'Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.'

Charles Eames

'To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.'
Milton Glaser

Unit 4: Commercial and quality principles 

Commercial and quality principles involves two assignments.


The first is a research and write up assignment.

The second is an activity based costing excersize 

Sample assignment brief LA A unit 4
Assignment Brief Learning_Aim_A_Unit_4_A[...]
Microsoft Word document [72.8 KB]

Below are a number of case studies that could be used to support delivery and completion of unit 4 learning aim A


If possible using a company close to your location and combining it with visits and interviews / question and answer sessions with the owner or manager would help to provide a better understanding of how an engineering firm works. 

Sample case study
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Sample case study
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Sample case study
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Things to consider when completing learning aim A unit 4


P1) How to the key business activities of innovation, production and green technologies influence the company?


P2) Write a paragraph that explains how each of these topics effects the pricing and preformance of the company (one paragraph per heading) 


Sourcing materials, Cost of materials, Production time and location, Transportation, Cost of labour, Languages (differing), Market size, Exchange rates.                

(Look at case study you choose and predict or find references to any of the above explain how they affect the company)



Explain how the innovations, etc create competitive advantage with other companies.

 Build on your P1 work to explain some of the ways the company makes sure it is ahead of the competition.



Task: To get the distinction evaluate what you have found out from M1 write up what the strengths and weaknesses of the company are re: competitive advantages etc and then make a conclusive statement giving reasons for your reasoning. 

Learning aim B Unit 4 Activity Based Costing

Sample assignment brief LA B unit 4
Assignment Brief Learning_Aim_B_Unit_4_A[...]
Microsoft Word document [74.2 KB]
Activity Based Costing Case Study
Adobe Acrobat document [774.5 KB]

Download and review the above case study, explain in your own words what you understand Activity Based Costing to mean.

Tips on completing unit 4 learning aim B


To help you complete an industry standard ABC excersize download and review the .xlsx document below, it maybe necessary to remove some of the cell content in order that you can start fresh.


The .xlsx works by calculating various costing factors once you have input figures in the sections relevent to labout, materials, manufacturing, design, packaging, instalation and transport.  


It is important that you take care when completing the excersize and that you take great care when inputting figures. 


What to do:


Once you have completed a costing for a given engineering product or service print out or screen shot and evidence your initial costing


Save the file under a different name and then see where you can make savings by altering different input figures and seeing what effect they have. 


Summarise the costings you managed to make and explain how they were made, evidence each area that you made savings in by comparing the same heading areas of the two spreadsheets. 


Often labour is the highest cost to a business so can you think of any ways to limit or reduce costs in that area?


ABC activity template.xlsx
Microsoft Excel sheet [47.4 KB]

Learning aim C: Value analysis and ISO improvement standards.                                    Please use the presentation and .PDF resources below to help your research and investigation writing for your assignment C. 

Microsoft Word document [24.0 KB]

ISO 9000 and 14000: BSI Case Studies

Sample Case Study
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Sample Case Study
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Sample Case Study
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Sample Case Study
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Further reading on ISO 9000 and 14000: 

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© Julian Kupper