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Product Planner: Empowering Hardware Companies with Hardware Insights

on October 17, 2016

Less than a year ago, we introduced the Dragon Standard BOM to give the hardware community a professional grade BOM template that helps them get started on the right foot.  It’s been installed by over 6,000 people around the world from companies of all sizes.  We’re thrilled to see this level of adoption and deeply appreciative for the feedback from the community and their enthusiasm for the product.  As the next step in the evolution of our tools to help hardware companies see around corners and launch products more efficiently, I’m excited to share the launch of Product Planner, giving hardware companies key hardware insights based on cost, quality and schedule.

Product Planner also uses a BOM-centric approach to help companies prepare for manufacturing however it is much more than just a spreadsheet or even a BOM tool.  One of the most powerful features that illustrates what I mean is our Cash Flow Report, which creates cash flow forecasts so you know how much money you need to actually manufacture your product.  So often, we see hardware companies enter the “valley of death” that Chris Quintero from Bolt has written about. These companies have designed a great product and have customer orders, but don’t have cash left to buy the materials to build their product.  Up until now, hardware teams haven’t had a good way to calculate accurate COGS; it’s so much more complex than summing up “Column F” on your Excel spreadsheet.  There was no easy way for companies to factor in their fixed expenses like Tooling, NRE, etc.  As a direct result of not having accessible manufacturing planning tools, too many companies with high potential products flew blind and failed.

Hardware Insights  

At Dragon, we’re passionate about arming companies of all sizes who are working on early stage electronic hardware with the knowledge, tools, and insights they need to succeed (without forcing them to install expensive enterprise software - nothing stops progress faster!). We’re incredibly excited about continuing to build out experiences that make hardware feel easy.

Stay tuned, there’s a lot more to come!


Scott N. Miller

Scott has been fascinated with hardware since he was old enough to hold a screwdriver. He worked on a robotic tuna fish, life-size robotic dinosaurs for Disney Imagineering, and robotic baby dolls with Hasbro, before joining iRobot where he was responsible for leading the Roomba team to scale the functional prototype to high-volume production of the first three million units.

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