Value engineering

Value engineering began at General Electric Co. during World War II. Because of the war, there were shortages of skilled labour, raw materials, and component parts. Lawrence Miles, Jerry Leftow, and Harry Erlicher at G.E. looked for acceptable substitutes. They noticed that these substitutions often reduced costs, improved the product, or both. What started out as an accident of necessity was turned into a systematic process. They called their technique “value analysis”. At Enviroply we implement these techniques and processes during the planning stage of our projects to ensure that we meet and exceed objectives.

Value engineering is often done by systematically following a multi­stage job plan. The original system was a six­step procedure which he called the “value analysis job plan.” Others have varied the job plan to fit their constraints. Depending on the application, there may be four, five, six, or more stages. One modern version has the following eight steps:

1. Preparation

2. Information

3. Analysis

4. Creation

5. Evaluation

6. Development

7. Presentation

8. Follow­up

Four basic steps in the job plan are:

  • Information gathering ­ This asks what the requirements are for the object. Function analysis, an important technique in value engineering, is usually done in this initial stage. It tries to determine what functions or performance characteristics are important. It asks questions like; What does the object do? What must it do? What should it do? What could it do? What must it not do?
  • Alternative generation (creation) ­ In this stage value engineers ask; What are the various alternative ways of meeting requirements? What else will perform the desired function?
  • Evaluation ­ In this stage all the alternatives are assessed by evaluating how well they meet the required functions and how great the cost savings will be.
  • Presentation ­ In the final stage, the best alternative will be chosen and presented to the client for final decision.