What is ESQ?
One of the causes most frequently cited by manufacturers for products being delayed to market is contractual and regulatory compliance issues preventing on time certification. Products often fail approval because the design team wasn’t aware of what the product will later have to comply with in terms of regulatory compliance.
The best way to ensure manufacturers gain the most out of product development is to ensure a planned product launch is realised on time and within budget. Minimising the time taken to place a product on the market will effectively increase the lifetime of the product and maximise return on investment.
Early engagement with a test laboratory can ensure that a product’s compliance pathway has been carefully considered.
Element’s Early Stage Qualification (ESQ®) service was introduced to work with product development and design teams in keeping them informed of those future requirements, highlighting the end goal and enabling them to plan accordingly from the very start of the development cycle.
The ESQ methodology takes this a step further and makes compliance part of a company’s processes. This helps to control costs and reduce the risk of failure at final qualification stage, thereby protecting against late delivery or a delayed time to market.
Larger projects can particularly benefit from the ESQ methodology, being naturally more complex and therefore often posing a particular challenge in terms of completion and meeting targets to reach market on time. Overall compliance responsibility within a large project can get lost amongst the different smaller groups completing modules and sub-systems within the supply chain. When the full system finally comes together, just before shipment at final qualification, problems and unforeseen issues frequently arise.
What’s the benefit of ESQ?
ESQ supports manufacturers through the complex nature of qualification testing by engaging clients early on in a project and providing strategic guidance from the outset. From initial concept and then throughout the whole development cycle, ESQ provides expert support with a proven methodology to making the critical decisions that will help to achieve first time success when the project reaches the testing, approvals and certification phase. ESQ ensures that no matter how a project might change and develop, it always remains focused on the best approach to bring the product to market as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.
Element’s Engaged Experts provide a continuous resource for compliance issues, helping the product through the critical stages of development ahead of the qualification process and then providing crucial expert guidance during final testing and certification.
The diagram demonstrates how, by investing earlier in preparing for qualification testing, time to market will be reduced and return on investment increased. The black line illustrates an expected project life cycle, when testing goes to plan. Initial costs for R&D and testing take the project into the red, and costs are recovered by sales. The orange line demonstrates how, when a product that fails testing, more pre-launch financial investment is required and the product is delayed going to market. Total profit is therefore much lower than it could have been by the end of the product life cycle. The blue line demonstrates the effect of ESQ. Whilst initial up-front costs are higher, the product is then able to be taken to market earlier. This results in higher total profits before the product reaches the end of its life cycle.
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