Time to Market: Ten Ways to Bring Your Product to Market

The market is heating up as companies come up with new and innovative products and want to get them to the marketplace, pronto. With the world rather shut down for almost a year and a half, innovators had time to think about and create these new inventions.

The pandemic created needs for products we have not even thought about before. Everything from medical devices like purification systems and low-cost respirators to COVID tests and packaging temperature indicators to make sure that vaccines were shipped at the proper temperatures. The demand for innovations for existing products such as automatic door openers, faucets, and toilets to automatic no-touch everything else are hitting the market as we speak.

Additionally, we are seeing an increasing demand for products to counter cyberattacks. Then there is the issue of security and protection of intellectual property which is creating severe challenges in terms of the supply chain with companies being much more concerned about where their products are being built and who is actually seeing their own IP.

Don’t get me wrong, these are all very good things, but they are also creating challenges for those of us in the time to market business. Now more than ever, our customers want their products not just yesterday, but it seems like they wanted them last year.

To help with there new world order conditions, here are 10 things you as a customer can do to make help your PCB and PCBA vendor get your products to market that much faster:

  1. Look and use a vendor who can provide a complete synergistic solution. You want to use a company that can do it all. One phone call, one purchase order, one point of sales, one company. It is so much easier that way. Especially when you are talking NPI (new product introduction).
  2. Look for a supplier than can provide you with alternatives of where your product is built. They need to have both domestic and global solutions. There are reasons and advantages for having both resources.
  3. Make sure that your data packages are perfect. There is too much time is wasted by sending your supplier incomplete, or worse yet, flawed data packages. You want to make sure that your package is perfect.
  4. Have a supplier who knows enough about your product needs to help correct your package if it is indeed incorrect or flawed in anyway. You have to have a supplier you can trust enough to listen to when it comes to fixing or improving your data in order to produce the best end manufacturable end product.
  5. Use a supplier with a proven track record for consistent and reliable on-time delivery as well as perfect quality. Remember that if you take time to do it right in the first place you will save all that time you would waste if you had to do it over.
  6. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Look, we all know what it talks to build and assemble an assembly. So often we will see, shall we say, over-zealous customers who will apply so much pressure on their suppliers that they will get them to commit to unrealistic delivery dates that they have no chance of ever making it. Be realistic!
  7. Work on your pre-vendor schedule. So many times, our customers are already behind the eight ball when it comes to delivery demands because they took too long in product development. They took too long doing the design and ate up all the time to market so that by the time they come to the vendor who is going to actually build and assemble the boards there is very little time left. Apply the same pressure on your own people rather than your vendors. There is just so much time to market suppliers can do to make up for time lost before that orders even got to them. In fact, this is the single most challenging issue we face when it comes to critical time to market goals.
  8. Choose your parts carefully. When considering time to market challenges, consider parts shortages and availability. Try to consider component availability when it comes to choosing the right components or even the laminates to build the bare boards themselves. If you call out components and other materials that are rare, obsolete or unavailable at the time, your project will be dead in the water before you even start it. Be careful what you choose.
  9. Get all of your product changes and revisions done prior to sending the order to your supplier. Revision changes are costly not only in terms of dollars but in terms of that most priceless of all commodities—time.
  10. Work with your vendor not against them. You will get much more out of your vendors if you are willing to work with them in a cooperative fashion. After all, once you place that order with them, your future is in their hands.

Imran Valiani is an account manager at Rush PCB. He can be reached at imran@rushpcb.com. 

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2021

Time to Market: Ten Ways to Bring Your Product to Market

06-24-2021

One result of the pandemic is companies creating innovative products. The problem is they want to get them to market much sooner than normal. Here are 10 tips for working with your vendors to deliver products on time.

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Time to Market: Security is Key

05-27-2021

The tsunami of products coming to market means that confidentiality and security is more important than ever. But are they getting the attention they need?

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Time to Market: Faster Than Ever

05-06-2021

Now more than ever, speed is more important than anything else. When we talk to our customers, especially the ones who are working on new and innovative products (and almost all of them are), there is a growing concern that their suppliers are not going to be able to keep up with their need for speed.

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Time to Market: Secrets to Super Customer Service

03-25-2021

A recent survey of a few companies asked what was the most important to them. The survey not only focused on what was offered by their customers today, but what they wanted if they could have anything they wanted in terms of service from the suppliers. It was a very interesting, and surprising, exercise.

