So you’ve got your product idea, the design is set, and you’re ready to turn the concept into a reality. What do you do next? If you want to sell your product, you’ll have to get it manufactured. Figuring out how to do that can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together this brief guide to help you figure out how to get started.

First, make a prototype.

If you haven’t already done a prototype of your design, you should make sure to complete one before you start looking for manufacturers. Prototypes are vital to a product’s success—they’re the only way for you to really see your design in action, and discern any flaws or usability problems.

There are three routes for prototyping. One is to have a craftsman make a full-scale or scaled model out of real materials. The second is to create a 3D printed model—known as rapid prototyping, this method is faster and can be less expensive, making it appealing for many inventors. And the third is to create a representation of your product using Computer Aided Design (CAD). Although this won’t give you a tangible object, you will be able to have an incredibly detailed model, complete with shadings, markings, and even visual effects to show electronic displays.

Whatever choice you make, use your prototype to really test your design. If you need to go back and fix some things, that’s fine (and even to be expected). It’s a lot better to fix them now than after you’ve ordered 1,000 units of your product.

Second, start researching manufacturers.

Chances are that you won’t be setting up your own factory to manufacture your product (that’s a subject for a whole different blog post, anyway). That means that you’ll be outsourcing production to an existing manufacturer with their own factory, or factories. When selecting a manufacturer, you should absolutely do cost comparisons, as the cost per unit may vary quite a bit depending on which company you choose. And try to visit if possible—not only will this give you a chance to meet the people who will be in charge of creating your product, but it will give you the chance to ask questions. Perhaps there’s a lower-cost, higher-quality alternative material that you hadn’t considered.

If the manufacturer is located across the globe, in China for example, a visit may not be an option. In this case, it’s important to make sure you work closely with whomever is in charge of your account, maintaining open communication as much as possible. Working with a company thousands of miles away can be a challenge for an individual inventor or small business, simply because of the distance between you and the people who are making your product. You may find yourself becoming anxious about potential problems or miscommunications, especially after you’ve put so much time and effort into the product’s development.
That’s why Pivot decided to start offering our own global manufacturing services for people working on bringing their products to market. Whether or not you developed your product with us, you can still take advantage of our expertise to streamline the manufacturing process and remove some of the anxiety associated with creating the first large batch of your brand new product. Pivot also offers electronic manufacturing services, with ISO:9001 and ISO:13485 certified processes.

Consider contract manufacturing.

If this all sounds like more than you want to handle, you should consider contract manufacturing. Pivot offers contract manufacturing services that provide a turnkey option for individuals and businesses. With our global resources, Pivot can offer anything from a prototype to a high-volume product run—and the best part is that we handle all the details. We’ll still work very closely with you throughout the process to make sure that any issues are quickly resolved, and that your product stays on schedule. In fact, on-time delivery, along with reliable quality, is one of the most important elements of our manufacturing services.
Would you like some help with your product manufacturing process? Contact Pivot today!