Paragon Innovations Blog

Engineering, business, and startup topics

    Product Development: What to Know Before Outsourcing

    In today’s changing industrial climate, only the businesses with the most effective product development strategies can stay ahead of their competition. The rise of e-commerce and other cost-reducing business strategies have allowed aggressive startups to compete with industry mainstays, which means that whether you’re improving existing products or identifying new market niches, you need to do it fast, fast, and fast.Post It Note Bulb

    Many manufacturers overcome challenges in product development by pursuing aggressive outsourcing strategies. Outsourcing aspects of your production process saves money and improves turnaround times, and doing so also allows qualified experts to handle the manufacturing while you dedicate more resources to branding and R&D

    Understanding Product Development

    What is Product Development?

    Product development is an umbrella term that encompasses an item’s journey through conceptualization, design, production, and sales. During product development, business owners identify new or underexploited niches in the market and attempts to design a product that satisfies untapped demand. In other cases, manufacturers find ways to improve existing products to adapt to the market’s changing. Product development can last anywhere from a few short weeks toyears as manufacturers fine-tune their products.

    Signs You Need a New Product  

    You can usually tell when it’s time to embark on a new product development process. For one example, if sales are steadily decreasing for no particular reason, it may be a sign that consumers have grown too accustomed to your product and it needs a refresh.

    Other metrics could also signal the need to update your product offerings, such as:

    1. Increasing pressure to lower prices
    2. Increasing turnover in your sales force
    3. Fewer inquiries from prospective clients
    4. Clients systematically suggesting product changes
    5. Competitors exiting the market

    The Different Product Development Steps

    The product development process consists of numerous steps:

    1. Idea generation
    2. Idea screening
    3. Concept testing
    4. Business analysis
    5. Product development
    6. Test marketing
    7. Commercialization
    8. Review of market performance

    Many of the earlier steps occur in-house or through collaboration with consultants. Gradually, as you branch out toward actual development, test marketing, and commercialization, you may bring in external designers, other manufacturers, and even members of the public (to help with product testing). 

    Product Development Outsourcing

    Outsourcing Versus In-House Product Development

    Outsourcing refers to when businesses reach a formal agreement with a third party to perform some of the processes that the client business would otherwise handle. Service offerings can vary widely—businesses outsource everything from manufacturing to payroll processing to tech support and customer services.Whiteboard

    If you’ve never done it before, outsourcing your processes can seem like a daunting task, and in-house development definitely comes with several advantages. In-house development projects offer you complete control over the creation and delivery of your product, and they allow you to gain more hands-on experience with the ins and outs of your processes.

    However, in-house production also takes time and resources away from tasks more central to your business. An external manufacturer usually has the specific expertise to build one aspect of your end product really well, using material sourcing and time-saving techniques that they’ve honed over years of experience. Additionally, because they usually work with multiple clients at once, external firms can usually offer lower costs for their services than than what can be achieved in-house.

    Should You Outsource?

    Outsourcing doesn’t make sense for every project, but for those building large or complex materials, it can be an excellent way to speed the production process. Outsourcing is also a great way to develop new ideas—a fresh set of eyes may see more efficient ways to improve your product.

    Developing a Product: Five Tips for Outsourcing                   

    In short, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind when implementing a comprehensive outsourcing plan:

    1. Retain as much control of your product as possible
    2. Implement checks and balances to reduce risk
    3. Hire specialized engineers
    4. Avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket
    5. Act as a manager during the process to save cash

    Develop Your Product with Paragon Innovations

    Paragon is proud to offer our clients a variety of outsourcing services. We leverage a tiered product development process aimed at meeting your requirements regardless of your development stage. We design all products with numerous quality assurance procedures in mind, and we can tailor our processes to meet FDA requirements as needed.

    For those interested in a more complete overview of our services, download our Outsourcing Guide for an outline of the process. In addition, check out our Outsourcing Frequently Asked Questions.

    If you would like to learn more about how teaming up with Paragon will benefit your next project, contact us today to request a free quote.

