You and practically everyone else on the planet have heard the old saying, “No man is an island.” Well, as tired as the phrase may be, it’s also quite true—which is probably why it’s been around for the past 500 years (it originated with John Donne, the 16th century poet and writer, who wrote it in his Meditation XVII).
The saying is especially true when it comes to new product development. It’s rare indeed to find a single person capable of coming up with a product idea, designing the product, fixing any flaws, marketing the product, and then selling it. And even if you are that rare person, at some point you’ll need to team up with a manufacturer if you want to get your product to the masses.
So how do you build a solid product development team? At Pivot, we put together effective teams for inventors all the time, drawing from our list of excellent professionals in design and development, prototyping, and manufacturing. Here’s our breakdown of who you want on your side when developing your product.
The first person, or group of people, you’ll want to work with are engineers. Depending on your device, you’ll need engineers with specific sets of expertise. If you’re developing software, obviously you’ll need a software engineer; if your product is mechanical, you’ll need a mechanical engineer.
If this is your first time moving through the product development process, you may want to team up with a product engineer. Although they’re not necessarily engineers in the strict sense of the word, they are people who are familiar with product design and development, and who can help you select materials and vendors for prototyping and manufacturing.
If you work with Pivot, you’ll also get the services of a project manager, who will take ownership of your project from start to finish. Project managers develop a big-picture strategy to launch your product quickly, effectively, and successfully into the marketplace.
Manufacturers—both for prototyping and commercial manufacture
After your product has gone through the design process, it’s time to make your prototype. With the use of CAD, or computer-aided design, and 3D printing, the prototyping process can be extremely quick and cost-effective.
But you can also opt for a traditional prototype created at a machine shop, for example, or a manufacturing facility. No matter which route you choose, you’ll want to find a reputable manufacturer who will create your prototype to your specifications.
You’ll also want to make sure that the vendor you work with will commit to your product—chances are, your first prototype won’t be the exact design that end up using, so you’ll want to be able to go through multiple iterations if needed before you manufacture a commercial quantity.
When you are ready to begin product manufacturing on a large scale, it can be very helpful to find a manufacturer who will take the time to truly understand your product and any associated product goals. With their particular expertise, they may be able to recommend better or more cost-effective materials, or a more effective mode of manufacturing than you yourself would have thought of.
Business services professionals
Not all inventors will need the help of a business services professional to manage things like supply chain, hosting product data, or setting up a business to sell your product.
However, if you think these services could help you make your product a success, take advantage of them—Pivot has experts in all of these areas who can help you as much or as little as you need.
Putting together a good product development team can be a daunting task, which is why Pivot has been doing just that for inventors and product designers for the past 40 years. If we can help you make your product a success, contact us today!