When you’re developing a product, it’s a common practice to incorporate specialized engineering partners into your plans. They help you prepare for the critical manufacturing stage with a higher degree of confidence in the final product.
If that’s you, are you considering working with a factory’s in-house engineering team?
In some cases, there may be nothing wrong with this alignment - it very well may work out to be both convenient and cost efficient to keep those components under the same roof. Other times, it can create blind spots that limit your product’s potential and expose it to hidden risks.
Today, we’re going to take a peek under the industry hood so you can better understand what kind of partner best meets your product’s needs.
One Size Fits All Only Fits Some
At first glance, it makes sense why factories would want to participate in the product engineering process. From the customer’s point of view, a few benefits take the lead, each one contributing to an industry blind spot:
- A heightened sense of confidence that your design will be manufacturing ready
- A smoother handoff from the engineering team to the manufacturing team
- Often times discounted services play a part in the decision making factor
All of those are understandably appealing pitches to a leader in the product business. After all, less headaches and lower costs can carry a premium value, but now we get to how the hot dog is made...
Blind Spot 1: Factory teams can curtail your products innovation to fit their existing comfort zones.
In the product design world, innovative ideas and execution are the key to becoming a leader in your space. If you have ambitions (or even general goals) to improve on existing designs, factories are not often the best partners to supplement your engineering stages.
Their desire to make your product “manufacturing ready” is determined more by their comfort zone and capabilities than by your vision for your product. If you’re looking to confidently push the innovative envelope, a factory-adjacent team is unlikely to be your best pick.
It’s also worth noting that innovation is not just about more capabilities. An innovation-focused partner will help you cut costs without cutting quality through innovative design for engineering practices like these.
A specialized engineering consultant like Creative Mechanisms will not only help you maximize your product’s innovative potential, a veteran partner will help you be confidently manufacturing-ready.
To take it one step further, their experience working with a variety of manufacturing factories will also help them recommend a manufacturing partner who meets your standards for quality, cost, and capabilities.
Blind Spot 2: Factory in-house handoffs lack accountability from 3rd party experts along the way.
Manufacturing factories are just about always trying to deliver great results for their clients, but it’s not unheard of for operations that cut corners, especially when cost minimization is the competitive edge
When you work with an engineering partner that is “in-house” with a manufacturer, you may hope for a smoothly communicated hand off from the engineering team to the manufacturing team.
You also have little to no accountability from a 3rd party expert to make sure what you’ve decided on is exactly what’s executed.
When you work with a “worth-their-salt” engineering partner like Creative Mechanism, you have the added layer of safety knowing that your partner is not financially incentivized to cover over mistakes or shortcuts. This level of accountability often proves invaluable in not just correcting mistakes, but keeping them on the rails in the first place.
Blind Spot 3: Discounted prices often come with discounted quality.
There are certain cases in which having multiple needs under one roof is an appealing value proposition, but the link between engineering and manufacturing is a shaky one.
I’ll insert this asterisk again before this point: this route makes sense for some projects. What I’m about to say is not a blanket statement, but more of a general caution.
When you are relying on quality work, discounted options are often not your ideal solution. Their primary value proposition is convenience, not quality of outcome. Manufacturing factories add product engineering not just as a new revenue stream, but also as a marketing strategy to funnel business to their primary offer - manufacturing.
The downside is that when quality is sacrificed for the sake of costs on the engineering side, you’re rolling the dice with the much more expensive investment of manufacturing. Mistakes made or missed in the engineering stage become exponentially more expensive once you reach manufacturing.
If you make an investment in a veteran design-for-engineering partner, you put yourself in the best position to realize a profitable product.
Looking for Exceptional Results? Know What Your Investing In
These three blind spots are the most common ones we see derail projects when businesses look to the engineering support that factories offer.
If you’re looking for exceptional, innovative design that maximizes your product’s chance at financial success, an engineering partner like Creative Mechanisms might be just the right fit.
If you’d like more information on how Creative Mechanisms can help you solidify your product’s profitability, we invite you to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your specific needs and help identify the right path forward on your way to success.