Design Management for American Apparel

Topics: Design, Creativity, Innovation Pages: 20 (7010 words) Published: March 10, 2010
Design Management Project American Apparel:
Introduction
There are five major design elements, performance, quality, durability, appearance and cost. The purpose of design is to optimise customer satisfaction and the profitability of a company by creatively coordinating these five elements in coherence with the company's products, environments, information, and corporate identity, thus, connecting the company with the consumer by creating products and services which appeal to the consumers needs. Design is not solely the shape, dimensions, or purpose of the product; it is the decision-making process that deals with the culmination of the appearance of objects, taking into consideration the economy, technical function, and making sure it meets consumer demand. There are six different areas of design within an organisation; design in products and services, marketing, team, business operations, strategy, and finance; •Design in products and services involve trying to differentiate companies' products from their competitors with the use of style, innovation and performance. •Design in marketing involves obtaining information on sales growth, competitors and future trends to allow the company to decipher any potential threats to the business which could make their products or development of any new product, obsolete. •The design management team needs to work out if they have the relevant resources within the company to design, or whether they need to outsource design skills. •Design in business operations involves using external resources to limit costs, risk, and improve quality. •Design processes and resources available to the business must be considered as this can play a vital role in the business strategy. •Design needs to be considered by any finance department; unfortunately design has to be a cost before the business can see any possible profit from the end product. Therefore the design service used would need the projected financial costs and benefits to be warranted by both the design and finance departments equally. Design is the fundamental backbone of any business whether it is a good or a service. This is because without design there would be no product, and thus, no foundation for any business to operate. “It is the principal reason for emotional attachment (or detachment) relative to a product, service or experience.”- Tom Peters, Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age. In this Book, Tom Peters devotes several chapters to the importance of “design” in achieving business success. He stresses that it is not continuous, incremental improvement, organizational excellence or strategic planning, but design that leads to a businesses success. He mentions a number of different companies including quoting Apple's CEO Steve Jobs in saying that design is the “fundamental soul of a man-made creation.” He also talks about how Ferrari uses design to “help customers become what they want to be.” The 'Double Diamond' Design Process Model

The first design model was developed at the Design Council in 2005 as a fairly simple graphical way of describing the design process:
The model is separated into four quarters, Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. It shows the divergent and convergent stages of the design process, displaying the different modes of thinking that designers use. The first quarter is: Discover

Discovering is the first part of any design process. This begins with an initial idea or inspiration, often sourced from a discovery phase. The discovery phase acts as a thinking process where the designers and other project team members view all the angles of the project/idea and make sure that all user needs are identified. These include: Market research, user research, managing information, and design research groups. Define

The second quarter of the double diamond model corresponds to the definition stage. The definition stage is where all of the findings from the discovery...

References: • J. Straub (2006)-American Apparel Exposed- Who 's Your Daddy? - Clamour Magazine.
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• Howard Price - (1996)The anthropology of the supply chain Fiefs, clans, witch-doctors and professors
• http://www.answers.com/topic/american-apparel [Date accessed November 5th]
• J.montana, F. Gurzman, I.Moll (2002)-Branding and design management: A brand design management model.
• Okpara (2007) -The value of Creativity and Innovation in Entrepreneurship- Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
• R. Chiva and J. Alegre (2009)- Investment in Design and Firm Performance: The Mediating Role of Design Management - Journal of Product Innovation Management- p5
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• S. Ahire, P. Dreyfus (2000) - The impact of design management and process management on quality: an empirical investigation- Journal of Operations Management
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• T Peters (2001), Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age-Dorling Kindersley
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