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Product Design Process: A Guide from Concept to Manufacturing

October 2, 2023

Embarking on the journey of bringing a consumer product to life is an exciting endeavor, but it requires careful planning and meticulous execution. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time inventor, these steps are the same. Let IPS help you navigate the process, each step of the way!

Typical steps we guide our clients through:


1. Conceptualization Phase:

– ✅ Define your product concept and its purpose.

– ✅ Validate market demand through research.

– ✅ Conduct competitive analysis to measure market saturation.

– ✅ Identify your target audience.

– ✅ Create a detailed product design brief.

– ✅ Develop a rough prototype.

– ✅ Estimate initial budget and timeline.

IPS starts working with clients from the initial concept phase onward!


2. Feasibility Analysis:

– ✅ Assess technical feasibility.

– ✅ Identify potential risks and challenges.

– ✅ Evaluate cost-effectiveness of manufacturing.

– ✅ Refine budget and timeline based on findings.

IPS can help you plan early and avoid unnecessary pitfalls in early stage development.


3. Design and Development:

– ✅ Hire a design team to document potential concepts.

– ✅ Develop comprehensive product specifications.

– ✅ Create a functional prototype or 3D model.

– ✅ Test the prototype for functionality and user-friendliness.

– ✅ Refine the design based on feedback and field testing.

– ✅ Create CAD drawings, BOM and specifications for manufacturing.

IPS has the expertise to turn your concept into a real product.


4. Intellectual Property Protection:

– ✅ Consider patent, trademark, or copyright protection.

– ✅ Consult with a legal expert to secure IP rights.

– ✅ When applicable, conduct patent search and attain opinion letter.

– ✅ Develop and enforce confidentiality agreements.

IPS understands what is needed to protect your IP product designs.


5. Sourcing and Supplier Selection:

– ✅ Refine potential suppliers and manufacturer sources.

– ✅ Manage RFQ and factory vetting.

– ✅ Assess supplier capabilities, reliability, and quality.

– ✅ Negotiate terms and contracts with selected suppliers.

– ✅ Establish a robust supply chain management system.

IPS has hundreds of qualified factory partners throughout the globe.


6. Prototyping and Testing:

– ✅ Produce a small batch of prototypes.

– ✅ Conduct thorough testing for functionality and safety.

– ✅ Refine design and engineering based on field testing.

– ✅ Create a final prototype for pre-production testing.

IPS offers prototyping services allows further product refinement to insure your vision is achieved.


7. Packaging and Branding:

– ✅ Design product packaging and labeling.

– ✅ Develop packaging specifications to ensure compliance with retailer guidelines.

– ✅ Engineer cartons for product protection and import compliance.

IPS can help design and engineer packaging that is right for product and your branding.


8. Cost Analysis and Budgeting:

– ✅ Calculate total production costs, including all costs to produce and import product.

– ✅ Determine delivery terms and final delivery location for accurate cost estimates.

– ✅ Allocate contingency funds for unexpected costs.

– ✅ Allocate pre-production funding for mass production setup and tooling expenditures.

Let IPS negotiate on your behalf, we have been at this for over 25 years.


9. Manufacturing and Sourcing:

– ✅ Finalize manufacturing contract with purchase orders and purchase terms.

– ✅ Generate “gold standard” approval sample for mass production approval.

– ✅ Negotiate production contract with source factory.

– ✅ Ensure compliance with quality standards and international labor regulations.

– ✅ Develop backup sources for production diversification.

IPS only works with factories we trust and that we visit on a daily basis.


10. Production and Quality Control:

– ✅ Begin mass production and develop production and shipping schedules.

– ✅ Implement robust pre-production, in line production and postproduction quality control process.

– ✅ Monitor production progress and quality and address issues promptly.

– ✅ Manage factory to ensure adherence to target schedules.

IPS stands behind the product we manufacture with a quality guarantee.


11. Logistics and Distribution:

– ✅ Document production and shipments with local and country specific agencies.

– ✅ Negotiate shipping rates and cost with reputable shipping lines and forwarders.

– ✅ Plan and book ocean or air shipments and log proper documentation for export.

– ✅ Navigate import logistical requirements with U.S. Customs including setting up bond.

– ✅ Setup and schedule ultimate destination overland trucking plan for domestic leg of delivery.

– ✅ Establish distribution channels and partnerships.

IPS has a proven track record with U.S. Customs and the major shipping lines.


12. Marketing and Sales Strategy:

– ✅ Develop a comprehensive marketing plan and sales strategy with help from supplier.

– ✅ Test pricing framework on market and adjust based on data from test markets.

– ✅ Execute the product launch plan.

– ✅ Monitor market reception and gather feedback.

– ✅ Adjust marketing and sales strategies as needed.

IPS can help with your marketing and sales strategies.


13. Continuous Improvement & Line Extensions:

– ✅ Continuously gather feedback for future enhancements.

– ✅ Develop list of product changes and improvements for future versions of product.

– ✅ Stay updated on industry trends and emerging technologies.

– ✅ Use customer feedback to develop potential line extensions to diversify product offerings.

Utilize IPS for new product development and introductions.


Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.