This is part 12 of our series, “The of Medical Technology: Wearable Devices.” Read Part 11 Here.
It has been said “begin with the end in mind.” This very much applies to New Product Implementations (NPI). Decisions and promises made early in any product-development process can greatly affect manufacturing and post-manufacturing support and costs. All of our previous blogs in this wearables device series have led up to the point in time in which the product has to actually be produced, , and supported.
As soon as the basic elements of the product have been defined (e.g., printed size and type, enclosure type, etc.), you need to get your manufacturing partner involved.
Even prior to that, some extremely important design cost considerations must be defined:
The difference between these two is your Cost of Goods Sold, or COGS. The target COGS must be a design requirement that is routinely reviewed by the design team. (Of course, you must also make sure that you understand your operational costs as well.)
Another set of critical aspects to keep in mind are the lead times for components, tooling, and process development. This is especially important if there are design elements that are “pushing the envelope” relative to component technology (which often leads to limited availability and long lead times) and the processes required to manufacture the product.
If you take nothing else from this blog entry, at least make this : “I, (state your name), promise to NOT give potential customers a unit price or commitment until I fully understand both.”
Another benefit to having your manufacturing partners involved early is so that they can provide valuable design input that will help keep material and minimized while maximizing quality. US manufacturing is a very real option for all but the most labor-intensive products, especially when one considers the many downsides to offshore manufacturing (lower quality, longer lead times, increased shipping costs, and impacts to cash flow because of having to pre-pay – just to name a few).
Finally, once you ship your first product, you have created an entirely new set of challenges – you now have to support your customers! Questions to ask are:
Fortunately, all of these challenges can be handled by the Anuva family of companies. It is quite conceivable that you can become a “virtual manufacturer” and never actually have to touch the product yourself. Contact us to find out more information.