Alex Smith "Cost Effective Product Development"


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Alex Smith's presentation to Leeds Inventors Group on 16 Nov 2011. Alex is a product design consultant, a director of TRIG Creative and a visiting lecturer at Huddersfield University and Leeds Met.

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Alex Smith "Cost Effective Product Development"

  2. 2. Alex Smith1999 Graduated BA (Hons) Industrial Design at UCLAN2000 to 2005 Product Design Consultant working on projects for brands such as Unilever, Ingersoll Rand, GMC, & B&Q2005 Graduated MA Design Practice at Northumbria University2005 to Present Director at TRIG Creative Ltd2005 to Present Visiting Lecturer at University of Huddersfield and Leeds Metropolitan University on Product Design CoursesIndustry Recognition Gift of the year awards 2007 - Winner Excellence in Homewares award 2007 - Winner Plastics Industry Awards - Industrial Design 2010 - Highly Commended Finalist Plastics Industry Awards - Industrial Product Design 2011 - Finalist Design Week Awards Finalist - Industrial Product Design 2010 - Finalist The Horners Award for Plastics 2011 - Highly Commended Finalist
  3. 3. TRIG Creative LtdProduct Design and Development ConsultantsProduction Tooling SupplierProduction ManagementProduct Manufacture and SupplyISO 9001 AccreditedComprehensive Professional Indemnity Insurance1200sq ft studio, workshop and presentation facility in Horsforth, LeedsCustomers range from large multi-national corporations to individuals and start-upsHundreds of successful products designed and developed by our team
  4. 4. What is Product Development? “Product development is the act of taking a proposal or concept through a creative and technical process to transform the idea into a commercially viable entity.”Simplified product development process for an inventor or start up company:o Identify a market opportunity / have an ideao Research what currently exists on the marketo Research consumer need and expectationso Create a designo Develop the designo Prototype the designo Test the designo Apply for protection (patent, registered design etc)o Promote the producto Gauge market reactiono Produce the producto Market the producto Sell the producto Invest any profits into development of the next generation of the product
  5. 5. How to control the costs associated with Product Developmento Identify a market opportunity / have an idea Cost Freeo Research what currently exists on the market Cost Freeo Research consumer need and expectations Cost Freeo Create a design Charged Serviceo Develop the design Charged Serviceo Prototype the design Charged Serviceo Test the design Cost Freeo Apply for protection (patent, registered design etc) Cost Free / Charged Serviceo Promote the product Cost Free / Charged Serviceo Gauge market reaction Cost Freeo Produce the product Charged Serviceo Market the product Cost Free / Charged Serviceo Sell the product Cost Free / Charged Service Not every charge is a cost, some are investments.......... Many things that are free are not worth having.
  6. 6. Case Study A - Moses Basket
  7. 7. Case Study A - Moses Basket
  8. 8. Case Study B – Kids Travel Case
  9. 9. Case Study B – Kids Travel Case
  10. 10. Who wants to be a millionaire?Most inventors imagine developing a successful product and then manufacturingand selling it themselves. This in some cases is a practical route to market, but inothers this can cause massive financial strain and risk bankrupting the individual.Some inventors choose a different route whereby they stop the productdevelopment process after they have a working design and patent protection andthey look for a buyer of the whole package who will fund and manage the expensivemanufacture, marketing and producing stock stages.This is sometimes done as a one off fee for full ownership or in other cases for aninitial fee and then royalties based on the success of the product.Obviously whether the inventor takes the idea to market themselves or looks for asale, the success of the product hinges on the strength of the idea, size of the market,capturing the imagination of the buyers and a little bit of good luck.
  11. 11. Things to avoid / common pitfallsNot doing enough researchYou can never do enough research or homework, even in the later stages of theproject research should be conducted to ensure all bases are covered beforeproduction commencesDon’t file a patent too earlyMany people file a patent on the raw idea, then when the design is developed have tospend a significant amount rewording the patent prior to final submission. Take yourtime and get it right first timeInvest in value added stagesSave cost where you can in the process, but don’t view all costs as negative, some arean investment. The success of a product rests solely on the quality of the designTest to deathMake sure enough time and budget is allocated to prototyping and testing. Design isan evolution and a right first time approach is riskySell, sell, sell!No product is ever good enough to sell its self. Resources must be allocated tomarketing and sales to allow the product to stand a chance
  12. 12. Is now a good time for Inventors?We are currently working on projects for 7 inventors, developing products in thefollowing markets:oPet productsoConstructionoMobile phone accessoriesoMedicaloDIYoHealth and safetySome of these inventors have come up with ideas due to problems they haveencountered in their personal or professional lives, some due to problems family andfriend have and some who have just seen an opportunity in the market.They are all self funding the projects and are viewing now as a good time to do it dueto market conditions, concerns over employment and security or because they seeinnovation as a way to succeed in a difficult economic situation.What do they all have in common? They are all having “fun” at the same time.
  13. 13. Financial SupportMany inventors find funding to help with the costs of product development. To findout if there is funding available for you, research the following:http://www.innovateuk.orgThe Grant for Research and Development scheme opened on April 4th 2011.Grant for R&D is available to single companies. Three types of grant are available:oProof of market grantoProof of concept grantoDevelopment of prototype grantPre start-ups, start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses from all sectorsacross the UK may apply for the Grant for R&D programme. of available UK funding for creative projects or businesses.
  14. 14. SummaryHave belief in your ideaResearch and investigate at every stageSearch for available fundingDon’t submit your patent too earlyDon’t think that without a patent it’s all overInvest in value added stagesTest, evolve and develop your idea until it is as good as it can beDecide whether to sell / license or manufactureMarketing, sales and promotion is costly and time consuming but important to success