product concept represented by a printed circuit board

How to Reduce Time Spent During the Product Concept Phase

Featured image by Andreas Lischka via Pixabay

The product concept phase can take a while. This is due to ideas, designs, and product concepts coming together. You don’t want to rush this stage, of course, as that could be costly. However, it you likely want to speed it up and have it gain momentum.

It might surprise you to know that with a few simple tricks and a bit of thought, you can increase the speed of this phase. At the same time, you can also make it a far better experience for your customer and for the teams involved with bringing the idea to fruition.


1. Inspire Your Teams to Talk

Get your teams talking together during the product concept phase.

Call it brainstorming if you like. Just have them bring their ideas together. This will make your teams feel like they are part of an even bigger team instead of competing against the other department just down the hall.

Ensure that they hold regular meetings to talk about progress and work through teething issues. Also make sure the teams are in regular communication while the product is coming together.


2. Use Outsourcing Professionals During the Product Concept Phase

If you find that your teams are lacking in certain experience or knowledge, then hire on an outsourcing basis because you will need the services of a professional with specific expertise to fill that space. Of course, the professional, too, will have to work closely with your in-house teams to ensure that the product will be right for the customer.

Naturally, you will have to reassure your in-house teams of the need for the outsourced individual. You don’t want anyone to feel pushed out or passed over because they think you lack confidence in their abilities.

3. Install Quality Design Software

Of course, your teams are only as good as the tools you provide them with. Therefore, you should invest in quality design software for them to work with during the product concept phase. When designing important items, such as printed circuit boards (PCBs), Altium design software is exceedingly popular.

This is probably because of the number of features this software has. Additionally, Altium is compatible with other design software. This means you can easily migrate your files from your current software into your new Altium software.

Altium is quality software. It will let you route your circuit boards and populate them with real components, allowing you to see them in two- and three-dimension creations before they even make it to the prototype stage. This means that you can resolve size or layout issues quickly and easily without the added costs of excess billable time or scrappage.

4. Utilize 3D Printers During the Product Concept Phase

Of course, when you are making full housing and not just the PCBs that go inside the housing, you will probably benefit from a 3D printer. This can be a great addition to your business because it can provide your customer with either a full-scale replica of their new product or a scaled-down (or scaled-up) version of it, depending on its finished size.

This can be exciting for those customers who are not used to holding their product in their hands before it’s in its final version. They will most definitely see this as an improvement over just looking at a picture on a computer screen.

By using a 3D model during the product concept phase, you will be able to gauge any design faults or flaws. Then you can address them before the product goes into full-scale production. This will save both your business and your customer time and money.