Value analysis is a systematic review of the production, purchasing and product design processes to reduce overall product costs. This can be accomplished through a variety of activities, including the following:
Designing products to use lower-tolerance parts that are less expensive
Switching to lower-cost components
Standardizing parts across product platforms in order to achieve volume discounts
Introducing automation to strip labor costs out of the production process
Altering product packaging to lower its cost while still protecting the product
The process is not a wholesale attack on costs. Costs are only reduced when the result will not impact the perceived level of quality experienced by customers, or the level of customer satisfaction.