Which phase of manufacturing typically takes the longest?
For most companies, it’s development. Approving fabrics, fit, and design details takes a long time, and usually not enough time is budgeted. This results in an assortment of issues that have to be resolved during Salesman Samples (SMS), pre-production samples, or during production, opening the door to errors and frustration during production.
How do you solve this? We recommend to a simple solution: start prototyping earlier. It’s the one area that you have complete control over and has 3 key benefits:
- Finalize Fit and Design Details Sooner: Fit and design changes are natural and expected throughout the development process. But by starting earlier, you’re able to iterate more times during the development phase, making SMS and production a breeze. Try to budget for at least 3 iterations (or approximately 2 months) for development.
- Improve costing accuracy: Costing evolves throughout the development process, but remains largely unchanged after the first prototype. By starting earlier, you’ll be able to get more accurate costing, sooner.
- Reduce Your Stress: Finally, by starting earlier it’ll help reduce your stress during the manufacturing process. Prototyping earlier provides extra cushion to your production schedule to account for the inevitable hiccups.
Save yourself the headache and start your prototypes earlier. While we always recommend starting earlier, it’s especially important when working with a new manufacturer or creating a new product.