If you’re preparing to bring a new product to market, you already know your product’s success will depend in large part on establishing a sound use case. As the name suggests, this involves identifying the needs your product is intended to meet, the challenges it’s designed to solve, and the practices and preferences of the end-user. (And then optimizing your product accordingly.)

At Pivot International, we’re a single-source global product design, development, and manufacturing firm with nearly fifty years of experience bringing a big-picture approach to your use case. Deploying the power of our in-house DFM, we approach a use case and the design of your innovation from the perspective of manufacturing constraints and supply chain considerations. This ensures that your product can be cost-effectively manufactured at scale to drive the greatest return on your investment.

Optimizing use cases by following specific design approaches, digital technologies, UX considerations, manufacturing methods, and supply chain challenges is an extensive undertaking. There can be more than a hundred different variables that need to be explored and assessed. (Which requires the coordination of multiple teams and the close client collaboration we’re famous for at Pivot.) But for all its complexity, making your use case doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are four basic steps you can take to simplify the process.

1. Context

When it comes to a use case, context is king. If you don’t get the context right, nothing else matters. Context needs to take into account objective, subjective, and systemic factors. For instance, the dimensions and specifications of the product (objective), the cognitive demands of using the product (subjective), and the industries, organizations, and institutions that will be regulating and interfacing with the product (systemic).

2. Effectiveness

Effectiveness is the most practical consideration of a use case and the lowest hurdle to clear for market viability. Effectiveness is essentially the answer to the question, does the product get the job done? (Notice this question is not about how the product gets the job done, or if it gets the job done pleasantly, but simply whether or not the product “works.”) That said, determining effectiveness is rarely as straightforward as it might seem. For this reason, it’s important to dig into the minutiae of what “getting the job done” means from those with boots on the ground (end-users).

3. Efficiency

We’ve all had the experience of buying a product that gets the job done but not as quickly or easily as we expect. If a product is to have any chance of competing in the marketplace, it needs to be both effective and efficient. In many instances, this is a matter of matching the right technology to use case. This is why it’s crucial to select a partner with technical diversity. When your partner has limited technological options available (or only off-the-shelf solutions), the outcome is often this: your product will be developed with a viable technology rather than an optimal one.

4. Engagement

Engagement is the variable of a use case most closely associated with UX (user experience). A product can be designed that is extremely effective and efficient yet uninspiring. While effectiveness and efficiency are primarily utilitarian in nature, engagement tends to be more aesthetic. (Though it’s important to understand that these two considerations necessarily overlap.) The intersection of high effectiveness, high efficiency, and high engagement often results in a kind of “mystique” commonly associated with products that bear the names of Tesla, Google, Apple, and Adobe.

Are you on the hunt to find the right partner to help you develop a new product? Our teams at Pivot are what you’ve been looking for! Our one-source expertise spans more than fourteen industries, six markets, and 320,000 square feet of manufacturing space across three continents. (Including options right here in the U.S. that can help you get offshore supply chain advantages closer to home.) Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business!