When only the best is good enough, Bang & Olufsen is the first stop in audio and video solutions for the home and car – that is, if you’re shopping in the Aston Martin, Mercedes AMG, BMW or Audi segment.
On its homepage, Bang & Olufsen proudly refers to itself as “an icon of performance and design excellence [with] a long-standing craftsmanship tradition and the strongest possible commitment to high-tech research and development.”
And according to a 2012 Superbrands survey, Bang & Olufsen has made the top 20 list of most valuable brands in the UK, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Apple and, yes, Guiness.
But design excellence and craftsmanship alone isn’t sufficient these days to ensure a company’s market position and profitability. Behind the scenes, Bang & Olufsen process development experts are relentlessly working to refine processes and toolsets used in product development.
The ultimate goal is to have “a well oiled machine” in product development, as Thorbjørn Futtrup Jacobsen, R&D Method & Process Developer at Bang & Olufsen put it in a recent interview.
“At Bang & Olufsen we are being pushed to the limit on faster time to market,” Jacobsen says. “We need to be able to deliver our products faster, so we have to reduce the time spent on development. That can be done by more integrated R&D. The disciplines necessary to make a Bang & Olufsen product—for example mechanics, electronics and software—they have to move closer together to develop faster.”
To enable product development teams to work as closely as they need, Bang & Olufsen relies on a sophisticated product development infrastructure that enables it to manage all product related deliverables throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Commonly referred to as PLM, Product Lifecycle Management helps manufacturers tackle complex processes and synchronize the efforts of distributed teams to consistently create the best possible products, capture greater market share and increase customer satisfaction.
“PLM very much supports these cross-discipline processes and we are working on getting faster all the time so that we have a well-oiled machine,” concludes Jacobsen of Bang & Olufsen.