COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF ERGONOMICS AND DESIGN RESEARCH


Numerous industry studies have clearly illustrated positive cost-benefit advantages of implementing ergonomic programs.

After all, what manufacturers cannot attest to some number of "No Problem Found" (NPF) returns of products? A buyer returns a product simply because it "does not work."

Put simply, the product did not fit the user in some manner: perhaps it caused the user discomfort, perhaps he or she just could not figure out how to get the product to work, or perhaps the buyer thought the product was just too complicated or difficult to even try to use.

In all of these scenarios, no fault can be found with the product or design except that it was developed without the user in mind.

Bear in mind that the cost of corrections to a poorly designed product geometrically increases throughout the development process. Therefore, human factors specialists should begin working with engineers and designers in the early stages of product development.

When ergonomists are called in to fix a product that has already been sent to market and failed, costs will escalate.

A manufacturer's decision to adopt an ergonomic orientation will serve to reposition its products from a commodity-based supplier to a supplier of high-value products. Integrating ergonomics into a design program ensures more comfortable, safe, and productive design solutions and a better overall product for the end-user.

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