“Time is money.” That phrase may not be more true than in the fields of product development, engineering, and manufacturing. Lapses and delays don’t just cause a minor inconvenience here - rather, every day you fall behind schedule can mean lost revenue.
Whether you are launching a consumer product for the IoT, or if you are looking to produce a electronic part for a bigger end-product, coming in on time and under cost is essential to your long-term success. Here are four of the most common challenges companies run into during this process, and how you can optimize your way to a successful launch.
If your company is juggling multiple product ideas at once (and chances are that it is), there needs to be a clear prioritization in place. Without transparency in your priorities, your projects may encounter holdups and you will experience delays across the board.
Working lean and embracing simplicity and streamlining is the key to effectively prioritizing your projects.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest time-killers when you talk about product manufacturing is poor scheduling. This could be internal, like team leads trying to move too many projects forward at once, or it could be in how you manage relationships with your partners and vendors, as any miscommunication in terms of scheduling and deadlines can cause major issues in the long run.
As many products can take anywhere from several months to even years to travel from conception to manufacturing and delivery, your organization should embrace a lean strategy in terms of scheduling. Examine your workflows and analyze them - which areas do your teams typically get held up in? Often, the engineering phase can be a scheduling issue as there are typically poorly predicted time requirements.
Keep in mind your schedule, and stick to it.
What is the capacity of your team? How is your company using the dedicated teams they have in-house?
When you have teams working on multiple projects at the same time, it is possible for certain employees to wear many hats at the same time. While this alone is common and not a red flag, the issues arise when resources get mismanaged, and teams experience assignments far past their capacity. This is what typically causes product design and development companies to seek out strong technology partners - if you don’t have the in-house resources needed for successful engineering or manufacturing, you should evaluate potential partners.
Nail Your Specifications
Picture this: your team creates a prototype weeks ahead of schedule, and you feel confident going into manufacturing. However, your specifications are not as clear as they should be, and the contract manufacturer you partner with encounters delays while interpreting your requirements.
This is one of the most common examples of a classic delay: poor requirements specifications. While you want your product to be designed for consumer specs, you still want the designed to be optimized for manufacturing in order to speed up the launch process.
If you want to ensure your specifications are spot on and as clear as they can be, you can download our Requirements Specification Template here.
At the end of the day, time is money. In order to maximize the ROI on your product launches, you need to be as streamlined as possible. For more information on manufacturing quality products on schedule, download our eBook below.