Tips For Choosing The Right Prototype Manufacturer

When you have everything in your business ready to go - and the final thing is to finally place that prototype order, it is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Because what it means is that you will finally have your product or parts of it in your hand. But you need to make sure you choose the right one for you and your business. You ideally want to choose one that works on prototypes similar to what you need and believes in co-creation and collaboration, like Tecan. Here are a couple of tips to make sure you choose the right prototype manufacturer for your needs. 

Although budget shouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to getting quality, it will have a huge impact. This is more true for start-ups and smaller businesses who might be using the R&D budgets for this. All respectable manufacturers will be open to discussing pricing and their process so that you can be honest about what it looks like from your side too. 

You should be able to ask anything about the process and the materials that will be used in the process. Some materials will be cheaper than others, and you’ll need to decide which one will work best. A collaborative partnership is more beneficial here because the manufacturer can talk you through all the options and costs. As well as any cons about using that method. Complete transparency is a must. 

Lead times 
Smaller businesses will be operating with shorter lead times, and you should be sure that the manufacturer you choose can keep pace with what is needed. Fast turnaround times will mean that you can have a steady stream of products available for your customers, and this can be one of the definitive things that make your business thrive or die. 

Investment Cost
In some cases, the product that you need will have to be unique, and the nature of anything custom-made is that you’ll need a custom contract. The company you choose should be able to create or source all of the custom moulds, materials and more to make it a success. All of the moulding and tooling needs will soon stack up, and you will want to work with the manufacturer to keep those investment costs as low as possible. It is easy to spend a few thousand just on the preparation of unique products - so keep that in mind when it comes to your pricing. 

Minimum Order
Every prototype company will have an MOQ (minimum order quantity); in some cases, you will find that they are too high for your needs. If the MOQ for your perfect company is tens of thousands, then you are going to have to come back to them after you have grown a bit. Work out what your requirements are, and ask straight away if that is an option. In some cases, they may be able to make adjustments to their process - but it will depend on the circumstances. 

This is just one of the many things that will be on a start-up business checklist; here are some more things to consider: A Checklist For Setting Up A Successful Small Business