How to put your brainwave into production
Sources of supply
Look for local producers and ﬁnd standard components
OK, so your design is original. There is nothing else like it available in
the market. But how many standard parts are you using and can you alter
the design to accommodate more existing components without actually
sacricing any of the features and benets?
This is a very important question.
One of the major expenses in investing in new
product development is the set-up costs involved
in mass-production tooling. If you can reduce your
tooling costs by effectively using existing compo-
nents (components that are made from production
tools that exist already) then so much the better – you
have already made a saving.
In the instance of the Doctor Cook saucepans, for example, I was not
aware of tooling costs (or did not think long and hard enough about
them) before going into production. I wasted a considerable amount of
money (and time) and had one Malaysian manufacturer laughing their
heads off at me – and all the way to bank – in the process.
It was impossible (or so I thought) for me to begin production on a small
scale and local production facilities were out of the question due to the
cost involved. In order to begin competitively, I was going to have to look
at manufacturing in the Far East. What I failed to realise was that half of
my product existed already.
Saucepans are common enough and there are plenty of Far Eastern
producers making them. I didn’t think about the possibility of using
existing components – instead, I went ahead and spent a small fortune on
new tooling for my design. The truth is, what is original about my design
is the handle and the lid knob. The cookware body and the lid itself
existed already and these were available in all sorts of shapes, materials,
qualities and sizes. It should simply have been a question of making the
best choice. But no, I went ahead and invested in tooling for the whole
This was a big mistake – the tooling that I invested in produced a high-end
product that the market did not respond positively enough to. I was
if you can
reduce your tooling
costs by using
you have already
made a saving