If you have an idea for a new product or an enhancement for an existing product that requires electronic components how do you choose the best design partner to help you bring your product to market?
Here are four things you should consider when choosing a design partner:
1. Commercial ability
Are they just keen to design your product no matter what or will they help you develop a product that will be successful in the market? In any initial meeting a good design company will want to understand more about your product so that they can use their design expertise to add value in the process, for example:
- How does your product idea or enhancement compare to products already in the market?
- How will it meets customer needs?
- Are any elements, such as wifi functionality required to deliver the benefits to the end user?
- Can your design partner also help with enclosures or packaging to make your product more attractive to the end user?
2. Understanding of the end to end process
Do they have a thorough understanding of the manufacturing process and how your product will be manufactured ensuring that there are no issues once your product moves into production? At BitBox we have an onsite manufacturing facility and everything we do is designed with manufacturing in mind, even down to ensuring that component parts are available and minimising the risk of obsolescence.
If you are planning to sell in Europe or the US you will need to meet stringent testing requirements. How well does your design partner understand these requirements and are they able to design a product more likely to receive regulatory approval?
3. Experience and expertise
Choosing a partner should be the start of a long term relationship with a company able to guide and support you whether you are producing short production runs or are aiming for mass production. Some questions you might want to ask include:
- What experience do they have helping companies move from prototype and into production?
- Have they worked with companies throughout the product lifecycle from original production to enhancements?
- How do they manage obsolescence?
You need to be able to work with a design partner you can trust and some things you might want to consider include:
- Are they willing to sign a non disclosure agreement – or do they suggest it?
- Intellectual property – do the design files belong to you or the designer? This is critical when it comes to future product enhancements.
And finally, as with any recruitment, consider whether there is a good personal connection. Finding a company you can work with as a long term partner, who keeps up to date with latest developments and can advise you as well as be a trusted supplier will be a huge benefit to you as your company grows.
At BitBox we offer a free one hour consultation and can provide indicative costings to support a business case or to secure funding. Many companies have found this initial discussion very helpful as an impartial review of their ideas and have found the advice invaluable in ensuring they deliver a product which functions well and is designed with the manufacturing process in mind.
Call us on 01256 799080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.