In some organizations product development costs are high due to a number of reasons.  Sometimes the R&D department has to exist inside a manufacturing plant which is streamlined towards manufacturing. Inefficiencies can arise because of the following:

  • Using suppliers who have supplied a high volume of parts or assemblies to a company for a long time and who are unsuitable for prototype manufacture.
  • Relying on production to help out with testing a prototype.
  • R & D engineers may have other responsibilities including supporting production and after sales.
  • Engineers may use entrenched ideas and ways of doing things due to the company culture.
  • Inter-departmental tensions or internal company politics may hamper the product development process.
  • Design by committee.
  • Engineers may feel like a small cog in the system and not take project ownership.
  • Being constrained to using manufacturing orientated software, processes and systems to design prototypes.
  • The manufacturing process is streamlined for reducing cost and lead times.  High quality, skill and flexibility is required for prototype manufacture.

A small engineering design company can help solve these problems by:

  • Easily controlling the pace of development and investment.
  • The fact that good designs often arise from small dedicated teams.
  • Designing prototypes using software and document management systems appropriate for prototype development.
  • Being outside the company. This allows for lateral thinking, for an appraisal of competitive products in the marketplace and for using ideas from other industries / technologies.
  • Using suppliers appropriate for prototype manufacture.
  • Ensuring knowledge is kept in-house by using non disclosure agreements.
  • Being fully dedicated to the project,and taking full responsibility.
  • Not being subject to internal inter-departmental tensions and politics.
  • Using external experts who’s specialized knowledge will speed up the development process.

One of the disadvantages of using an external company can be losing design control and proprietary information. However a good working relationship in conjunction with using non-disclosure agreements can lead to good results.  Get in contact with us if you want to minimize costs and rapidly develop a product.