Design for Manufacturing & Design for Profitability

One of the biggest challenges in physical product design (for IoT or not) is making sure that the product can be manufactured at scale.  It's one thing to be able to build a beautiful appearance model that gets your CEO, Board, and even customers excited, and yet another to make sure it can be molded, assembled and tested for quality so it goes out the door fast.    One of Bluefin's partners, Dragon Innovation, has been helping companies do this and do this extremely well since 2009.

Hand in hand with Design For Manufacturing is designing for profitability.  Simply put, making sure your Bill of Materials (BOM) is designed at the lowest cost and highest quality.  Though assessing your component parts and doing a thorough sourcing of the best valued pieces for your solution is a must, designing for profitability should be forefront from the very beginning of the project -- even at partner selection.  When it comes time to find the right partner for your project, it's good to have a strong sense of the MSRP for the product while assessing those candidates.

As an example let's look at Mechanical Engineering.  In the greater Boston area, there is a lot of great ME companies that have done some amazing work in the medical/healthcare world.   These firms have the skills and process that allow for pushing FDA certified products out the door, so they are more than capable of handling high-quality consumer goods if that is the scope of your project.   However, be cautious and explore the range of the MSRP for the devices they have developed and how that aligns to your product.   Often times Healthcare products trend higher on the per unit MSRP which makes the design approaches and component implementation to be less price sensitive.   ( i.e. Eight $0.50 parts on a $10,000 machine is forgettable, however on a $75 consumer product it becomes 5% of the BOM).   If your design team is accustomed to working with high MSRP products, and your asking them to produce a low MSRP product, you may need to challenge their engineering approaches to make sure you're product is being Designed for Profitability.