For growth-stage companies, finding a contract manufacturer to take on low volume runs and bridge the gap between design and manufacturing can be a challenge. Especially where time and cashflow is concerned, it’s critical to work with a partner that can seamlessly transfer from design to manufacturing and has the ability to scale production to support your unique business needs.
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Design & Manufacturing
Below are some of the common issues we see when working with startups that are moving from the design phase of their project to manufacturing on a small scale.
- A Narrow Scope – Not every design group does manufacturing well, and not every manufacturer does design well. Working with a partner that excels at both will result in common issues being addressed before they occur.
- Transfer Troubles – Documentation, part numbers, assembly procedures, workflows, and more can be interpreted or applied inaccurately, or not at all during the transfer process resulting in an extended timeline. It’s less costly in the long term to have systems in place so, once you hit high volumes, everything is ready to go. Working with an all-in-one designer and low-quantity manufacturer also allows the client to avoid a two-transfer process as they scale to a high volume.
- Dialing in Design – If a design requires additional feedback from the client for modifications, it can lead to costly fixes during the manufacturing process and a delay in the go-to-market plan. Ideally, designers work through issues over the first runs of a unit to get the design mature before handing it off to manufacturing.
- Quantity Questions – If there’s uncertainty around the launch of a product, it can be helpful to go through the manufacturing process at a very small scale, bring marketing units to shows, get feedback, and revisit the design. Traditional contract manufacturers don’t like to take on smaller-scale projects, projects that don’t have a predetermined quantity, or projects without long-term commitments.
- Overcommitment – Committing to a multi-year long manufacturing contract isn’t always in the cards for startups that are focused on bringing a new product to market while growing business.
Growth-stage companies with a limited cash flow need a partner that can handle the transition from design to manufacturing and produce smaller-volume runs over an ambiguous period of time. Traditional contract manufacturers prefer predictability and consistency.
A Partner That Will Meet You Where You’re At
For growth-stage companies that need to refine a design or aren’t sure how many units they want to manufacture yet, starting small with a partner that can guide you through each step of the process is the most efficient and cost-effective option. Veranex has a dedicated in-house design team and adaptable, small-scale manufacturing capabilities that provide you with a pathway forward as you navigate the market with a new product, and for when your project goes to a larger scale. We also work with a number of contract manufacturers so that when you’re ready to transfer, we can give you a short list of trusted partners.