SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

July 10, 2008 10:00 ET

Top Strategies to Improve Engineering Performance Identified

Leading Performers Expand on Traditional Engineering Tasks to Go Lean and Green

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 10, 2008) - In a study of over 600 discrete and process manufacturers, Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), found that the top factors impacting the performance of the engineering organization are shrinking development schedules, decreasing product price points and rising raw materials costs. Assessing and optimizing product performance under these tightening constraints is a tall order, but some manufacturers are balancing them in a way that allows them to meet market requirements while still achieving cost and time targets on an 88% or better average.

"The Best-in-Class' capacity to consistently achieve engineering targets takes on additional meaning in light of the multi-faceted pressures on these organizations," said Chad Jackson, Research and Service Director of the Product Innovation Practice, Aberdeen. "For example, shrinking schedules is the top pressure on engineering organizations, and while the Best-in-Class are hitting their targets at a high pace, Laggards are struggling, meeting 'release to manufacturing' targets only 42% of the time and engineering-related development costs only 57% of the time. These companies are no less aware that speed and cost are a problem, but they are still searching for the means to resolve it."

They are doing this by pursuing a blend of both traditional and nascent strategies that address the performance of the product and the engineering department itself. This includes Lean engineering initiatives, Design for Manufacturing and Quality, Green Product Development programs, as well as cultivating an innovative use of simulation tools to optimize product performance within tight constraint of cost and time. While identification of differentiated strategies offers executive direction, more detail is often required for impactful and lasting change. The report entitled "The Engineering Executive's Strategic Agenda" identifies the common characteristics of Best-in-Class performance as well as the next steps companies can take to drive the programs they adopt to improve the performance of the engineering organization.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part to the contributions of the following underwriters: Altair Engineering and ANSYS, Inc. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4902

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
451 D Street, Suite 710
Boston, Massachusetts  02210-1928
Telephone: (617) 854-5200
Fax: (617) 723-7897
www.aberdeen.com

Contact Information