the current situation is: what works well, what can be improved, and what needs to be totally changed. From there, ideas are generated in a complex process done in groups where ideas are generated and discussed. The best idea(s) are then prototyped. A lot goes on during this phase to ensure that the final product is designed well and meets the requirements found during the observation phase. Lastly, the final product is implemented. This is not just setting the product out onto the market, but done in cooperation with branding and communication.

If you have trouble imagining how design is an integral part of the value chain, then have a look at the following bullet points as examples of how design is a part of the value chain:

  • Operations – how you manufacture your design (who to choose and which materials to use)
  • Procurement – make or buy (or do something in-house or outsource it)
  • Marketing and Sales – how your design will appeal to clients and be marketable (communication and branding strategies must be designed)
  • Service – designing your product or service so that you can continue to have a profitable, long-term relationship with updates and new developments clear to the customer

As you can see, design is indeed an integral part of the value chain.  Again, it is not explicitly stated as being a part of it, but it is what connects the independent parts together.  This is because you cannot just put design emphasis on one part of the process and expect to have a great outcome.

For example, if you have the best design for a product but you choose the wrong materials, the value of the great design will be diminished.  You must therefore have excellence in all areas of the value chain.  This relates to the The Total Consumer Experience (TCE) where each part of the package is integrated so that what end consumers get is defined by a high standard of quality and personalization.

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