With so many products on the market today, competition is fierce. Businesses have to find innovative ways to develop top-quality new products and edge out the competition. This is one of the reasons outsourced product development is becoming more popular among savvy product designers and business owners. It enables innovators to create superior products fast and with very little effort. You can think of it as a one-stop-shop for all of your design needs.
Is outsourcing right for your business? To find out, you should examine some of the main advantages of outsourcing and consider whether you can benefit from this full-service option.
Outsourced vs. In-House Product Development
In the past, most businesses had to design and develop their own products in-house from scratch. They were on the line for market research, conceptual design, product engineering, prototyping, and more. To accomplish all of this, they had to either hire staff with expertise in each of these key areas or make do with the staff they already had on the payroll. And this doesn’t even factor in the additional cost and time spent installing and maintaining machinery or other tools.
Today, outsourcing takes care of most of these issues. Outsourced product development is the process of hiring a third party to help businesses create new products. It can include everything from refining the initial product idea or design to manufacturing the final product for the market. Each product development provider offers different services and specialties to help clients turn a dream product into something tangible.
Now that outsourcing is more available and reliable, every business owner and inventor should consider using this system over an in-house process. To understand why outsourced product development is often superior to designing everything in-house, you’ll need to look closely at the many advantages of outsourcing.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Product Development
Why is outsourced product development recommended for most businesses, inventors, and entrepreneurs? There are seven key advantages that outsourcing has over in-house product development.
#1: You’ll Work with World-Class Experts
The main reason outsourced product development is a wise choice is that you’ll gain the expertise and craftsmanship of the world’s leading product developers. When you work with a trustworthy provider, a team of engineers and other product designers will analyze every detail of the product. They’ll consider the concept, design, prototyping processes, materials, and even identify potential manufacturing challenges you may face down the line. Using computer models, rapid prototyping, early release models, and other advanced tools, a third-party provider will ensure that your product is exceptionally high in quality.
#2: It Costs Less Than In-House Development
Leading product development experts often have high salaries, so hiring them as full-time in-house staff can be incredibly expensive. Additionally, product design and prototyping equipment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, not including maintenance and repair costs. Outsourced product development is often much less expensive than in-house design. You’ll work with top experts and state-of-the-art equipment at a fraction of the cost.
#3: It’s Much Faster Than Traditional Methods
It can take months to gather together a team of in-house experts and set up your product development equipment. Even modest designs can take up to a year to clear the prototyping stage when you perform this work in-house. If you hire a third-party provider instead, you can usually get a first prototype finished within just a few weeks. Some relatively simple designs take as little as two weeks to develop, while more complex designs typically take between four and six weeks, depending on the project’s scope.
#4: It’s Ideal for Small Businesses
Small businesses and startups with limited expertise or resources should strongly consider outsourcing their product development. Outsourcing is ideal for small businesses in competitive industries like automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, sports equipment, or any other product-centric field. Even if you know very little about how products are made or what you need to do to bring a dream project to life, a third party can help you get yours off the ground.
#5: You Can Outsource at Any Stage
Do you just have a basic idea? The best product development providers will work with you to flesh it out. Whether you’re still in the brainstorming and sketching stage or you already have a working prototype that you’d like an enclosure for, a team of experts will guide you through the next step.
#6: You’ll Still Control the Process
One of the biggest myths about outsourcing product development is that it takes control away from your business. Today’s leading product development providers ensure that business owners and other important stakeholders have a strong voice. When you outsource product development, you’re not giving up any control or rights over your creations. It’s a collaborative process.
#7: You Don’t Have to Outsource Overseas
Another common myth about outsourcing is that all of the work is done overseas. There are a number of reliable U.S.-based providers that strive to develop products locally whenever possible. As an added benefit, a U.S.-based provider can also meet with you in person to discuss your product or show you the design and prototyping process. It’s a hands-on approach with a personal touch.
These are just a few of the reasons why outsourced product development is the best choice for most businesses. Some third-party providers may also use special equipment or other methods that aren’t available anywhere else. To get the most benefit from outsourcing, you’ll need to find a provider that is the perfect fit for you.
Why Outsourced Product Development is Right for You
When you work with the right provider, outsourcing product development is an easy choice to make. But how do you find a reliable provider? The most trustworthy product development companies have:
- Years of experience working with a wide range of industries
- An impressive product portfolio or client testimonials
- Experienced and knowledgeable staff with diverse backgrounds
- Abundant capabilities, including tools, software, and machinery on-site
- A great reputation, especially when it comes to trust and confidentiality
- A collaborative mindset
The last point is especially important. A great provider will listen carefully to your needs and dreams for the project and will work tirelessly to incorporate them into the finished design. The provider should be there to guide you along the best possible path, but should also remain open-minded to your suggestions and feedback.
When you work with a partner that has all of the qualities above, you won’t question why outsourced product development is so important. You’ll experience the benefits for yourself.
PRL’s engineers have dozens of manufacturing options available to help you solve any challenge facing your product: CNC machining, custom tooling, 3D printing, thermoplastic molding, reverse engineering, and more. No matter what stage your product is currently at, we can create it and optimize it for manufacturing.