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    What Are IoT Devices and How Will They Impact Your Business?

    What Are IoT Devices and How Will They Impact Your Business?

    As technology continues to advance in cloud computing and network integration, it’s becoming more popular than ever to build devices that are compatible with the Internet of Things. According to Business Insider, the Internet of Things (or IoT) describes “the connection of devices (other than typical fare such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, kitchen appliances, and even heart monitors can all be connected through the IoT.”

    The IoT’s potential is limited only by the amount of electronic devices you can make. Analysts expect that we’ll have over 75 billion types of IoT devices by 2025, vastly more than their current finding that only 0.06% of all devices that could leverage IoT actually do so. 

    As such, we’re standing on the cusp of a bonanza of IoT investment and integration. But what exactly does it mean to hook a device up to the Internet of Things? In this post, we explore the diverse benefits that can spring from developing machine intelligence in your products.

    IoT Devices: What Are They, How Do They Work, and How Do They Benefit Your Bottom Line?

    What are IoT devices? The answer is simple: if your device connects to the internet, it’s part of the IoT. Many of the machines and appliances we use every day can be modified to connect to the Internet of Things, including:Eye-Seal Container Breach Detection System

    • Refrigerators
    • Microwaves
    • Home security systems
    • Cars
    • Alarm clocks
    • Coffee machines
    • Climate control systems
    • Entertainment systems

    IoT products come with many built-in capabilities that monitor usage levels, sense environmental conditions, and analyze data received via the Internet to create alerts and notifications.

    This means that IoT devices can anticipate unexpected events and help you navigate around them. For example, imagine that you have a “smart” alarm clock. This alarm clock normally wakes you up at 7:30 AM to catch your morning train. However, as the clock can monitor your train’s status via the internet, it can modify its behavior if anything affects this routine. If track repairs cancel the train, the clock automatically finds another train that works with your schedule and will wake you up in time for the new one, saving you from any unpleasant surprises in the morning.

    How IoT Technology Can Impact Your Business

    IoT devices benefit your business in a variety of ways, helping you optimize inventory tracking and management, analyze customer behavior, and improve troubleshooting and product testing processes.

    For instance:SpotSee ShockTrack System

    • IoT SCADA systems can analyze product locations, system tasks, and machine wear in real time, allowing your assembly line to automatically make adjustments that best optimize your plant’s physical capacities
    • IoT industrial machinery can identify breakdowns in internal components or assembly chains, allowing you to make repairs without having to resort to trial and error
    • “Smart” GPS systems can help truckers analyze traffic and road conditions in real time, allowing you to decrease your shipping and delivery times

    Not only will these benefits result in more affordable, high-tech, and effective products for consumers, but integrating the products themselves with the IoT will improve their efficiency and marketability. Cars that can self-diagnose engine problems will reduce headaches for drivers in need of repairs, microwaves that can detect when foods and liquids are fully cooked will result in better meals and less energy use, and home lighting systems that can automatically calibrate the appropriate light levels for every time of day will effortlessly create the perfect ambiance for homes and businesses.

    Use the Internet of Things to Your Advantage at Paragon Innovations

    We at Paragon Innovations are leading the way in integrating existing devices with new and exciting technologies. We’re currently on the brink of a new era in technological innovation, and we want to work with you to realize the full potential of the Internet of Things.

    If you would like to learn more about how we can help make your next project a “smart” project, contact us today.


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    Continued CDS/Astech Development Success

    asTech Automotive Diagnostic Device

    Paragon has continued development for CDS/Astech over the last 5+ years.

    Michael Edgar, Director of Research and Development for asTtech recently said, "asTech has enlisted Paragon Innovations, Inc since our first revision to fulfill our hardware and firmware needs and have not been disappointed.  As our product and demands grew, Paragon continually showed attentiveness to our needs and provided critical support in our time(s) of need.  Their entire team and process has allowed us to focus on our business needs while knowing that our embedded development needs were met." 


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