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Time to Market: Customer Service is Still the Key

02-18-2021

Times have changed and fast time to market is not an excuse to skimp on quality, technology or customer service. In fact, great customer service is more important than it has ever been, especially when it comes to quick turn-around orders.

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Time to Market: Everything Changes—Are You Ready?

01-21-2021

Imran Valiani is always on the lookout for ways to cut time to market. Over the years this has become his personal passion. When he stumbled on a way to shorten the quoting process, Valiani left no stone unturned.

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2020

Time to Market: Ensuring Your Suppliers Are There for You

12-10-2020

The best vendors are always there for you and are willing to work 365/24/7. Your company’s most valuable assets are your products, and you're entrusting them to another company. Here, Imran Valiani shares the eight most critical questions you have to ask about your supplier.

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Time to Market: You Get What You Pay For

11-25-2020

There is an old saying that goes, “You get what you pay for.” This is especially true when it comes to the electronics manufacturing industry. What is a great product, what is a great PCB, and what is extraordinary service? Imran Valiani details eight characteristics of a great PCB supplier.

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Time to Market: How Fast Do You Really Need It?

10-29-2020

There is no doubt that in this fast-paced world of innovation and time to market, speed is one of the most important aspects of making your products and company successful. Imran Valiani shares four actions that can be taken pre-manufacturing to cut down the critical need for speed at the manufacturing level.

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Time to Market: 12 Characteristics of NPI Suppliers

09-24-2020

When trying to get a new product to market, time can be the most important factor when it comes to its future success or failure. Imran Valiani details 12 characteristics you should look for when choosing and developing a long-term working relationship with that right new product introduction (NPI) supplier.

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Time to Market: 8 Ways to Know Your Customer Better

08-20-2020

Now is the time to go the extra mile in getting to know your customers, what they need, and how to help them solve their problems and challenges. Imran Valiani shares eight ways to know your customer better.

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Time to Market: It’s Not All About Money

07-30-2020

When you consider the true value of getting your product built swiftly enough to make your required date, you come to realize that it’s not all about the money. After all of the planning, scheduling, and marketing you’ve done, Imran Valiani explains what could happen if you don’t get your product on time.

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Time to Market: It’s Crunch Time!

06-25-2020

After sharing a crunch-time scenario, Imran Valiani emphasizes the importance of solid communication on getting to market on time—especially if you're not using a one-stop-shop for design, fabrication, and assembly.

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Time to Market: 10 Guidelines for NPI Projects

05-21-2020

With everything going on right now, people are looking for solutions—especially fast solutions. Imran Valiani shares 10 guidelines for working with your NPI supplier to make sure that you get your new, innovative, and in some cases, life-saving products to market quickly and efficiently.

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Time to Market: Time to Market Now More Critical Than Ever

04-23-2020

As inventors come up with new devices and equipment that can directly save lives when they are placed in the hands of the medical professionals who are treating COVID-19 patients, it is up to the PCB and PCBA industry to support those companies. Imran Valiani provides five actions to help customers get to market with their new products as rapidly as possible.

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Time to Market: Handling the Precarious Global Supply Web

03-26-2020

The rush is on. As the world changes moment by moment, more and more companies are going to need to have their new product lines developed faster than ever. As the global supply web shuts down—or at least gets closed off in some areas of the world—companies, especially OEMs, are having to scramble to find alternate solutions for building their products. However, Imran Valiani explains how there is a way to countermand these challenges: using trusted sources.

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2019

Time to Market: The Complete Solution—Fabrication and Assembly in Five Days

12-05-2019

The future is here. More and more companies are turning to the complete synergistic solution, seeking companies who can provide PCB fabrication and assembly in just a few days, some in as little as five days. Imran Valiani shares five items to consider when choosing a total concept supplier.

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Time to Market: Partnership Is a Two-way Street

11-21-2019

The best way—and really the only way—to get the most from both your PCB vendors and others is to treat them as an extended part of your company. Bring them into the family, so to speak. And the better you treat your vendors, the better they will perform. I know that’s not the most complicated thing to say, but it is often not an easy thing to do. You have to intentionally choose companies to partner with as vendors, and then intentionally work to create a bond of trust with them consistently throughout the relationship.

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Time to Market: The Importance of Timely NPI

10-09-2019

In this new column from Imran Valiani plans to address ways to get products to market as quickly as possible.

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