Outsourcing your industrial design to China is an excellent option to consider because of how much you could save your company and because of the vast capabilities outsourcing can offer you. Many businesses outsource their manufacturing design and production needs to companies worldwide to help bring their items to market quicker than they could if they decided to design in-house.
Are you and your team stuck between outsourcing or handling your industrial design in-house, and you need further guidance? If so, then you came to the right place. This brief outsourcing design guide will cover the pros and cons of outsourcing vs. handling things in-house and who you can contact for more information.
Benefits of In-house Design
One of the most significant benefits of keeping your product design in-house is you have the ability to manage your own team of designers. No one knows your product better than you and your design team.
You both have an indispensable amount of knowledge that can be quite beneficial to provide to your field service engineers. This allows them the ability to handle the repair, upgrading, and maintenance of your products.
Keeping everything in-house makes it easier to watch over the design process. You will know where, when, and how the project money is spent.
Disadvantages of In-house Industrial Design
Although some excellent benefits come with handling the design in-house, there are some disadvantages you must keep in mind. For example, maintaining an in-house industrial design team permanently can cost you a lot in the long run. To ensure you get your money’s worth, you will need to keep your designers productively occupied.
Investment in Resources
In addition to paying wages for your design team, you must also consider the cost of materials. To ensure you have all you need to design in-house, you will have to spend money on equipment, technology, infrastructure, and anything else you need to get the product developed.
A Fresh Pair of Eyes
Although it is great to have everyone on board, sometimes it is easy to fall into designer bias. When you outsource your work, you have a fresh pair of eyes that can help you catch any discrepancies or issues that you and your in-home team may not have noticed.
Benefits of Outsourcing Design
One of the most significant benefits of outsourcing the product development of your product is that it expands your capacity. When you hire a product development team, you get more people with expertise and experience in development. This gives you and your in-home team more time to focus on other tasks.
Even after you complete the design process and you dismiss your international design team, they are there for you to answer any questions or concerns you may have. This means that you can rest assured that if something goes wrong or you need help with something in the design, later on, you can always reach out to your international design team. They will know precisely how to help you.
Expedited Market Production
When you have more active employees working on the product lines, it is typical for the development of the product to go much faster than if you were to do it on your own. Outsourced teams are notorious for getting product out to the market quickly because that is what they are hired for. Their main job is to design the product, test it, and get it out to market as quickly as possible to meet your demands.
More Designers Less Cost
Although it sounds ironic that the more designers you have, the less it will cost, that statement is true regarding outsourced product development teams. Most international design teams charge you less when you request a team of designers instead of hiring individual designers.
This is excellent if you need to create complex products such as a new technology product, complete product design, or other types of electronic development. The more people you have working on the project, the faster things get done.
You Can Develop Products Outside of Your Expertise
Even if you aren’t entirely aware of all the complex details that go into your product, all you have to do is come up with an idea. When you work with an outsourced team, they have the proper staff members with the knowledge needed to bring your product to life.
If you’re developing a product and you come across a situation where you don’t quite understand a specific part of the design, you can rely on the help of your international design team to pick up where you left off. For example, let’s say you have an excellent idea for a new phone or gaming console, but you don’t know how to program it; you can reach out to a reputable overseas team to handle that part.
Exposed to New Opinions
As mentioned earlier, when you work on a product in-house, it is easy to possibly fall into designer bias. This happens when you and your team put their own opinions into the design so much that you miss vital parts that could significantly affect the design.
Instead, when you outsource the product development, the third-party company can give you their two cents about your design. They are there to ensure your product meets your user expectations and project goals.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing Industrial Design
Outsourcing your industrial design projects come with many great benefits, but there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of. For example, when you outsource, you lose some control of the production process.
With an in-house team, things are localized, and it is easy to step in quickly and make changes. When you outsource, you won’t be able to do that. So long as you are transparent with your international design team, there should be no issues.
