How to Streamline VA/VE Processes

a manufacturing team reviewing VA/VE principles during a meeting

Any manufacturer who’s ever faced the challenge of reducing costs while maintaining or even increasing quality will be familiar with VA/VE. Short for Value Analysis/Value Engineering, the VA/VE process has become a key aspect of how modern companies now design, engineer, and develop products. 

Yet despite their indispensability, using VA/VE principles in the manufacturing lifecycle is no guarantee of success. Like any framework, they can provide a useful guide for companies to follow, but cannot by themselves ensure each part or product is produced most efficiently. Instead, manufacturers need to stay aware of how hidden costs can arise in their production processes, as well as how they can uncover and address them.

Understanding VA/VE and Its Importance for Manufacturers

Value Analysis/Value Engineering (VA/VE) is a methodology for evaluating and increasing the value of a part, product, or sometimes process. Through its systemic approach, VA/VE helps companies analyze and identify opportunities for reducing costs, improving quality, and increasing performance. The end goal is to maximize value while minimizing costs.

VA/VE can be expressed as a simple equation: The value of a part or product is equal to the measurement of function over cost. You can increase value by increasing function, lowering cost, or some combination. There are typically several steps for doing this:

  • Analysis: You gather information and analyze function vs. cost.
  • Ideation: You come up with ideas for maximizing value.
  • Testing: You test and analyze these ideas for effectiveness.
  • Present: You present the results of your ideas to key stakeholders.
  • Implementation: After selecting a plan, you put it into effect.

Although it has been in standard use since at least the 1950s, VA/VE has lately become more prominent than ever. This can be attributed to a variety of factors. For one, increased competition, both locally and abroad, means that manufacturers are under added pressure to deliver better products both faster and cheaper than anyone else. The price of industrial materials is also trending high, further contributing to the need to produce parts and products more efficiently. And then there are factors such as compliance and regulations, supply chain interruptions, and the generalized effects of global instability.

Taken together, all this has made processes like VA/VE absolutely essential for manufacturers as they look for new ways to optimize costs without sacrificing quality.

The Hidden Costs in Manufacturing

The VA/VE process can be a useful rubric for identifying and resolving inefficiencies in the design and development process, but manufacturers still need to stay aware of the many common areas where hidden costs can occur. 

For example, if any engineering issues slip through into prototypes unnoticed, it may require engineers to make costly later stage changes. Even worse, it could result in the final product needing expensive fixes or even recalls. There are also the costs of scrap and rework, which can add up if left unaddressed. And when projects continually get delayed, either due to human error or poor collaboration processes, the result can push out timelines and cause the company to lose revenue. 

These costs add up in other ways too. Delayed or defective products can damage a company’s reputation, lowering customer satisfaction and impacting future orders. Or it may hurt the company’s competitive advantage by giving rivals more time to introduce their products and gain traction in the market. This may mean lower profits in both the short and long-term.

This is what makes it important to not only have an effective process for dealing with deficiencies, delays, and other potential costs, but also the necessary tools and techniques for detecting them in the first place. This way, you can apply VA/VE process both strategically and comprehensively.

Streamlining the VA/VE Process with Anark

Integrating the VA/VE process into your workflows is most effective when you can already tell what is adding on functionality, as well as what is contributing costs. Anark solutions are designed to help make all this easier.

Starting with data, you can use Anark to pull relevant technical information from your existing PDM, PLM, and other manufacturing systems, then automate the creation of technical data packages in order to reduce repetitive work, along with the chance of human error. You can then extend this automation to quickly publish and disseminate any technical information to relevant parties, or easily invite others to view and collaborate on files in real-time. Using advanced security and access controls, you can mark up documents, make notes, and correct errors within their proper context. If you’d like, you can even chat together as you do this.

These capabilities aren’t just convenient, they are also key to facilitating better communication, data management, and project tracking. That means employees can spend less time on tasks like tracking down files and figuring out access issues, and more time on uncovering unnecessary costs and coming up with creative solutions for adding functionality. Even better, the comprehensive visibility that Anark offers can help encourage teams to continuously drill down into the data and look for new ways to improve their processes.


Using VA/VE strategies can be a powerful way to uncover hidden costs and increase value across your manufacturing and engineering processes. But if these processes aren’t completely visible, if data is siloed and key documents remain out of reach, then it will be nearly impossible to put VA/VE practices into good use. Instead, you need a way to ensure everyone at your company can see, understand, and collaborate on the data and processes you’re trying to improve.

Anark gives you the tools to do this. Through our variety of integrations, automations, and advanced capabilities, you get the visibility your team needs to build more efficient workflows and create more innovative products. It’s how we can help you stay competitive and remain profitable.

Let us show you what we can do. Request a demo today.

About the Author

Patrick Dunfey
Vice President of Marketing and Sales Enablement
Patrick is an accomplished marketing and sales enablement professional who knows that customers are at the heart of every great innovation. He focuses on driving customer satisfaction and business growth through aligned Product-Marketing-Sales programs. He uses digital systems and data-driven approaches to understand, measure and deliver success, resulting in unparalleled customer experiences and value.  Patrick has 20 years of enterprise software expertise, with specialties in CAD, PLM, ERP, AR/VR and IoT. Prior to joining Anark, Patrick developed and taught a business course on XR value strategy, helping companies identify and realize value using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. During 14 years at PTC, a leading provider of product development software, Patrick led teams responsible for the design, build and launch of an award-winning, state-of-the-art technology experience center resulting in 5X customer meeting growth, and 66% close rates on those meetings; he led the development of a new IoT sales enablement strategy to map business value to enabling technology contributing to 52% YoY IoT revenue growth; and met with over 1000 companies, ranging from SMB to the Fortune 100, to help bridge the gap between technology and customer value. Patrick began his career as a mechanical engineer, working on product design and development projects with Brooks Automation, Arthur D. Little, U.S. Army, Keurig, and others. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.
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