McKinsey Quarterly

Squeezing more ideas from product teardowns

| Article

Engineers and purchasers love product teardowns—the practice of dismantling products into parts as a way to spark fresh thinking. Few manufacturers, however, elevate the practice above Skunk Works status, and many executives pigeonhole it as a tactical exercise in cost cutting. Some companies, however, are throwing open the doors of their Skunk Works labs and using teardowns as opportunities to increase cross-functional collaboration. Along the way, they are saving more money, capitalizing better on customer insights, and improving the revenue potential of their products.

In this interactive, we explore margin-improvement opportunities from teardowns that we’ve identified in the consumer goods industry and highlight how companies in the high-tech and construction-equipment industries are using this venerable tool in new ways.

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