Today customer satisfaction is the most important factor in selling a product. Competition gets tougher each year and most people think that very little thought is give to the design process of a product. But that isn’t so, the wrong design can cause a total loss of revenue and have a negative impact on the quality of your product. In a worst-case scenario, it may even cause the product to fail.

Every manufacturer seeks to avoid this problem and to do this they need to pay close attention to the design workflow.

The following is what your design workflow should look like.

Determine the need

Before you start designing your product, you need to understand the need it is fulfilling. What do your customers need this product for? What is its purpose? These are the questions you need to ask before you start the expensive process of designing.

While you are in this planning process, you also want to determine the material and consumer costs of such a product and whether it is something that is affordable for the consumer.

Market Research

At this stage of the process, you want to research your market to see if customers would be interested in purchasing this product. You need to determine what price point they are willing to pay and whether it is something that they want. You can use social media, surveys, and email campaigns to determine the opinion of your audience.

Research and File Patents

Before you do a full design, you need to do some research. You’ll need to see if patents have been filed for your product. If there are design patents already filed, you must contact the owner of these patents or change your product slightly so it doesn’t infringe on the patent of another person. Once you have the idea and have done your research, you’ll need to file your own patents on your product design. The purpose of doing this is so that the idea cannot be taken from you.

Use Design Simulation Software

Once you have determined what you need and you have a ballpark estimate for the cost of the materials, you will want to use a good design simulation or plastics consultant expert or use software to create a prototype of your product. A product designer will design and create a simulation of your product. This will help you visualize the product, determine the materials needed and understand the best manufacturing process to create a durable and functional product. Most product designers use software like Abaqus, Comsol, Nastran, or Ansys to design products and create simulations.

Create a Prototype

The last step in the process is to send your design to a manufacturing facility to create a working prototype of your product. Once you have this final prototype, you’ll want to inspect it and determine if it meets your need and offers the quality that the customer expects. If all aspects of the design process work out well, you are ready to take your product to the manufacturing process.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger based in New Mexico. Her first passion is journalism, but she also loves hiking and gardening. Brooke recommends finding a skilled plastics consultant to help you when necessary. Find her on writer and Facebook: @BrookeChaplan; https://www.facebook.com/brooke.chaplan

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