Every great product starts with an idea. But how do you turn that idea into a fully functional electronic product? The answer lies in effective product realisation services.
Product realisation combines market research and technological requirements with capabilities and resources to define the new product designs and requisite manufacturing services.
Through a six-stage process, you can determine the viability of specific elements of your product and get a clear idea of what the finished electronic product will look like — usually expressed in drawings, statements of work or functional product specifications. This vision helps to maintain quality control at every phase and ensures you are bringing a certifiable product to market.
Step one: idea
New product innovation usually begins with a problem and careful market research. What needs are currently unmet in your industry? What are the most common complaints, questions and shortcomings of existing products?
Once you have understood these problems, you can then start working on a solution. Throughout the idea inception phase, it is vital to ask lots of questions. Who is your target customer? Does your concept truly solve their needs? How much will they be willing to pay for your product? Is there enough potential volume to justify your investment in design and manufacturing? What competitors exist (if any), and how will you make your idea different or better?
During this stage, the product’s functional and performance requirements should also be clearly defined. Unless you have in-house capabilities, you will then want to take your idea to an experienced electronic contract manufacturing company that can realise your product through its electronic design and manufacturing services.
Step two: design
To turn your ideas into reality, you need a design that the manufacturing team can work from. This design will need to take into account the final product functionality as well as engineering specifications to ensure high performance and reliability. Believe it or not, it is possible to design a product that cannot be manufactured! So, it is crucial that you utilise specialists with vast industry knowledge and experience in electronic design services to create your perfect design.
When you have reviewed the product design concepts and selected the design that best fits the brief, the project requirements can then be assembled to guide the development phase.
Step three: business advice
Assessing feasibility is also essential in new product development and allows you to evaluate your product’s potential success by reviewing and refining the business case from various angles.
A good electronic contract manufacturer will be able to provide you with advice and consultancy on how to take your product to market successfully. This advice could involve anything from general business management support to guidance on funding.
Step four: prototyping
Prototyping — including cable assemblies and printed circuit board assemblies — offers the chance to see your concept as a fully functioning product. This helps to reduce uncertainty and iron out any issues before mass-producing the product (which could prove very costly if flaws are discovered further down the production line).
At this stage, it is also critical to thoroughly test the usability of your product, ensuring it is of the highest quality and ready to take to market. This is the time to ask questions. Is the product durable enough to withstand the elements it will face, such as vibration or heat? Is this the best material to use given its intended function? Which characteristics are crucial, and which are less vital? Can this product be produced within budget on a larger scale?
If necessary, go back to the design stage to work out the kinks.
Step five: manufacturing
Then comes the really exciting part: manufacturing your product! Once you have a product prototype you are satisfied with, it is time to start gathering the materials and securing the partners needed to develop the product against the designs. A specialist electronic contract manufacturer will already have an established supply chain which you can tap into — saving you the hassle of procuring materials and suppliers yourself.
Regular checks should be made throughout the manufacturing process to maintain quality control. Comprehensive testing of the final product (against the design specifications) should also take place to evaluate the robustness of the design and its ability to meet customer and performance requirements.
Step six: distribution
Once the product has been produced, it is then time to get it out to market. At this stage, it is also important to consider other manufacturing-related services like storage, warehousing and shipping.
When choosing an electronic contract manufacturer, look for one with various facilities that can accommodate all your global fulfilment and distribution needs.
With EC Electronics’ end-to-end product realisation service, you can bring your idea to life with minimum hassle and turn your thoughts into our actions as we support you through the process. Contact us today for support with your next project.