Companies today are faced with a myriad of challenges, one of which is in determining when to outsource a part of the process. Product design is such an important step in delivering quality products that it can be difficult to outsource of this stage. But with bottom lines becoming increasingly tight, companies can’t always afford to keep each phase in house, and knowing when to outsource product design is vital to remaining competitive and profitable.
When to Outsource Product Design
It can be difficult to determine if outsourcing product design and development is right for your company. While there are several substantial benefits we will cover shortly, it is helpful to ask a few simple questions about your own company’s situation to more easily arrive at a decision. An affirmative answer to any of the following questions may indicate that your company should outsource product design:
- Is your engineering staff’s expertise limited to a few core industries you would like to expand beyond?
- Are internal resources becoming more limited?
- Does R&D frequently fail to create cost-effective manufacturing processes for your company’s new concepts?
- Are development projects frequently over budget?
- Is it difficult to keep up with competitors in the area of new product development?
Why Outsourcing Product Design Is Often Best
Companies who outsource product design typically find the process benefits their bottom line for several reasons, some of the most pertinent of which include:
- Access to a Broader Network: Outsource product designers typically have vast networks of developers and designers acquired through years of designing thousands of products. When you outsource product design, you leverage their network on your behalf.
- Multidisciplinary Perspective: Developing solutions for complex problems often requires input from multiple disciplines – many of which are seemingly unrelated. Outsourcing this phase creates the potential for outside-the-box thinking and better products.
- Market Ownership Potential: Due to this interdisciplinary pool of expertise, outsource firms can better analyze the market for unmet needs and opportunities to corner a particular market segment. In-house design and development teams are often too narrowly focused on a specific niche to identify these gaps on the periphery.
- Outsider Intel: Even larger companies can become somewhat limited to a specific way of thinking or a particular body of information. Companies that outsource product design tap into a much broader body of intelligence that facilitates products that transcend your company’s paradigm. The resulting products often resonate better with your market and increase competitiveness overall.
- More Capacity for Less: Outsource design teams are specialists. Commissioning them to help design and develop your next product allows you to rapidly scale up your design team in a sense for pennies on the dollar. The result is far more ideas for much less than the cost of expanding your in-house team.