Earlier in the year, Kevin Mako, our President and Founder, was invited to be a speaker at OPN’s Founders Funding Couch. What a great show it was! In our recap of the event, we touched on several topics covered by the show. One of the topics that we got some questions about was NPI invention development in Canada.
Purpose of the NPI
We’ve noted in our other blogs, such as the Boston Consulting Group Matrix and the SWOT analysis, to help validate your idea and determine if it’s the right time to release your product. Similarly, the NPI (New Product Introduction) is one of the processes organizations use to help launch a new or an upgraded product. NPI invention development in Canada is one of the tools to take a great idea from concept to a tangible product.
It’s a competition out there.
It’s likely that you’ll be competing with products in the market. Considering the NPI process early on will help you maximize your competitiveness. By clearly defining the value of your product and objectives, you could potentially reduce development costs that come with unnecessary revisions, prototypes, and testing. In addition, there’s also the benefit of more efficient manufacturing which could lead to faster time to market and improved product quality. As a high-level overview, here’s what happens in the NPI process.
Stages of the NPI Invention Development Process
1. Start with an Invention Idea
Start with an idea that addresses a problem worth solving. In this phase, you’ll want to start with a business plan like the Business Model Canvas to validate the idea before diving straight into the NPI invention development process. Other things to consider at this stage are deadlines, budget, and the scope of the project.
2. Determine the feasibility of the invention idea.
This stage of the NPI invention development process starts with the 3D CAD concept. Here’s where you’ll review the concept designs of your invention idea. Along with finalizing the concept design, you’ll also create a basic Bill of Materials (BOM) that is required to build the product and a general outline of the production process.
3. Design and develop the product.
At this stage, you’re finally turning digital designs into something physical – the prototype. Because of this, you’ll also prepare for manufacturing, BOM, logistics, and any safety/product regulations or certifications. It’s also a good idea to beta test the product with real users. Indeed, they’ll be your key to get salient feedback about the UX of the product. The more your test, the more feedback you’ll receive to fine-tune your product. This stage is crucial as any other major changes to your product after this point may prove to be incredibly costly. At the end of this stage of the NPI invention development process, you will make the determination to either make major refinements or begin real testing and analysis of your product.
4. Test and analyze the production process.
Once you’re satisfied with the functioning prototype and ready to progress towards production, you’ll ensure everything goes smoothly before mass production. This stage is where you’ll begin tooling – including preparing the molds to manufacture the product.
5. Manufacture the product.
The most exciting part of the NPI invention development process. It’s where everything comes together and you begin to manufacture your product. But the work isn’t over yet. At this stage, you’ll need to document processes and manuals. Additionally, ensure you have a method to check the quality of your product. Because even when manufacturing at a larger scale, consistency is not guaranteed. Be sure to be vigilant and regularly complete quality checks.
6. Identifying improvement opportunities.
As you get feedback or as technology improves, you’ll begin to identify improvement opportunities to build upon your existing product and services related to your product and business.
Have an idea and want to learn more about end-to-end product development? Give our product strategy team a shout here.
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!