Published 15 Aug 2023
What is a Product Evaluation?
Product evaluation is the process of assessing a manufactured product’s suitability and safety for use by consumers. Product evaluation is conducted for two main reasons: 1) to ensure product follows relevant standards, and 2) to identify and remove manufacturing or design defects. Guarantee product success by ensuring the safety and quality. Failure to secure products from both manufacturing and design defects can result in product recalls and lawsuits under product liability.
In this article
- Evaluating with a Template
- Evaluation for Product Success
- Paper-based vs Digital
- Featured Product Evaluation Templates
Evaluating with a Template
A product evaluation template is used by manufacturers after product development to provide a standard guide in examining products, therefore ensuring accurate and uniform format of data. Using a product evaluation template can help manufacturers easily assess production line and identify defects early on before market release. As an integral tool for product management, the template entails two different areas in product evaluation which is discussed below.
Evaluation for Product Success
Characteristics of a good product should be incorporated for a product to be successful.. It should be functional, reliable, safe and built in high-quality. Below are two areas of product evaluation that can help ensure the success of a product:
The purpose of evaluating manufacturing procedures is to mitigate manufacturing defects. Manufacturing defects are caused by faults or errors during the production stage. Some of the most common errors are caused by the usage of poor quality materials and negligence. For example, products made with cheap materials are most likely to malfunction which then places consumers at risk.
Prevent manufacturing defects by keeping a regular inspection process on manufacturing procedures. Below are inspections/audits and tools that manufacturing companies use for better implementation of manufacturing procedures and standards:
- Manufacturing Process Audit
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
- ISO 9001
- 5s Audit
In this area, product design is assessed to mitigate design defects. Design defects refer to cases where despite the functionality of the product its design causes risk to the consumer. A common design defect is those poorly designed mechanisms that contain toxic or dangerous substances. A good example of a design defect is the Takata airbags, which has been called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S history.”
Fortify product designs to be safe and easy to use by considering the following:
- Product user
A successful product design takes account of the intended user or range of user’s physical characteristics. For example, using a children’s toy as a product and toddlers as the intended user, the size of the product should fit the toddler’s physical characteristics, otherwise, it may pose choking hazards.
- Product environment
The product should go through an environmental evaluation whereas it will be evaluated under conditions it will be used in. For example, rain boots are intended for use out of doors when its raining and so it must allow users to protect their feet from getting soaked.
- Product itself
Assess if the product follows manufacturing and design standards. Is it comfortable and easy to use? Conduct product trials to see what consumers think about the product through a structured experiment or questionnaire. Provide a checklist for participants to use in product trials and for staff to assess all aspects of the product.
Paper-based vs Digital
Performing paper-based audits and inspections can be cumbersome as it involves manually checking all areas of the operation. This traditional paper-based evaluation is a lengthy process that lowers quality and is time-consuming which reduces productivity.
See how Mark, a safety and quality personnel performing product evaluation with pen and paper. He starts off with manually going through his lengthy paper checklist to inspect the production line and manually takes photo evidence of failed items. Mark then also makes note of other personnel observations and then file it. He then goes back to his desk and recalls the overall inspection he did during the day to generate a report and then print copies to share with his superiors.
Meanwhile, digitizing product evaluations offers a more simple and efficient way of ensuring product safety and quality across all procedures. Digital checklists help guide staff through the inspections process and generate accurate data.
See how Katie, a safety and quality officer uses SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) to perform product evaluation using her mobile device. She uses a digital checklist as a guide in inspecting the production line and take photo evidence of failed items. She then collaborates with other personnel by sharing her inspection template for them to edit and give their inputs. Once thats through, SafetyCulture automatically compiles all these data and generates a comprehensive report that she can easily share with her respective superiors.
Benefit more in digitizing product evaluations with SafetyCulture, and be able to:
- Create mobile-ready product evaluation checklists
- Empower teams to complete evaluations using a smartphone or tablet
- Attach photos and make annotations within the app
- Save all reports online. Preview a sample report here.
- Use for free with small teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts. Compare pricing plans.
Featured Product Evaluation Templates
This tool evaluation template is used to inspect fixed and portable abrasive wheel machinery used to manufacture a product. It covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure machinery are in good working condition. It helps assess the overall requirements including grinding wheels, spindle, and machine guarding.
A customer satisfaction product survey template is used to gather customer feedback during product trials. Use this template to gain information on how you can further improve product design to provide high-quality products for consumers.