The first contact will probably be by telephone. After a brief discussion, to establish that there could be an interest on both sides, a meeting will be arranged. The point of the meeting is to talk over the problem or opportunity, and for Product Innovation to get to understand the prospective client’s requirements. At the same time you will also want to gain confidence that Product Innovation Ltd is an appropriate consultant.

Possible development stages will be proposed in order to establish the most efficient and cost effective way forward. This may well involve more or less participation from you, depending on your other commitments and available skills.

Product Innovation Ltd will then spend a little time estimating the timescales and costs of the various stages and write a formal proposal to you. If accepted you should sign the proposal and return one copy to Product Innovation Ltd.

Up until this point you will incur no costs. Only after acceptance of the proposal will fees start to accrue.

The project will be split up into fixed deliverable milestones. Each milestone will be quoted for in advance. The milestones will necessarily vary from client to client and project to project. An example of what these might be follows:

  • Formal meeting to discuss the full requirements, draft a product specification and look for extra features that may be desirable and possible in the new product.
  • Feasibility Study for the overall design including electronics, mouldings, software, unit cost estimates, estimated tooling cost, timescales etc.
  • Design and build prototype electronics and write and test provisional software
  • Produce 3D General Arrangement drawings to demonstrate how the product might look and how it will be assembled.
  • After acceptance by you, finalise the design of any non-electronic parts (plastic, metal etc.) and commission prototypes.
  • Design the production PCB(s), commission them and source components. Build and test fully working model. Update the software in the light of the model’s performance.
  • Revise and debug as necessary.
  • Commission tooling and advise and help with first pre-production run.
  • Hand over all know-how, drawings and software to client.

It is extremely important that there is good regular communication between Product Innovation Ltd and you at all stages. This will ensure that the final product is exactly what was required at the beginning, or hopefully even better. Although it is common practice to agree the specification at the beginning of the project, our experience is that a ‘sliding spec’ can lead to a greatly improved product. Clearly major spec changes can cause delay and extra costs, but often small changes can lead to a major product advantage, and hence better market acceptance. So, within reason we encourage clients and ourselves to propose modifications and improvements as the project progresses.

At the end of each stage you will need to make the decision to continue, maybe change direction a little or stop. The only fees payable are for those stages that you have agreed to in advance.

When the project is complete all the know-how and Intellectual Property is transferred to you and becomes your property.

©2015 Product Innovation Limited.