chapter
9
How to put your brainwave into
production
The move into production
Before you go into full-scale production, it is important to test the market.
If you would like to know more about how to test the market before you
begin full-scale production then turn to Chapter 12.
If you have tested the market and are happy with the
results, this could well be the time to move forward
into full-scale production.
This can feel like an insurmountable challenge.
Indeed, when you look at the cost implications it
might even seem like an impossibility, but believe me when I tell you that
where there is a will there is a way. The important thing is to nd that
way. Begin by investigating whether it is possible to start off with batch
production with a view to scaling this up at a later date to reach mass-
market quantities.
One of the biggest hurdles for any lone individual starting out with an
idea is the need to have a production-quality product before you can
really begin the sales and marketing stage. Buyers, especially volume
buyers, are resistant to risk. They are unlikely to buy a ‘concept’ from you
and will want to see the quality and level of your production capabilities
before signing off a large purchase order. What this means is that you
need to be in a position where you are holding actual stock before you can
begin approaching the larger accounts for sales. If you can nd a way of
producing your product to the right standard and quality levels without
the need to invest in large quantities of stock then so much the better.
test the
market before you
begin full-scale
production
939
n
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
sacricing any of the features and benets?
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
lot.
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
existing components
you have already
made a saving

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