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 3,000 people around the world from companies of all sizes. We’re thrilled to see the 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 our beta launch of Product Planner.
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 Insight 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.
At Dragon, we’re passionate about arming companies of all sizes who are working on early stage hardware with the knowledge, tools, and insights they need to succeed (without forcing them to install expensive enterprise software – nothing stops progress faster!). As part of our closed beta program we’re looking for feedback, and welcome companies to try out the app for free. We’ll run a cash flow analysis for you and set up a time to talk through the findings. To request an invite go here.
We’re incredibly excited about continuing to build out experiences that make hardware feel easy. Stay tuned, there’s a lot more to come!