Picking a product development firm is an intimidating task, and rightly so – the company you choose can make or break your new product. Below we’ve outlined what to look for when you pick a product development firm.
4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Company to Develop Your Product
1. What work has the product development firm done in the past?
This might be the most important question to ask when choosing a product development firm to work with. The company you choose should have experience working on the type of product you’re hoping to create. For example, if you’re creating a product for children, the company you choose should have experience creating other products for children – this will ensure they are familiar with any important considerations, such as regulations from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and ASTM International.
To get a feel for the type of work they’ve done, browse their website for more information about their past clients, or even better, look at their case studies.
(Psst – you can find our case studies here!)
2. What team will you be working with?
Ask questions about the team you’ll be working with before you ever sign a contract to make sure the company’s organizational and project management structure fits with your needs.
Here are some things to consider:
- Who will be your primary point of contact, and what is their role in the project/on the team?
- Who will be leading or managing the project?
- Who will be performing the tasks?
- Will the company outsource any parts of production?
- Does the company use a project management software? Will you be required to use it? Have you used it in the past, and if so, do you like using it?
Make sure the answers to these questions fit with what you are hoping for in the company you work with.
On that note…
3. Is the product development firm a good fit for you?
If the company isn’t a good fit for you, it will be a long 18+ months working with them to develop your product. What makes a “good fit” is different for everyone, but do your due diligence before deciding what company to go with.
Visiting the firm is a great place to start – it will give you a chance to meet the team, view their facilities, get a feel for their machinery and see what work they’ve done in the past.
You may also want to gather references. Again, look at their case studies, and consider reaching out to any companies they’ve worked with in the past to get a feel for what it’s like to work with them.
4. Does the product development firm offer the right combination of services you need?
What services do you need? Think carefully about what your project will require from start to finish. If you just need someone for industrial design, you may choose a different company than you would if you needed someone to design, prototype and manufacture your product.
As you’re vetting different companies, consider your end goal with your new product, and what it will take to get there. In general, it’s most efficient to work with a company who can provide the services you’ll need until your product is consistently performing well in the marketplace.
For more information about what to look for in a product development firm, or to learn more about the services we offer, get in touch with our product development experts.
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