Among other numerous services Embrox Solutions offers a new product development (NPD) service. But what do we mean by the term "new product development"? We will do our best to succinctly explain it and lead you through its crucial stages.
In this article we will talk about hardware, firmware and software development and how they come together to form a final product. Since these disciplines go hand in hand, I must note that it is very convenient and time-saving when all three components come from a single source. Fortunately Embrox Solutions is experienced enough to provide our clients with full-stack solutions for their product.
Here at Embrox Solutions we will turn your idea into actionable steps, which in turn will lead to a workable product. In the course of our new product development process we use well-known and widely accepted practices that have been adopted by the leading companies.
Due to our extensive expertise, we do not outsource any of the stages to third parties.
Developing a product is a complex, time-consuming process that requires cooperation of various specialists.
Any IoT product has five layers of technology, called the IoT Technology Stack. These layers are:
The first step of the new product development process is getting an idea. Idea is the basis that drives further development. Despite the market saturation with multiple solutions, new revolutionary ideas pop up all the time. A key characteristic of an idea is that it solves the end user’s problem or meets their needs. So the first step is to clearly understand what problem you are trying to solve. Ìt is important to see that market gap and identify the opportunity, one can do a research to find that out.
Developing an idea you should know whether a problem is big enough and find out how big is the market for this problem. It is the best practice to find a small number of people that really love your product.
Having that said, we help our customers to perform a market analysis, do discovery research, and develop user personas to ensure that the solutions satisfy the unmet need. Our technical team also evaluates the feasibility of your idea.
At this stage we use a user-centric approach to make sure that our prospective product will offer actual solutions and users will adopt them. We convert an idea into a concept. The team builds a detailed version of the idea including specifications like features, configurations, target customer etc.
To cut it short, Our team gathers precise requirements to be sure that we understand exactly what the customer wants and what functionality the product should have. There is a great difference between having an idea and having requirements. During this stage we closely work with the customer. It is also important to identify essential features to avoid unpredictable time and budget costs.
Furthermore, we do concept testing, that is we present the idea to a set of customers, and collect their feedback to ensure that the idea is worth developing further.
Proof of concept
Proof-of-concept prototypes validate the assumptions that we have collected during the problem research. Here we ask fundamental questions about the product. We quickly build prototypes to test the assumptions. The team generates numerous ideas and assess which will be the best for prototyping. Then we create prototypes, they are nowhere near workable products but are just enough to test our hypotheses. We attach great importance to the speed of prototype production. The POC prototyping process is iterative.
Now we need to design a solution that corresponds to the requirements. We need to determine what the product will look like and how customers will interact with it. This stage of the product development involves multidisciplinary teams. Our goal is to create a mechanical, electrical, firmware, mobile, cloud, and database architecture. In order to do this we create block diagrams that show how the main components of our product will work. Thus we aim to transform the idea into the product architecture.
We choose a platform and tools, and develop technical specifications. We decide on the hardware, firmware and software, sensors, connectivity method, modules, PCBs layout, enclosure, security etc. The team also makes a rough Bill of materials (BOM), which specifies what parts and components will be needed to manufacture the end product as well as their costs. Usually the BOM undergoes some changes further in the development.
The team also pays attention to the web, desktop or mobile applications, developing UX/UI designs for them.
The Embrox engineers not only designed the device, but also selected the most reasonable components to reduce the cost of the product while maintaining its quality.
At the end of the design stage we have a looks-like prototype, a model of the product that is not functional which is often 3D printed as well as application designs.
Now it is time to test the concept in practice — we build a prototype of the actual product. This stage is the most rewarding one, and combines the results of the design and engineering phases. The main goal of the prototype is to validate the solution from the previous stages, and evaluate the feasibility of features developed so far.
Firstly we create a very simple engineering prototype, we get everything connected and working. Then we create a more refined prototype. Our highly-skilled specialists oversee the whole process so that you can get a flawless prototype.
Developing a prototype we also pay attention not only to the hardware and firmware, but also to the software, since it is an important part of the user experience.
For the mechanical parts we use Rapid Prototyping.
Also during this phase we refine the hardware and software components, and deal with any issues that might come up. We test the product from a design and engineering perspective. We perform tests of different parameters in various conditions
This stage also draws attention to any issues, so we can fix it before proceeding to manufacturing. When a prototype meets all of the design criteria, it can be regarded as an MVP and sent to production
At this point you have a successful product ready to see the world. Producing your new product is the final step in the new product development process. Now you are ready to launch your new product into the market. At this phase the manufacturing begins. At your request we can turn to our partners in China to fully implement this step. We will also transfer the knowledge regarding your product to manufacturing teams to ensure seamless manufacturing. Now you are ready to order your first batch and introduce your product to the public.
Creating a product is a complex process and it is better to entrust it to professionals, since a small mistake in the beginning can become fatal in mass production. And a dollar saved during design can scale to thousands of dollars in profits. Embrox Solutions guarantees quality in each of the 6 NPD steps