5 Simple Steps To Bring Your Idea To Market: New Product Development

OEM New Product Development

As a first-time OEM with a big idea, the product development process can be intimidating. New Product Development (NPD) is, to put it simply, the process any OEM must go through to bring their product to market. This process includes (but is not limited to): idea generation, idea & market analysis, concept design & prototyping, field testing, and (finally) production or further product improvement. While this is a “fluid” process, meaning the steps can be reordered as necessary or potentially even passed over, using this timeline as a general reference will ensure a successful product.

Idea Generation. Every great product starts with a great idea. In our experience as a Contract Manufacturer for many new soft material wearables, carrying cases and more, most people have an idea before they begin the NPD process. By nature, OEMs recognize a personal need that may not have an existing solution, and design a solution for it. If you are looking to begin this process and don’t already have an idea, brainstorming new product concepts can often lead to general product ideas or things certain populations could benefit from. In this stage, all ideas are in their infancy, and will be refined during…

Idea & Market Analysis. This stage is all about deciding whether or not this product is worth developing further, as well as how marketable the product will be. Choosing a target market for your product during this phase (if your product is not already aimed at a niche population, i.e. a medical wearable device) is helpful as well. For some products it will be obvious; say you are developing a wearable device to treat people with a certain ailment, then your target market will be people with that ailment. If the product is based on a more general need, the market is more broad, and product promotion to different target populations is going to be an important aspect. The analysis in this stage can help eliminate any poor product ideas – or features of your product – in an effort to not only make your product more appealing to your target market, but also help to avoid any monetary pitfalls such as post-production error correction or mis-calculation of market interest. Working with others and running your ideas past other people in the target market will also aid in the idea filtering. Once you’ve solidified your idea, the…

Concept Design and Prototype process begins. As we have mentioned in the past, we recommend working with a contract manufacturer that also offers prototype and design services. In our experience working with OEMs, this stage can be a defining moment for the product. The prototype and sampling process rids the product of any design flaws, while helping the product be as affordable as possible for mass-production while still retaining the qualities necessary for optimal product performance. For more on this, check out our article we wrote for MedCity News. Our in-house Prototype and Design Team have successfully designed and prototyped numerous textile carrying cases and wearable medical garments, but also have the capabilities to reverse-engineer a previously made sample. Following the Sample Design Approval is…

Field Testing. We encourage this step prior to mass-production, so much so that we offer a short-run production of 25 pieces prior to a higher production quantity (note: This is not a necessary step in the process, but it is encouraged for wearable garments in order to test product performance, durability, and real-life applications.) For medical device technology or harnesses and holsters that hold the medical tech, clinical trials may also occur during this step. Clinical trials and FDA approval of wearable medical technology could be a lengthy process, so you have to make sure to factor in adequate time to your NPD process for this step.

Production. Your product is ready for full-run manufacturing and production! If you have worked with a Contract Manufacturer that also offers Prototype and Design services, such as Fieldtex, there is a smooth transition between the pre-production preparation steps and the full-scale production. If you have worked with different companies or designed and prototyped within your own company and need to choose a manufacturer, there are many options that should be taken into account, such as overseas vs. domestic, whether they offer in-house storage, whether they will ship order partials, etc. Remember: A healthy relationship between you and your manufacturer is based on many things, namely: communication, quality consistency, customer service, and ultimately, delivery.

As mentioned before, this NPD process is extremely fluid and generalized. There could be added steps, reduced steps, re-ordered steps, or all three changes depending on product and business relationships. Including these steps, or a variant, will ensure a successful product development as well as a successful B2B relationship with any companies you will partner with.

Contact us and see how we could work together to bring your Product to Market.