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From Idea to Reality: Navigating New Product Introduction (NPI)

Your company has gone from idea to prototype to the precipice of production. In short, your new product is getting ready to be introduced to the world. Congratulations!

Before we break out the bubbly for a celebration, however, it’s important to remember just how critical (and high-stakes) this phase of your business is. You’re at the New Product Introduction stage. Are you really ready? It’s helpful to think of it as a journey in a strange land, you’ll have several stops along the way, and it’s invaluable to have an experienced guide to take you from start to finish.

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Here are some important things to consider as you move into this exciting stage.

A Supply Chain That is Fit for a Purpose

This can be an imposing part of the process -- determining the right pieces of the supply chain puzzle to ensure that production is seamless and within your budget. Having an extensive network of suppliers who can work with you to find right-sized partners to meet your production goals while considering your costs, quality and schedule is key.

Production Oversight

If you haven’t yet chosen a manufacturing location, it’s an important aspect to consider. How easy will it be for you to monitor closely the ramping up of production? If you have been able to find a right-for-you manufacturing hub in your backyard, you are lucky. But if your team is manufacturing in a land whose language you do not speak fluently, who is far from your HQ, and a few time-zones away, consider partnering with an expert like Dragon to be your “eyes and ears on the ground” -- performing the vital task of production oversight so you don’t have to.

Quality Management System

Manufacturing your product is not enough -- it must be high-quality if it is to succeed in the marketplace. Vigilance is required to ensure quality, and you will need help to specify, develop and implement a tailored Quality Management System. This can include quality manual essentials to communicate expectations to your factory, forms and templates for tracking results, a training strategy to implement the process, and more.

However, none of this can happen if you do not have funding, which might be the most important element in making your product a reality.

Funding

Funding, of course, is what makes this whole process work. Countless great ideas have withered on the proverbial vine simply for lack of capital. While it is often our clients’ least favorite part of the process, it is arguably the most essential.

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Financing scenarios vary for early-stage companies, but access to capital is necessary at all stages (and yes, the amounts tend to increase the more you advance). Often, after having exhausted local seed and/or other initial stage funding (such as regional grants, and support of family and friends), budding occidental manufacturers need to go to venture capital hubs like London (often a first step for European companies) and then San Francisco to attain more capital. But no matter where you are looking to raise capital, the reason WHY you are doing it must be clear and consistent. Remember and communicate the reason you need the funding, whether it’s to create molds, guarantee the product’s lifecycle, or something else. This is about making your idea into a reality.

The experience you have gained with the first version of your product is very valuable. But the experience and the network needed for the NPI phase is different. This is why it cannot be stressed enough, that having an experienced partner such as Dragon by your side is hugely helpful in navigating this process. We can help convince investors that the risks are well understood, and managed in a way that works.

Wrap Up

New Product Introduction can be an exciting, rewarding part of the process of taking your Idea into the real world. Just remember the importance of having a guide by your side if you are unfamiliar with this intricate process.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us to talk about what Dragon can do for you.

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