In our previous e-newsletter, we spoke about Performing Market Validation, step 4 of our 8 Step Product to Market Guide. Today we want to talk a bit about step 5 of this guide – Confirm Manufacturability. Keep reading as we take you one step closer to bringing your product idea to market. Happy inventing!
If you launch a product and market it well, you’ll have an initial “aha!” moment with some of your audience. The rest of the crowd won’t immediately see it because they don’t know your product is the key to solving their problems. That, or they’re just generally indifferent.
The step between your idea and your product is manufacturing. No idea will come alive and give you the opportunity to make money and change unless it is able to be manufactured or mass produced and sold. You’ll want to confirm that your product idea is affordable and able to be manufactured. Knowing how your idea can be manufactured will help you to make well-informed decisions that can essentially put additional money in your pocket.
Don’t be too hasty with your decisions
Going forth with a product invention is an exciting step for any person or business. Yup, one adrenaline shot coming right up! But hold your horses; we have to take this one step at a time. Your time, energy and money are being invested into this and it should be done right. Remember, you want value for your money and that means understanding the need to confirm that your product can indeed be affordably manufactured. A good way to start this process is to explore existing products that are readily available and are using similar manufacturing processes that your product will utilize. Whether your product is to be made from metal, plastic, glass, rubber, it’s very likely there will be a product using similar methods of manufacturing processes that you can study. This is the first step to confirming that your product is capable of being manufactured.
A Manufacturer’s Fit
Based on your product needs, finding and working with the right manufacturer is crucial to getting your product to market. Is it better to mass produce locally or overseas? How much control do you, the inventor want over the manufacturing process? Manufacturing a product locally will give you the ability to visit the site more often, to check in on things, something you perhaps would not have the liberty of doing if you select an overseas manufacturer. If you’re looking to mass produce at a lower cost, an overseas manufacturer is your best bet but keep in mind things such as lead time between manufacturing and bringing the product to market and customs and statutory regulations are to be considered as well.
In addition, don’t be afraid to tap into your business networks. Business people in the industry have valuable, first hand experience to share and you want to capitalize on that. Call up your business friend you’ve said “Hi” to, time and time again at the golf course. Get a referral from your fellow business owner. Start a forum and get on social media. This is a good and easy way to get feedback on potential manufacturers you’ve had in mind.
A good manufacturer will want your business or invention to succeed. Once you’ve compared price, lead time and manufacturing processes, it’s selection time! Be sure to communicate with your manufacturer product specifications, quality assurance and the likelihood of any delays or breach of contract. Ask all your questions and don’t be afraid to ‘make the call’ when it comes to any part of the production process. To avoid having your product idea stolen, avoid disclosing product details to a factory or engineering firm to confirm manufacturability ahead of initial patent filing.
Envision – Bringing your idea to market
In order to communicate effectively with your chosen manufacturer, you will need a set of manufacturing drawings and/or a well made prototype. Unless you are an engineer or an industrial designer, you will want to hire someone to help you. This is where Envision Product Development Group comes in. At Envision, we have the ability to quickly test ideas for form, fit, and function. We design for production right from the start, and leverage the latest rapid prototyping technologies to accelerate development and early product testing. Our diverse global team of production resources works at the factory to ensure your product is produced correctly and according to schedule.
The company has been in existence since 1996. David Carson, along with our Chief Engineer and Industrial Design Engineer has a combined experience of 100 years in the industry and have developed, produced, patented and marketed hundreds of both high-tech and low-tech product innovations that have been successfully sold to markets worldwide. Our team works with factories both domestic and abroad, quoting several manufacturers to find you the best price and quality. Production cost reduction strategies are planned early, and we re-negotiate with suppliers. With Envision, pre-qualified manufacturers for mass production are at your fingertips. Our overseas team works on the ground at the factory as your eyes and ears – ensuring your product is made with quality and completed on schedule. In addition, our process involves rigorous inspection planning to ensure nothing is overlooked throughout production. We provide three layers of quality assurance with a process built on aerospace standards to safeguard against quality issues. And finally, we have the ability to identify and negotiate with qualified shippers and prepare all required documentation and services needed. Our resources regularly handle distribution for major products, from unit fulfillments to container loads.
Now that you have confirmed your product’s manufacturability, let’s get inventing!