The Difference Between Value Analysis (VA) and Value Engineering (VE)

Value Analysis (VA) and Value Engineering (VE) are systematic processes that optimize the value of a product or service. Both lower costs and increase benefits. Value Engineering (VE) applies at the beginning design stage of product development. While Value Analysis (VA) applies after a product gets manufactured.

Graphic showcasing the difference between Value Analysis and Value Engineering

What Is Value Engineering (VE) and Why is it Important?

Value Engineering (VE) is a preventive process. It identifies ways to improve the design or process of a new product before it goes into production. The value of a product is the ratio between the benefits and costs.

VE happens during the initial design and planning stage of new product development. It occurs before significant financial investments in tooling, plants, or equipment.

The goal of Value Engineering is minimizing costs and improving functionality and/or quality. VE benefits both the manufacturer and the end user.

During the VE process, a team of cross-functional experts analyze several areas. The VE team studies the materials, processes, transportation, plants, equipment, sourcing, and standards. They identify the main elements of the new product. Then they analyze the functions of each element and discover areas of avoidable costs.

The VE team brainstorms, develops, and evaluates alternative innovative solutions. Top alternatives are vetted based on cost savings and quality enhancements.

Value Engineering drives cost savings. Up to 80% of a product’s costs are determined during the design stage of new product development. A product’s design (whether good or bad) directly impacts the cost. Items like tooling, plant layout, equipment, labor/skills, training, materials, shipping, installation, and maintenance influence the bottom line. A great design lowers costs and improves the quality and/or functionality of the product.


What Is Value Analysis (VA) and Why is it Important?

VA applies problem-solving methods to increase the value of existing products or services. It reduces costs, improves function, and/or boosts quality. VA evaluates the costs, functions, components, design aspects, manufacturability, and assembly of the product. VA removes unnecessary costs while maintaining the utility of the product.

During the VA process, engineers use a technique called functional analysis. They break down the product into many assemblies and then identify the function for each assembly and align costs to each one.

The VA team brainstorms cost-reducing alternatives. They work to improve the value of the product for the manufacturer and the end user. VA encourages innovation. Cost reduction ideas are not limited by the existing design. They explore new ideas to enhance value at a lower cost.

VA is an important exercise for several reasons. It can lead to significant cost-savings in materials and labor. This directly impacts the bottom line. By reducing material costs, inventory costs are also reduced. By lowering labor costs, capacity is freed up for other revenue-generating opportunities.

VA can also reduce lead times which benefits end users and keeps them coming back. By improving product quality with VA, the product is easier and less costly to produce, assemble, ship, install, use, service, and recycle. VA can also lead to more innovation.

Value Analysis and Value Engineering Examples

Let’s look at some real-life examples of these optimizing processes. DISHER has helped hundreds of manufacturers with VAVE initiatives.

An Example of Value Analysis:

An automotive supplier came to DISHER for VA work on an existing floor console. They wanted to reduce the cost and weight while maintaining the quality and functionality.

DISHER conducted primary research. We determined the top five items people placed in their floor console. We discovered what features or comforts they would like in their console. And we learned what current features or functions were not useful in their console.

DISHER also conducted secondary research by first analyzing the floor consoles of the top 25 selling cars currently on the market. Then we benchmarked futuristic automotive technologies. After that, we researched new design concepts from other industries and studied hi-tech materials from a variety of sources for ideation inspiration.

DISHER’s cross-functional VA team conducted a Whiteboard Wednesday. Our brainstorming event explored potential cost and weight-reduction processes. We identified items such as using fewer PCBs, shorter or fewer wire harnesses, reducing the number of fasteners, reducing the amount of material, increasing the tolerance of parts and pieces of the subcomponents, and redesigning the parts to use less materials.

DISHER’s VA team developed the top 24 concepts further. Our team included industrial designers, conceptual engineers, mechanical engineers, and subject matter experts. We delivered a summary of our innovative ideas for continued exploration.

DISHER also reported on the research findings. We included data on what functions were valuable to users now and what they wanted in the future.

An Example of Value Engineering:

A furniture OEM approached DISHER with a VE problem. They needed to design a new mixed-material seating line for the fast-casual market. They wanted the right form and function. And they wanted to optimize the new furniture with current manufacturing processes and supply chain partnerships.

DISHER conducted competitive benchmarking. We looked at many dining and restaurant wood and metal seating and table designs.

During the ideation phase, industrial designers and conceptual engineers sketched dozens of possibilities. We explored a variety of materials, forms, functions, colors, and trends. DISHER analyzed the concepts based on the assembly processes, manufacturing feasibility, and design consistency.

DISHER vetted the top design ideas with our client. We analyzed the costs, materials, functionality, form, manufacturability, and sustainability. Based on the data, we became unified in a clear direction.

Our client launched five new seating lines and two new table lines with great success. The furniture is not only high quality, comfortable, and good looking—but profitable and sustainable.

The Goal of VAVE with DISHER

DISHER offers both VA and VE services for manufacturers, suppliers, and entrepreneurs.

Our product development team incorporates VE into every stage of the design process.

The manufacturing tech experts apply VA techniques for existing products and manufacturing systems.

Our goal is to help you achieve higher levels of performance, productivity, and profitability. We want to Make a Positive Difference with you and leave this world better than we found it. It’s our mission.

Our Unique VAVE Capabilities

DISHER is different in that we are a complete end-to-end product engineering firm.

Our team can come alongside and assist with any aspect of the product development life cycle. From ideation and concept development to detailed engineering and manufacturing.

Our VAVE innovation process is impressive because of our deep, diverse pool of talent. We’re able to draw from a wealth of cross-functional knowledge.

DISHER employs our unique Whiteboard Wednesday brainstorming process to the VAVE process. Teams gather often to create and vet innovative concepts. VAVE teams are hand-picked for our clients.

DISHER subject matter experts provide knowledge and experience that pertains to your industry. We look at product design from every angle. User desirability, commercial viability, and production feasibility.

Our in-house research and benchmarking capabilities also benefit VAVE initiatives. We manage VAVE projects with high innovation and timely communication. Our informative reports and action steps support you in your journey to optimization.

DISHER also facilitates Value Analysis Workshops. These workshops help teams increase innovation and quality while lowering costs. If you are a design engineer or in procurement, operations, quality, and advanced product development—this is for you.

Consider a half-day to multi-day workshop based on your needs. Choose the location and time that works best for your teams.

We would love to equip your team with a proven VAVE process. Our practical tools will help you stay competitive and sustainable.

Experience Top Engineering Talent

DISHER can’t wait to start peeling the onion of optimization with you! With DISHER, you gain access to our VAVE experts and our entire team. Our team of 100+ engineers with cross-functional, cross-industry knowledge are ready to work with you.

We get energized building on innovative ideas and solutions. And how we serve our clients is truly unique. Our Midwest values, work ethic, and grit make the entire experience enjoyable. Organizations trust our work. We can’t wait to generate VAVE outcomes to benefit you for years and years to come.

Get Innovative Product Designs with DISHER

Ready to design higher-value products or services? Let us know how our VAVE experts can help you optimize your business.