You are likely familiar with the importance industrial design services for a brand, startup or manufacturer who is developing a physical product. Industrial design is such an important part of product development, so it is important that you know the key factors before you hire a product design studio or company to design your new products.

4 Things to Know Before Hiring a Product Design Firm

1 Does the product design company have industry experience?

It is a bonus if you can find a product design firm that works in the same industry or product category as your product. This is particularly important in highly regulated fields like medical devices. This is especially important for highly regulated industries like medical devices, where specialist firms have the knowledge and network to help you design and develop your product.

To find out if the firm has worked on similar products to yours, it is important to inquire about past projects. If you’re working on a smart watchable device, it’s better to partner with an industrial design firm that has experience in the consumer electronics industry than with a studio that focuses on soft-goods. Although it is not essential that the product design company has worked in the same sector as your product, this is a good thing to consider.

2 Does your design company understand the challenges of a startup’s business model?

Entrepreneurs and startups trying to bring new products to market face different constraints than large corporations with vast cash reserves and extensive supplier networks. Are you familiar with the challenges that startups and small businesses face? Or are your processes more suited to working with larger corporations?

Apple, a tech giant, can put together a team with manufacturing experts and suppliers to help them find solutions to difficult design problems. But a startup trying the same features or manufacturing methods will not be able to afford the funds to make the product. Products designed for small companies must reflect uncertainty, funding constraints and low manufacturing volumes.

3 Experience in manufacturing of product design firm

The industrial design of your product has a direct effect on its manufacturing feasibility and cost-effectiveness. Rolls-Royce found that product design is responsible for as much as 80% manufacturing costs.

It is important that product design firms have engineers or designers with a thorough understanding of manufacturing processes because of the potential impact Product design consultancy has on other activities and manufacturing costs.

Many designers place emphasis on aesthetics and shiny renders, while manufacturing capabilities are neglected. This can lead to production issues and more complex products that will need to be redesigned later.

4 Does the product design agency assist with development?

You need to know how far the Product design company can take your product development project if you’re looking to outsource it. Is their role limited to creating 3D designs or can they help you get prototyping and mass manufacturing started? Outdesign Co provides services in industrial design, engineering, and prototyping. We also help our clients to leverage our network with Asian manufacturers to assist them with product development, from the initial sketch to mass production.


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