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Choosing the Right Product Development Partner

Your team has an idea for a device that will make the company millions, but you don’t have the manpower or the tools. Here’s how to choose the right product developer to get the job done. Learn about us from our FAQs.

 

"Many managers believe the only reason to hire and outside product developer is if their company doesn't have the talent in-house." says Rex Bare, Chairman of Omnica Corporation (pictured at right). "That rationale may make sense if the home team isn't busy or there aren't any new projects on the horizon. But in this economic climate there is no such thing as a secure status quo. Smart competition and tighter operating budgets are two reasons for businesses to seek our help when they are faced with technical challenges. We know that many of our clients are businesses who could do the project at-hand, if they only had the time" continues Rex.

 

What to look for when hiring a  product developer

 

  • Hire a design and engineering firm who's primary business is product development, not manufacturing.
  • You should expect more from a well-staffed service provider than just a collection of technical people to develop your project.
  • Seasoned contractors are familiar with the latest technologies.
  • Over time they have cultivated reliable vendor contacts.
  • The team should have the resources to supply a fresh point of view.
  • They should have the depth of resources to bring significant specialized experience to any project.
  • Ideally, they should have the required resources at their location, and don't need to hire any outside help to do your project.
  • It's important to choose a company who offers the right combination of services.

 

One of Rex's favorite quotes is, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail." That particular state-of-mind compounds the challenge of identifying a "full service product developer" who will fit your needs. It is especially applicable today since injection molders, rapid prototypers (SLA service bureaus), board houses, and even plastics suppliers are now describing themselves as product developers. Even if you are an experienced project manager it's a good practice to make sure that the contractor you hire is not limited to solutions based on their core business.

 

Rex adds, "We back up our claim of being a “full-service” company by providing our employees with nearly $2 million of equipment and machine tools (everything from screwdrivers to a multi-axis abrasive water jet, as well as software development tools and electronic test equipment). We believe that we are one of the best-equipped development companies in the world."

 

  • Design for Manufacturability

 

Rex goes on to say, "From day one, we also place great importance on design for manufacturability. We don’t simply pay lip service to these disciplines by having a “token” engineer or industrial designer available for show-and-tell. Our development teams are truly multi-disciplined and fully integrated."

 

  • Omnica personnel are "on staff" for several large companies who have too much on their plate.

 

For startups and medium-sized organizations who want to compete with larger businesses, we are frequently the only design and engineering team they have. In general, the profile of the type of businesses we work for are those who want to maintain their most productive course and, at the same time, complete challenging projects with a minimum of concern. Using Omnica team as a product developer also allows companies to take advantage of opportunities which are not part of their core business and develop products that are not simply extensions of their existing product lines.

 

  • There are other factors to be aware of.

 

Some companies choose to expand by adding staff, but identifying and hiring the right people, especially in high-demand areas of the country, can be time consuming. At best it takes weeks for new personnel to assimilate and come up-to-speed with new project requirements. And there is always the burden of employee benefits and vacation time. It is also necessary to consider the significant front office, regulatory, and documentation support needed when developing a product.

 

  • Time and money are at risk.

 

For most projects the skills of many disciplines will be necessary, and with the demands of today's budgets and schedules, managers have to know before work begins, that the consultant they've hired can supply the required resources to complete the project. As an example, many "product developers" fall short in the area of documentation. In addition to the FDA's regulations, the European market has made proper reporting a critical part of their requirements.

 

  • A complete product developer package at Omnica

 

Omnica personnel are part of a complete package that includes all the resources and manpower needed for an accepted project. We can perform all of the design and engineering, source vendors, complete the technical and FDA documentation, and transfer to manufacturing. Our personnel have the experience and resources to provide inclusive design histories, 510-K submissions, and the correct materials for UL, CE, TUV, and QSR design control requirements.

 

  • Our specialty is product development.

 

We're not a manufacturer, a molding shop, or a circuit board house. If you need the services of a bona fide product developer, we have the people, the tools, and the experience to bring your ideas into reality. Upon completion, the organization that hired us can take over and continue with business as usual.

 

Click for 5 features that distinguish us from other design and engineering firms.