An idea is born when a person experiences a problem that needs to be addressed. How are you supposed to materialize that idea and eventually make it tangible? If you think getting a minimum viable product is all you need, then think again! The best solution is following Custom Technologies’ signature Minimum Viable Launch™ approach. Saving you time and money, it’s composed of 6 crucial steps that you must take before launching a product.
Step 1: Ideate
Let’s start with the idea itself. Perhaps you have had an ingenious thought or you’re still working on one. Either way, this is where the process begins. We start by asking a lot of questions about the design intent of your idea. What are its key features? What is the target price point? How big is your market? After questions are asked and answered, this is where we finalize the general “look” via computer-aided design (CAD) software drawings. These can be rendered so that they have a realistic on-screen appearance. Think of it as electronically drawing the parts of your product with the details of a photograph. We may also mock-up a physical layout of the product so that you can physically test the positioning and functionality of different elements. At the end of this step, you can proudly present your product concept to your internal team, your customers, and investors for their feedback.
Step 2: Engineer
Your idea is now solidified and it’s an exciting time because you get to move into the engineering phase. Your concept idea will need to be realistic for cost, functionality, and durability. Do you know what material your idea will need to be made of? Should it be a casting, machined, fabricated, or molded? This is where Custom Technologies’ experience comes in handy – our professionals will consider these questions and more. During this phase, the details of your design will come to life in CAD and they will be modeled with legitimate dimensions so that each component works together properly. We take the finalized design and tweak the details so that it is optimized for manufacturability, too. By the end of this step, we produce manufacturing-ready technical drawings for each component piece.
Step 3: Prototype
Time to develop a prototype – a physical model of the product that can be tested for function and final appearance. Rapid-prototyping is our method of choice and that includes, but is not limited to, 3D printing and subtractive rapid-machining methods. Since the idea here is to provide you with a durable and fully functional prototype, rapid-prototyping will cut both your cost and lead time. The prototype will be final-design accurate for each component so that the final details of each component are confirmed and, if necessary, adjusted to the final production-ready design.
Step 4: Produce
After tinkering with your prototype, the next step on your to-do list will be producing your product. Here we will execute on a low-volume, first production run that will allow you to beta-launch for essential feedback. This is also the stage where we would build any necessary tooling, fixturing, or other production requirements, so that the product can be manufactured efficiently. We will work with you at this stage to only take steps that are necessary to produce the volumes you need at the onset. For example, it may be deemed preferable to postpone certain tooling costs until volumes ramp up, with a trade-off that early small-run volumes will be produced at a higher unit cost. Either way, we work with you to give you any reasonable options based on your sales projections and your budget.
Step 5: Operationalize
The organizational and procedural setups of new product lines and business are not to be taken lightly. Operationalizing is just as important as creating the product to begin with. You’ll need to keep track of inventory, shipping, accounting, and all other internal operations to succeed. Luckily for our clients, Custom Technologies personally designs individual operational procedures for them ahead of time.
Step 6: Launch
Congratulations on making it to the final step – product launch! As soon as someone can purchase your product, it’s on the market. There will be a lot to pay attention to for the first days and weeks to come. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re scrambling to fix several procedural issues at once by yourself – trust in Custom Technologies to monitor the entire launch from day one.
Custom Technologies Handles It All
In case you haven’t noticed, Custom Technologies handles it all when it comes to Minimum Viable Launch™. We’re here to streamline the transitions between development stages by erasing handoffs and keeping it all in-house. Our main goal is to save you money and make sure that you don’t skip a step.