Collaborative product development is an often overlooked part of the creation process. In a rush to get to market, inventors may hyper-focus on their vision without considering how outside input could improve their design. This results in a lot of lost opportunities to enhance the process and conserve resources.
At Pacific Research Laboratories, we consider every new product a partnership. We are there to help our creators fully flesh out their ideas and make their dreams realities. By working with us, clients gain the benefit of our years of experience when it comes to design, material choice, and production methods. This is not possible with many other companies, which is why we stand out among the rest when it comes to building a brand new idea.
Collaborative Product Development: A Crucial Factor in Success
Experience breeds excellence. That’s why collaboration is such an integral part of product development. A good partner can offer many opportunities. Here are just a few to consider.
Sometimes, what we envision isn’t a possibility. That’s a hard fact to swallow, but it’s one that creators need to know from the beginning, before they waste funds and resources on a product that will never see the mass market. An experienced partner can help them understand the limitations of their concept and offer ways to work around it.
Speed to Market
Often, what decides the success of a project isn’t who has the most innovative idea. It’s who gets that concept to the market first. By using options like rapid prototyping and tooling, as well as small-run manufacturing, creators can accelerate their development and gain a competitive edge.
Design for manufacturing should be a lynchpin of any process. Otherwise, the creator may wind up with a product design that’s too complicated or cumbersome to make. By designing the product with the manufacturing process in mind, the developer can build in production planning that ensures the project is mass market ready.
Iterative testing is the key to ensuring the design is as strong as it possibly can be, but not all partners can offer that. Working with a partner who will take a design through multiple iterations and ensure all issues are resolved is the best way to maximize quality.
Waste, both in time and resources, is a major barrier in manufacturing. A collaborative partner will already have a process in place to eliminate waste. They may follow continuous process improvement, lean protocols or other manufacturing standards to strive for excellence at a granular level.
Save on Costs
A hands-off partner may be cheaper in the beginning, but that cost savings will be lost once the creator reaches production. A collaborative partner will design in a way that maximizes resources while minimizing process steps. All this leads to cost savings which will drive revenue when the project reaches the mass market.
Collaborative product development makes it possible for creators who are entirely new to the process to navigate design and manufacturing standards that previously acted as barriers. Any creator who wants to make an impact with their offering should seek out someone willing to become a partner that guides them through all the complexities involved.
Finding the Right Product Development Partner
Most companies will claim to be collaborative, but often, that’s just good advertising. To find a firm that’s genuinely ready to partner in product creation, inventors should look for companies that are:
Employee-owned: When employees own the firm, the success of their clients is personal. A shared journey ensures that excellence is the standard for all parties involved in the project.
Local: International contract manufacturers may be cheaper, but often, they deal in volume. That means they can’t provide the one on one attention that smaller, local firms can provide. A creator who wants a collaborative experience should look for a firm in their community.
Transparent: Touring the facilities of a potential partner will give creators a good idea of the expertise of the firm as well as their access to technology. This type of transparency can foster trust, which ensures a strong partnership throughout the product development journey.
Experienced: The right firm will be able to provide examples of their work in an industry relevant to the creator’s design. Through this experience, they can overcome common roadblocks and eliminate issues specific to that type of product.
Innovative: A firm that sticks to a single type of technology is going to limit the creator’s options from day one. The best collaborative partner will offer a variety of materials and process options to meet the needs of the creator.
Pacific Research Laboratories specializes in collaborative product development in a wide range of industries. We become partners that help guide our clients through the journey of bringing their product to life. By using our experience, these creators enjoy cost and time savings while gaining a competitive advantage in their market.