Bringing a new product to market always involves some degree of risk. For medical and industrial innovations or complex consumer products, the stakes are even higher. Although many factors determine a product’s market success, the right product development partner plays an essential and central role. For this reason, most companies conduct extensive due diligence in vetting and selecting a partner. Unfortunately, only later do some companies realize their partner was not an ideal choice. When this occurs, it’s generally due to not knowing how to identify the “non-negotiables.” Here are the top five you’ll need to look for and verify.

End-to-End Experience and Industry-Leading Expertise

Many companies assume that engaging a different partner for each product development phase (design, engineering, and manufacturing) is the most cost-effective approach. While this may seem to be the case, it poses unforeseen dangers that often come with an unexpected price tag. When the complete product development process isn’t approached holistically, any number of costly breakdowns can — and often do — occur. These include breakdowns in communication, coordination, innovation, quality control, and more.

On the other hand, a one-source partner ensures these breakdowns won’t occur because all aspects of product development are integrated under a single umbrella. This means you’ll be communicating with the same stakeholders from start to finish and ensures that all teams (internal and customer-facing) are on the same page. And because a one-source partner has complete visibility into its operations, it delivers exceptional degrees of oversight. At Pivot International, we are industry leaders with nearly fifty years of one-source product development expertise that spans fourteen industries throughout three continents.

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) to Drive Cost-Savings and Innovation

At Pivot, we like to say that DFM is one of the differences between a good one-source partner and a great one. DFM plays a crucial role in keeping your product development costs down by ensuring that your product is designed with manufacturing in mind. Without DFM, the result is often a product that looks and functions perfectly “on paper” but is too expensive to manufacture at scale. DFM considers everything from which raw materials are most compatible with various manufacturing methods and equipment parameters to whether the contours of a design pose production problems. DFM guards against sunk costs and “back-to-the-drawing-board” delays. It also fuels innovation by forcing designers to think outside the box. (When design options are narrowed by manufacturing limitations, designers are forced to innovate.)

The Ability to Rapidly Respond to Fluctuations in Market Demand

The fact that a product can be cost-effectively manufactured at scale does not necessarily mean that it can be scalably manufactured. For this, you’ll need to ensure your partner has the agility to rapidly ramp production up or dial it down in response to fluctuations in market demand. You’ll also need to determine if your partner allows you to flexibly shift production between large and small lot sizes. Last, be sure to check whether your partner has manufacturing locations close to your target market and whether you can “toggle” between these locations depending on your distribution needs. At Pivot, our investment in twinned mirror-mounted SMT lines and 320,000 square feet of manufacturing space across three continents delivers agile, flexible, and scalable manufacturing.

Technical Diversity for Customized Product Solutions

Technical diversity refers to the ability to deploy an extensive range of technologies and product solutions. Technical diversity is the opposite of hyper-specialization. (While specialization is good, hyper-specialization is not. To illustrate this point, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”) For companies seeking to develop low-complexity consumer products, a partner specializing in one or two ready-made solutions for one or two clear-cut problems can be a great fit. However, for medical, industrial, and complex consumer products, a partner that brings anything less than a well-stocked arsenal of technologies and product solutions is a clear liability. At Pivot, we bring the latest in wireless, cellular, optical, and other technologies to deliver customized product solutions to complex use case challenges.

Assistance With Regulatory Compliance

Federal efforts at geopolitical risk-mitigation strategies have resulted in many new trade policy and regulatory changes. For companies seeking to develop medical, industrial, or complex consumer products, these changes can be challenging to navigate. Selecting a partner like Pivot that can guide you through the regulatory process can significantly reduce the hassle and headache. Never work with a partner who lacks certifications that demonstrate compliance with regulatory statutes and adherence to strict quality control measures. At Pivot, our certifications include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, ISO 80079-34, and IEC 60601-1, and many more. Moreover, our facilities are FDA-registered.

Are you in the process of vetting a product development partner to help deliver a winning innovation to market? Pivot is the one-source solution you’ve been looking for! Contact us today for a no-cost consultation. We look forward to earning your business!