When we recently wrote that R&D is not manufacturing, we asked why companies so often choose contract manufacturers to perform their outsourced product development work. Companies that outsource their product development programs think they face a difficult choice between the type of partner with whom to work; an industrial design firm or a contract manufacturer. The answer is neither, as each lacks the expertise needed to perform product development, particularly with complex products.
There is a space between the deliverables of an Industrial design firm and capabilities of a contract manufacturer. Product development creates the bridge that links industrial design and contract manufacturing.
Industrial design firms are skilled at creating product concepts based on human factors, customer and industry input. But, at its core, the deliverables from industrial design, while important to the overall process, amount to “pretty pictures”. Product development (R&D) takes industrial design work and creates functional prototypes and the go-to-market product. Product development applies good engineering practices and manufacturing trade-offs to industrial design concepts and delivers a product that meets or exceeds the customer’s needs regarding form, fit, functionality, quality, cost and market suitability.
Product development is about taking a concept and turning it into reality. Quite simply, product development executes on a design concept.
Contract manufacturers are skilled at taking a final product design and producing it. Contract manufacturers’ expertise and financial business models are based on the manufacturing and maintenance of a product over its lifecycle. It is common, however, that a contract manufacturer is brought in to perform product development, usually as part of an “all-in-one” solution. When product development is complex and includes hardware software, and mechanical requirements, for example, a contract manufacturer’s risk of failure increases.
Resolution has seen 1st hand contract manufacturers that took on product development work that was beyond their capabilities. Much of our success has been a result of working with clients who realized the limitation of their CM, sometimes well into the project. Don’t make the same mistake.
To ensure a successful outsourcing strategy, a business must understand that for each of the four key phases of product development (industrial design / concept development, product development [R&D], transfer to manufacturing, and manufacturing) the right partner with the right skills must be engaged. This is as true today as it was in the early days of manufacturing. Successful Fortune 500 companies prove this time and time again. Companies that have successfully launched complex products have realized the importance of aligning the right partner with the right processes to bring their product to market.
Without product development, companies would have designs on paper and no clear way to manufacturer those designs. Product bridges the critical area between industrial design and contract manufacturing.
Companies that partner with Resolution realize that the different phases of product development require different skills and best in class partners for industrial design and contract manufacturing. Resolution’s best-of-breed strategy lets companies do what they do best to deliver clients the product they envisioned to the marketplace.
Resolution provides services such as:
Program & Project Management
- Vision Integration
- Hardware Design
- Embedded Programming
- Software (Linux & Windows)
- DSP & FPGA Development
- System Development
By connecting design with manufacturing, product development services like those provided by Resolution help lower costs and the time to bring a new product to market.
Read our whitepaper to learn more about Resolution as the Bridge between Industrial design and Manufacturing.