Who Would You Ask How to Develop New Products for Market?
…David Farrage of Course!
We continue our article (and interview) with Mr. David Farrage, Principle and Founder of DF-ID, Inc., what many industry insiders believe to be one of the premier Industrial Design company’s available today. To find out more about DF-ID, we would suggest you read Part I of this article.
As we mentioned in Part I of this two-part series, Mr. Farrage is not interested in simply designing products for clients for the sake of design. His goal is to bring the clients dream or inspiration to a functional, tangible reality…that provides a marketable function which addresses a societal need. In short, he likes developing and building things that once revealed to the marketplace, are highly sought after by the target demographic.
Product Development Checklist
When asked if he would recommend a checklist of questions one should ask to gauge whether or not a product development idea is worthy of consideration, he came up with five “points of ponder,” to help move the process along;
- Relevance of the Product – is the product relevant in its use and appeal today? Long-term?
- Relevance of Evolution – can the products relevance grow? Expand into additional segments? Is the product “scalable,” in its market advancement?
- Are There Resources to Support the Process? Does the client have the time and capital to support the entire process through completion? How is “completion” defined?
- Is the Intellectual Property Securable Legally? Is the idea legally protectable? Patentable?
- How is the Product Communicated? Is the product able to be easily marketed? Is the product unduly complex and thus more complicated in its successful presentation to the consumer?
According to Mr. Farrage, if the answers to the above points are demonstrably positive, then the next step would be to pursue the engagement of an Industrial Engineer to begin the actual development process.
When contracting with a company of DF-ID’s integrity and experience, that process will begin with the development of a Business Model that will outline the “mission,” of the client and the Design Team working together through the completion of the project. The product will then be designed keeping in mind the core needs of the user and its appeal to the targeted consumer. This will include the production of rough sketches, CAD Drawings, R&D, etc. The next phase is the fabrication process of a prototype. This part of the process can be multi-dimensional as performance refinements are identified and tested to ensure real-world standards are met.
Finally, once acceptable prototypes are completed and reflective of a finished product, the final stages of project development are initiated. This is where your Industrial Engineering Team helps to place the product with the appropriate manufacturing facilities to ensure that production costs and marketing efforts effectively support the goals of the initial Business Model and meet the client’s needs.
The BIG Question……
The one question that everyone contemplating venturing down the product development path wants to know is “….How much will this cost me?” That answer is not easily defined. Of course, the answer has a lot to do with the complexity of the product itself. A new door knob will not require the capital investment that a new GPS device may require to be developed.
However, in general Mr. Farrage would suggest that for the average new retail product to be developed, brought to market and then supported in that market……a company should be prepared to ultimately spend as much as $2-3 MILLION Dollars. It may take far less than this amount to begin the process, but, depending on the complexity and project variables…”seven figure costs” are not unexpected. Just as importantly, they should be prepared to invest 3-5 years of effort in the process before they begin to see a return on investment (ROI)…..and that is if the product is successful! Remember, prepare for the best outcome but plan for the worst scenario.
It is important to keep in mind that not all Industrial engineers work exactly as David Farrage does. Of course, not all ID firms have the successful track record DF-ID does either. As we stated earlier, his company is not your typical design engineering firm. They are committed to not just helping you develop your “widget,” they want to see that “widget,” successfully being sold in the marketplace through multiple generations of evolution.
There is a reason that David Farrage discusses client/ product development using terms like “relevance, evolution and scalability.” He is building more than just products…….he is building long-term relationships with his clients and his clients customers!
Please Note: If you would like to explore developing your own products with David Farrage and DF-ID, Inc., you may contact DF-ID’s client sourcing company, Reputation Line by visiting the website www.reputationline.com or calling (212)-359-9363.