Many new creators make errors early on, as they don’t fully grasp how the contract manufacturing process works. The contract manufacturing definition itself is simple: when one company is hired by a business to produce a product. There are four key stages to consider.
Stage 1: Design the product
The new product introduction process all starts with design. The creator should have a firm idea of how their item will work before choosing a contract manufacturer. This step includes fleshing out the concept to ensure it’s possible and viable for the market. However, the design will need to undergo some changes to ensure it’s feasible to mass-produce cost-efficiently.
Stage 2: Build and test prototypes
The iterative product development process is a method of building, improving, and building again. By doing this, the developer can create the best possible concept that’s also cost-effective to produce. The product may go through several iterations and testing processes before manufacturing.
Stage 3: Establish the manufacturing process
Manufacturing isn’t a standalone step; it’s a plan that starts in the design stage. This method is also called “design for manufacturing.” As developers design a product, they also consider how the creation strategy applies to a mass-market process. The reason for this is simple: it must be easy to train laypeople to recreate the same product. Otherwise, the creators will need a staff of specialists and equipment that would not be cost-effective. This stage is where tooling also becomes vital. Custom parts, models, dyes, and other resources will help streamline manufacturing later.
Stage 4: Distribute the product
The distribution stage is handled primarily by the creator, as they are the ones who will build relationships with retailers and other sales partners.
Of course, none of these steps are possible without a thoroughly fleshed-out idea. Many creators attempt to jump into manufacturing too soon and suffer setbacks or run out of budgets as a result. There are a few necessary things to have in place before moving on to contract manufacturing partnerships.
To find out more about manufacturing and engineering check out our CNC Machining services