Possible Hidden Costs
Even though outsourcing your product development is generally cheaper, there may be some hidden costs. To ensure that you control costs, make sure you partner with a reputable outsourcing company.
When you interview potential manufacturers, make sure to ask them about their fee schedules. If they are hesitant to answer your questions or give you a straight answer about payment, you may want to consider working with another company.
Potential Intellectual Property issues
Most people don’t know that your intellectual property rights don’t transfer to other countries. Just because you have your trademark in your home country does not mean it exists in other countries. To ensure that you protect your intellectual property, make sure you work with a company that protects your interest as they create your product.
Possible Public Backlash
There are several clients who disagree with outsourcing due to unfair and unethical labor practices in certain countries. To help prevent a PR disaster, make sure you work with a company that follows fair, ethical labor laws. Certain countries don’t have labor laws in place for their workers, so make sure you do your research before you partner with any manufacturer.
Best Practices To Ensure Outsourcing Success
If you need to outsource your product development process, there are a few things you should do to ensure your project’s success. For example, you will want to make sure you establish clear communication. In order for the product development process to be a complete success, there needs to be clear and open communication across the team.
If you decide to work with a manufacturer in China, it would be best if you worked with a manufacturer with a dedicated contact. This agent is a liaison between you and the design team. They have the ability to clearly understand your needs and translate them to the product development team.
Choose a Team With Expanded Capabilities
It is very important that you work with an international design team that has a wide variety of expertise. Product development teams who have experience across different industries and experience with other platforms, materials, and components are the best way to go.
The product development team you choose to work with may not have experience developing a product just like yours, and this is ok. The team mainly needs to be able to apply their knowledge and skills from previous projects to yours.
When looking for the right manufacturer, be sure to ask them about their portfolio of projects. They should be able to show you other jobs they’ve worked on to best highlight their abilities.
Don’t Pick Your Industrial Design Team Solely Based on Cost
We get it; you and your team are probably on a strict budget that you must stay within, or else you won’t be able to bring the product to market. Although you should keep cost in mind, you shouldn’t opt for the cheapest option to stay on budget.
It is much better to consider quality over cost. The last thing you want is to be in a position where you’re spending more money to remedy the situation instead of choosing a higher-quality industrial design team.
Have a Clear Product Specification Sheet
In addition to making sure that there is clear communication between development team members, you will want to make sure there is a clear understanding of your product specification sheet. Be sure to stay open and honest with your manufacturer about the needs of your product so they can meet your demands. If you don’t have precise specifications, your manufacturer will only be able to go off of what you give them.
Don’t Underestimate Security Concerns
When doing business overseas, make sure that all of your data is kept secure. It is unwise to assume the security and safety of your data when outsourcing. Make sure that you seek a technical expert to make sure that all of your data and information is kept safe.
How To Find the Right Industrial Design Team
When looking for the right industrial design team, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Of course, you want to do your due diligence and research a company thoroughly before you sign any paperwork.
Do not pick a manufacturer based on price alone. Make sure that they have the right product and business licenses needed to operate in their country.
It isn’t uncommon for oversea manufacturers to outsource their work to subcontractors if they have too much on their plate. If they do, you will want to make sure you have information on that subcontractor as well.
Research Turnaround Times
When you outsource the manufacturing process of your products, you should expect for your products to have a longer shipping time. This is because customs and other overseas procedures must take place before your package can arrive in your home country. It is imperative that you partner with a company that can help ensure that your goods will get to you within your target deadline.
Reputable Industrial Design Manufacturers
When you have an industrial design that you need to hit the market as quickly as possible, you will want to make sure you work with a reputable company that can handle your demands. There are several benefits that come with outsourcing and some disadvantages that you should keep in mind as well.
To ensure that your project is a complete success, you should make sure you work with a company with a robust and experienced international design team. If you are in the process of developing your product and you are ready to start manufacturing, contact us. Our team is ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you have about the manufacturing process.