At Dragon Innovation, we're approached with manufacturing questions all the time. While our business is leveraging our expertise and knowledge directly for our customers, we also like to share our wealth of knowledge more broadly with the manufacturing community. To this end, we'll be answering some questions we receive about the manufacturing process in this short video series we call: 'Ask a Dragon'.
Here at Dragon we’re often approached by companies looking to expedite their delivery based on schedule milestones or timelines driven by the holidays etc. So, if I come to you today with a working prototype, complete BOM/CAD package could I ship by the holiday season?
-The joke is always “which year”
-In small volumes, hand-assembling, inviting all your friends to a BBQ probably won't work for mass productions
-Contract Manufacturers (CMs) are at capacity
-Walking it backwards: If you have a retail buy cycle, typically your retailers need to receive products by October. Assume a month on the ocean for shipping, means all products need to be produced and tested no later than September (that is, they’re AT your warehouse or 3PL at this point)
-Certifications: UL has a several-weeks-long queue. Especially this time of year in advance of holidays. Yes, you can use pre-certified modules (for bluetooth, for example), but you’ll still want your holistic whole product certified, particularly where power is concerned - things that could cause consumer death/dismemberment/burning down buildings/etc.
-Long Lead Time components - check these. Global component shortage, ex for capacitors. You cannot speed up this process
-Plastics: time to cut steel tools is +/- 40 business days. Soft tools shave a bit of time off that, but not a factor of 50%
-There is a reason Dragon gives a rough estimate to all customers of 6-9 months from the point your MSA is signed with your CM to products rolling off the line. This doesn’t even account for the legal back-and-forth for MSAs/NDAs, or products held up in customs. 6 months is assuming that everything goes perfectly, and we know it rarely does.
Got a question of your own you'd like us to answer? Feel free to submit your question and we'll answer it in our series.