What is your new product development process?
Typically, a customer initially submits a product concept to the STAK engineering team in the United States for evaluation. We want be certain that the specifications and materials fit within our strict high-quality, low-cost parameters. If not, we will suggest alternatives. We can typically provide feedback to the customer within HOW MANY days as to likelihood of success.
That evaluation process includes thorough analysis of every detail of each product. We want to ensure that every cost-cutting possibility has been addressed. We then communicate directly with our Asian production facilities to determine which of them is best suited to produce the item(s) in a timely manner and most efficiently. Once we are certain the design and production processes are viable, we notify the customer of the cost to produce each item based upon the quantities requested and time required for manufacture and delivery.
What is your new product development strategy?
The key to a successful product launch is to be absolutely certain there is no redundancy or other waste within the design itself. Every detail of each part is analyzed and assessed. Our engineering team is constantly searching for breakthroughs in source material for production that might improve quality, lower cost, or both.
STAK’s experience enables us to eliminate repetitive steps and other sources of wasted time so that our initial design recommendation is typically identical to the final packaged product. These steps save our customers tens of thousands of dollars and significantly shorten the time span between product design and launch.
Why have a manufacturing agent in China?
There is no question that the least expensive way to manufacture most products today is by dealing directly with Chinese facilities. However, due to unique cultural and behavioral differences, it is virtually impossible for inexperienced U.S. firms to effectively negotiate optimum terms. The horror stories of Americans who feel they were somehow cheated or that the factory substituted materials and changed specifications at the last minute are never-ending. Experience tells us that these issues most likely stem from poor communication.
For example, a single product may have in excess of 50 specifications, such as a defined plastic resin to be used in an enclosure. We know that unless each of these specifications is clearly defined and communicated, the factory management tends to authorize substitutions that they genuinely feel will be advantageous.
The language barrier creates additional complications. Our experience and established presence in Asia enables us to effectively sidestep these issues. Our agents are experienced in these negotiations and will spend the required “Face Time” to ensure effective communications.
STAK maintains connections with both supplier and manufacturer to eliminate delays. The bottom line is that products are manufactured on time, at or under budget, every time.
Additional considerations include:
- safety and product compliance
- freight and shipping coordination
- import and export documentation
- product evaluation and testing prior to shipping, and more…
Which product designing factors are most crucial?
Product designing techniques are at the forefront of all GVI activities. Design is the single most influential aspect affecting a successful product launch. It is also the costliest mistake to rectify.
The product design team absolutely must communicate thoroughly and frequently. When one of our engineers becomes aware of new regulatory updates, which occur constantly, he or she immediately notifies the entire team. In turn, the design team immediately connects with the production facilities to coordinate modifications.
What is global outsourcing?
Global outsourcing refers to the practice of a company contracting work to a disconnected firm, regardless of physical location. The company can outsource work to either another company or to an individual. They may be located around the corner or on the other side of the globe.
STAK specializes in connecting companies searching for manufacturing sources with companies that provide those services.
Done effectively, global outsourcing accomplishes functions that are beyond the ability or capacity of the company requiring those services. Typically, the quality is better and production is far less expensive than would be possible locally. It allows businesses to concentrate on the services they perform best. The trick is to be certain that you work with a capable intermediary to oversee the exchange. One which provides a physical presence in both places. Otherwise, the benefits of global outsourcing can easily be overcome by unforeseeable complications.
What is offshore outsourcing?
Offshore outsourcing refers to a situation where a firm located in one country contracts work to an unaffiliated company in a different country. Even though Mexico, for example, shares the same shores as the United States, the company is technically offshore for purposes of this discussion.
Obviously, offshore outsourcing makes a great deal of sense when the cost of production can be up to 90% less than it would be in the United States. Additional benefits include the ability of the source company to concentrate on product and service innovation while STAK handles:
- design issues
- production schedules
- delivery and more…
Another benefit is the enormous manufacturing capacity available from Chinese firms. As an example, one GVI client developed a product with a component made of fabric. After searching multiple suppliers in the U.S., they only had a handful of color options. They were shocked to learn that our suppliers in China could produce the fabric in any color of their choosing.
Beyond the greater number of choices with materials, companies that wish to scale up production often find that American manufacturers simply do not have the necessary capacity.