You have a great idea of a product that you’re sure many people will love, and the next thing you may want to do is to make it real and accessible for as many people as possible, and hopefully, change the world.
So how are you going to make it happen? What’s the process between your amazing product idea and a better world?
Define your product
Before we begin, we believe it’s our duty to let you know that the whole product development process is not made of cotton candy. An end product is the result of tons of hard work, design and engineering expertise, quality control, supply chain management and many more.
So it’s important that you get the each step right. Defining your product and deciding what’s the exact product that you intend to make is the first step. You need to resist the temptation to change your product design idea whenever you feel like it.
Research and development always account for a big chunk of the product investment, and the last thing you want to do is to add the R&D expenses, because it could result in the cutting back on the manufacturing end.
By the end of this stage, you should have the virtual prototype of your product ready and prepared for the next step.
Make a prototype of your product
It’s never wise of you to skip the prototyping stage just because of the upfront cost and time required. Because prototype of your product provides you with great opportunities for you to see how will your product be like, how can you make it better in terms of functionality and usability, how is the manufacturability, and how will the market reaction be to your product.
Product prototyping phase is the great chance for you to fix problems before it’s too late or too expensive. In other words, it refines your product.
If your product is too complicated to be made by hand, you can find yourself a prototype manufacturer at this stage. Sourcing for a prototype manufacturer is pretty much the same with sourcing any manufacturer or supplier, but with less issues that you need to attend to.
All you need to do is to make sure that:
1) The manufacture is capable in providing you with what you need;
2) You’ve fully communicated with your prototype manufacturer about your product design;
3) You agree with the costs of the prototype.
If you’re interested in knowing more about product prototype, feel free to read What is prototype and how to make a prototype?
Find potential manufacturers
Then comes the next big move: find the ideal manufacturer for your product.
If you intend to mass produce your product, finding a reliable contract manufacturer and make the most of their sub-tier suppliers for your product is always the way to go.
Trying to source manufactures and manage them by yourself could have you face huge risks, especially when you’re not an expert in manufacturing or quality control.
Such risks could range from overcoming language and cultural barriers if your manufacturers are overseas, to manufacturing thousands of wrong product parts and end up losing all your money and time.
So if you want your product to be manufactured at a relatively large scale, sourcing for a competent contract manufacturer should be one of your first steps on the product development road.
But how can you make sure that you’ve landed on the perfect manufacturer?
Well, the same logic applies here: if you’re not a sourcing expert, you’d better leave it to the professionals. That said, it’s always wise of you to hire an agent for sourcing a reliable manufacturer.
Insight Solutions Global is the right person for you. We have years of experience in the field, and our supplier network has spread across China. Just name your worries, and we’ll find ways to get them fixed for you.
Visit the factories
Internet communication with your manufacturer is not always enough. If you plan to have a long term cooperation with your supplier or manufacturer, it’s crucial that you pay them a visit at site. Feel free to read Select an Ideal Supplier With a Site Visit or Factory Tour to know more about why site visits are important and what you should do in a site visit.
If your suppliers are way across the global, or that you don’t have the right resources in your team to assure the effectiveness of site visit, feel free to let us know, and we’d be more than glad to help you out.
Manufacture in a small scale
If you have visited your supplier on-site, and the information you gathered tells you that they are the right partner to work with, you can skip this step.
But for a smaller business with a smaller investment, you can’t be too careful. Starting with your manufacturer or supplier from production at a small scale would be a safe way to go. If the product delivered is not satisfying, you can still make some changes to the situation.
However, you can’t have a cake and have it too. If you’re going to manufacture your product at a small scale first, the following problems may arise:
- The single piece price for your product could be higher than a larger amount;
- The whole product development process could be longer than your expectation.
You need to decide what is the optimal way for your company and your product.
Request a quote, and work on full costs estimation
At this stage, what’s left for you to do is to send your potential suppliers a request for quotation, and compare their replies.
Make sure that your request for quotation leaves little or no ambiguous room for multiple interpretation. And your suppliers’ replies are telling you what you need to know.
This is a lot of paperwork for you, but it’s a step that you can’t miss. It helps you land the ideal manufacturer with the fair price.
What comes next is you working with your manufacturer and suppliers for the production of your end product. But that’s another story that we’ll tell later.
Feel free to let us know if we miss something, or that you need our help in one or even all of the processes, and we’ll be chime in to do our job.