The creation process of any new product is extremely critical. Needless to say, the product you’re creating needs to be as close to perfect as possible. Settling for an average product is simply not an option. Any IoT product with a ‘eureka’ moment behind it warrants quality that is top-notch. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the creation process is extremely expensive. Working on a tight budget to create the perfect product can often be a challenging task. Even a simple, functional prototype development may cost you anywhere in the region of $10,000! Budgets are often tight before the funding-for-production phase begins in the product life-cycle.
For this reason it’s essential to save smart when developing new products in the IoT sphere. It’s always good to shed excessive spending to keep aside for any unexpected contingency! Here are a few major costs incurred in the product development stage and techniques to save on those costs when creating new hardware:
- Fine-tune the foundation: The whole foundation for a good product is a good hardware and a good software. Developing a solid hardware and software can be an expensive ordeal. However there exist simple ways to eliminate expensive costs. As far as hardware is concerned, solutions are plentiful. Before taking the prototype to the engineer, take it to a 3D modeler. A plastic casing or 3D model will save on plenty of costs for you. This will at least enable you to test the core functionality at a reasonably lower cost. Use existing electronic modules and wireless modules in a DIY phase. Do this before the modeling phase to enable you have more clarity yourself. When it comes to software, the best way to optimize costs is to find the most cost-efficient programmer and being thorough with the functions you want the software to accomplish. Save on software costs by avoiding re-runs and re-programming.
- Prune your Product: Product design is more than hardware and software. Saving beyond the fundamentals is also of equal importance. Ponder alternatives for literally everything in your product. Ask questions. Would some other material solve the same purpose? Would it be cheaper? Does your core-product really need a specific part for functionality or can it be sold separately as an accessory? Also consider scale of manufacturing and product packaging alongside the design. Your final product would determine and impact these costs as well! A simple product design would mean a simple packaging design and relatively more cost-efficient production. Work with multiple engineers for multiple aspects of your design to attain expertise and diversify costs.
- Consider your Consumers: Another major cost you will most certainly incur is certifications for your product, especially if it’s a wireless one. Even if you plan to sell domestically, you will most certainly have to go through the certification process. For international markets, it can be a major expenditure. Do your prior research and find out what certification works best for you. Consider your target market, the demographics, mandatory regulations. This will help overcome potential future hurdles during manufacture while keeping you in the green as far as expenses are concerned.
It’s best to go prepared for something as huge as developing a new product. With a thorough understanding of all possible costs that you will incur throughout the product life-cycle, you can devise a strategy to optimize on costs. In a nutshell, it’s safe to say that efficient cost-management and techniques to spend less and save more will have long-run benefits. Costs you save at the drawing-board stage of product development might be better invested elsewhere in the product life-cycle phase. Every dollar counts in the sphere of development and hopefully, these techniques will reap rewards in much more than pennies for you in the grand scheme of things.