How to Manage Time in Engineering: Challenges Engineers Face

Engineers and designers always seem to be battling the clock in their efforts to be innovative and win the race to market with cost-effective solutions. Sometimes, though, things just don’t work out the way they should.

Engineers and designers fully expect changes to be made to their designs, often involving sourced components. It’s through rigorous engineering testing and prototypes that excellent products are brought to market. If, however, it’s not done efficiently, you can be wasting your time or your team’s time while waiting on a component to be delivered to fix any issues that arise.

Engineering Change Order

An Engineering Change Order is a common way to document changes that need to be made in the design. An ECO can be driven by a number of factors, including:

An error in a design doesn’t show up until testing or a customer provides feedback.
The customer may change a requirement, which means a redesign may be in order.
There could be changes in materials or how it was to be manufactured.

An example of this is the development of a circuit board. After testing, it may be discovered that the throughput isn’t fast enough. This could be caused by a requirement for higher speed input/output. Or  perhaps the board needs to be clocked faster.

A board redesign ensues to fix the issues, but new parts may be necessary. As an engineer or designer, you know that there can’t be any product delays. What you may not know is 1) whether the parts are available, 2) how much expense will be added to the project, or 3) if your supplier will accommodate such a small order.

On the other hand, you may already have a product in place but you are designing the second phase, which will bring functional or operational improvements. Having the ability to order just a few components very quickly for the testing cycle or prototype phase would certainly be a cost savings and have the potential to speed up delivery. And it will help keep you on schedule.

Small Batch Production

A third challenge encountered by engineers and designers is the concept of small-batch production. Wouldn’t it be nice to produce just a few prototypes cost-effectively so that you could make design changes and avoid costly surprises before your product is in full production? Many component distributors have minimum dollar amounts required before they will accept an order. Most also have a week or several months lead-time requirement. With this type of distributor, you could be facing a week delay, even with an in-stock component. This doesn’t help you bring your product to market when you have to follow all kinds of prerequisites. It’s not the kind of partner you need to help you meet your project schedules and deliver quality products.

Supplier Relationships

Having excellent supplier relationships is key to keeping engineering projects on time and within budget. A good supplier can help you reduce your engineering and design costs, improve quality and help perfect processes and bring products to market faster. This is where Arrow can help. There is no more compromising with Arrow’s free overnight shipping for all in-stock products. You get the components you need with free next-day delivery.

A recent Arrow customer placed an order and continued to check on the delivery status because the part was critical to their schedule. Within 17 hours, the order was shipped and the customer received the order just 22 hours after placement ─ and the shipping was free. “You’ve won a customer for life with your prices and customer service,” he said. “Especially being able to talk it through with an engineer.”

That’s the kind of service and support that distributors should provide the engineers and designers who are creating tomorrow’s solutions.

Arrow keeps over 3.8 billion components in stock, ready to ship and be distributed from our warehouses across the globe to ensure that you can get the fast delivery you need, no matter where you are. While it’s impossible to have absolutely every electronic component in stock, chances are that you will find the parts you need in Arrow’s inventory.

Time Does Matter

Are you facing a time crunch to stay on schedule? With Arrow’s free overnight shipping, you won’t have the stress of lead-time ordering and it will accelerate your path to production. You won’t need to order parts well in advance, especially commodity components that are in high demand. And size doesn’t matter. As long as the components are in stock and you order a minimum of $20, Arrow will always ship out the order overnight, free of charge, to all North American-based locations.

Get started now with Arrow’s free overnight shipping, and you will be on your way to a great partnership with a company that knows about the demands of today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace.

Looking to speed up the production on your current design? Arrow can help with fast, free overnight shipping. Shop now!

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