Once you have made progress on the industrial design for your new product, of course, you want to have an idea of the cost to manufacture it. And also you want an idea of the investment to put down in custom tooling, if necessary.
There is the collaborative and open approach that we favor at Sofeast that I’ll share with you now…
(Note: this is broadly applicable to electro-mechanical products, mostly for consumers, and the process is often more convoluted in highly regulated industries.)
Sofeast’s manufacturing quotation process
Here is the process we typically follow:
- One of our project managers studies your initial BOM and works with suppliers to collect quotations, lead times, MOQs, etc. We charge 38 USD per hour for that work, and you get all the deliverables. It gives you a good idea of the BOM cost.
- On the technical side, our R&D team studies your CAD drawings and your requirements (we have a nice template to collect them, if you need it). This usually starts with a DFM review, to suggest adjustments if needed.
- Once we have samples from the suppliers, we can put the parts together and do a close approximation of the assembly time, and from there we can quote for the assembly work. (Note: if you have instructions, or a video, about the way to assemble the parts, we can work with that at first, of course.)
This is how we can help push your project closer to mass production and get to the point where you know all the cost drivers and you know your total production unit cost.
You have all the deliverables in your hand, so you can work with our contract manufacturing facility (Agilian) or with any other factory of your choice.
Getting a quotation without paying anything: Risky business!
If, however, you want a quotation without paying for any service, you are going for a transactional and arms-length approach that makes sense for simpler projects but not for more complex ones.
If you are buying a simple steel rod, for example, you can send the drawing and specifications to specialized manufacturers and get their quotations quickly.
If, however, you have designed a relatively complex product with tens/hundreds of components, and several critical components that need careful selection, the situation is quite different. If a company is tasked with preparing a quotation and they don’t consider it a service with a proper process, specific deliverables, trained staff, etc., the result may not be great for the following reasons:
- They will “guesstimate” many of the costs, to get a quotation out quickly and without investing much effort (after all, that potential customer might ask 50 different manufacturers for quotations…).
- To have a chance, they know they have to quote low. They will systematically “guesstimate” in the low range of all realistic options. And, once they are selected and they get time to re-assess the costs, they will find ways to make money. That typically involves invoking excuses to raise the price massively (preferably after an initial payment has been sent by the customer) or to cheapen the product by using substandard materials. Nothing good comes out of this…
If you’re working on your new product now and need some advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a no-strings conversation with you about any questions or issues that you may have. 👍
More helpful content…
You may like these resources, too:
- The Conundrum of Investing in Tooling Before a Final Prototype
- How Many Prototypes Are Needed Before We Get ‘Perfection?’
- 6 best Practices When Working With Contract Manufacturers In China
- Exploring The Key New Product Development Deliverables [Podcast]
- Sofeast has a large catalog of FAQs including answers to questions such as how long it takes to get a product manufactured, for example.