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Product Design in Operations Management: Overview, Skills & Salary

The world, as we speak, is changing rapidly. The fast-paced world demands commitment and uniqueness for companies and individuals to survive and thrive. In the fierce competition which has become synonymous with new-age businesses, it becomes necessary to stand out among the competitors. Staying in the market requires being unique in terms of the final output that the companies produce and tackling every step along the production process in an efficient way. This is where Operations Management comes into the picture! 

What is Operations Management?

Operations Management aims to improve the efficiency of the business operations by focusing on the individual business practices and taking steps to bring about improvement in them. The aim is to balance the costs and revenues in such a way that it provides maximum profits. The entire planning and organising process is done to convert the raw materials into the final product keeping the goal of profit maximisation in management in mind. One important aspect of Operations Management is product design.

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What is Product Design?

Product Design is one of the essential steps in the Operations Management structure. It is one of the necessary formulas to achieve the ultimate goal of consumer satisfaction.  Consumers tend to try out the product with an appealing design first among a plethora of other options available. This is why companies spend a huge chunk of money on product design.

Being the first one to grab the consumer’s attention provides them with the first-mover advantage. They can then retain the customer by fulfilling the promise and delivering fantastic quality as well.  Product designers use different materials, methods, configurations, graphics to design the product within the budget constraint. 

Features of a good Product Design

  • It should provide utility to the customer and fulfil its promises.
  • It should be easily distinguished from its competitors so that consumers don’t get confused with other products.

No matter how good a design is, it doesn’t matter if it increases costs more than it enhances the revenue. It would then become a loss generating machine for the company.  The design should not compromise with the ultimate goal of profit maximisation 

How do companies arrive at the selected product design?

As a product designer, you need to go through several phases to arrive at the specific product design-

1. Brainstorming

The foremost step is to have a discussion with the team member in detail about the new product. The decision revolves around having a rough idea about what the product should bring to the table and how can it benefit customers.

A good start is to find the target customers and their preferences. For example, suppose that the team needs to design water bottles for school-going children below the age of 10 years. In that case, they will consider the latest trends that excite the age group and do proper product planning accordingly.

Good market research is vital before finalising anything. It gives a fair idea regarding the wants of the customers and the current market trend. Also, the knowledge of competitors’ existing product in the market helps get an idea regarding the same. 

2. Execution

This is the stage where the implementation of the idea begins. You need to check for the feasibility of the idea discussed earlier. This is where you create a prototype of the concept, which was earlier just on paper. This prototype can then be evaluated, and changes can be made before finally launching the product in the market.

3. Final stage

The product is finally launched in the market. 

How to become a Product Designer?

Every company wants to have the edge over its competitors. Hence, they hire specialists to ensure that every detail is being taken care of. One such area is product design which is also one of the key elements in ensuring the product’s success. As a result, the Product Designer is becoming a lucrative career choice. 

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The requirements for being a Product Designer are listed below-

  • You should have at least a graduation in product design from a recognised university. Having the degree in the core field where you wish to go for in future helps you get a setting foothold of the nitty-gritty of the subject. It also enables you to establish meaningful connections early in your career. 
  • Some companies require the candidate to have a postgraduation as well. Although it is not a compulsion, having a postgraduate degree can give you preference in job interviews as well and improve the chances of your getting hired. 
  • Many companies also prefer relevant work experience. This is one area that can give you an edge over other candidates. 

Skills that you need as a Product Designer

1. Creativity and artistic flair

The first and foremost skill or quality required as a  Product designer is artistic flair. The job requires you to put your creative juices to work and bring out something innovative. The product which shows uniqueness and provides utility becomes the ultimate winner. It helps enhance sales and increases profit. 

2. Knowledge of industry trends

Before designing a product, you need to be aware of the current market trend in the industry. This helps design the product, which would have a high probability of grabbing eyeballs from prospective buyers and hence increasing sales. 

3. Problem-solving abilities

Product designers often are required to revamp the existing product to make it more attractive for the customers. This revamp requires going in-depth regarding the current issues and working on those so that the newer version can drive the product up the sales chart. 

Some other abilities, such as communication skills, observation and analytical skills, to name a few, are greatly appreciated and, if inculcated, can enhance your career. 

Salary of a Product Designer

Due to the high demand for product designers, companies pay high compensation to get the best designers on board. The average salary depends on many factors such as experience level, job location and company you are working for, etc. The product designer is paid around INR 6.6 LPA on average. Learn more about product designer salary.

If you are interested in making a career in the field of Operation management, you can check out the Product Management Certification Programme offered by Duke University in collaboration with upGrad. You can learn everything about product planning and management from the esteemed faculty of Duke University. You can even test your learning with Q&A sessions and case studies. It helps you prepare for job interviews under the guidance of specialists and by having a discussion with your peers. 

Conclusion

An efficient product planning process paves the way for excellent market recognition of the product. One of the most important subsections in the domain is product design. Product designers shoulder the responsibility of catching the consumer’s attention. The field of Operation Management is growing by leaps and bounds and is increasing job availability in the domain. Making a career in Operations Management is an excellent decision as it provides great exposure, a steep learning curve, and excellent monetary compensation.

What are some of the institutes which offer degrees in Product Design?

Several esteemed educational institutions across the world offer degrees in Product Design. One of the popular universities is Duke University offering an exhaustive certification programme.

What type of job roles can you get in Product Design?

There are several job roles that you can apply for as a project designer. These are UX designer, Industrial Designer, Automotive Designer, Industrial Designer, etc.

What is the scope of the Product Designer as a career choice?

Due to the increase in online shopping, many companies produce the same product as the scope of sale has become easier. Hence, companies want their products to be differentiated and affordable for the customers. Therefore, they are hiring specialists in large amounts currently. The future of the product designer seems bright in the coming years as more and more companies will go for product planning to stand out in the market.

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