Mastering New Production Introduction

Mastering New Production Introduction

One of the biggest challenges hardware innovation faces is making sure you've created a plan that covers all the important details and with the right timeline. For a market with little room for error, unknown unknowns that cause delays, quality issues, or simply waste precious cash can quickly sink your business. This discussion features expert panelists, Scott N. Miller - Dragon Innovation CEO & Bolt Partner, Jay Feldis - Product Realization Group Consultant, and Bob Khor - Product Realization Group Consultant, discussing what the plan for new product introduction should consider, tools and tips to execute effectively, common mistakes, and secret nuggets of wisdom that can make all the difference. 

What is New Product Introduction (NPI)?

NPI is your plan to successfully get from prototype to market.


How do you approach the overall strategy for NPI?

1. From a manufacturing standpoint, you need to maintain a positive cash flow. Running out of money will kill your product quickly.

2. Try to anticipate the unknown unknowns. Make sure you are factoring in both fixed and variable costs.

3. Identify a team member that can create a successful financial plan right from the start.

4. Identify the product requirements and your market FIRST!

What should the documentation process include?

1. It’s very important to have your product specifications and requirements BEFORE you start production.

2. Documenting how the product will be made early will help plan for mass production later – identifying issues that may arise when the production numbers increase.

3. BOM needs to be maintained and updated throughout the process. Not doing so will cost you both time and money.


In a perfect world, a startup will have all the money and resources it needs to succeed. In reality, corners will need to be cut. How do you identify where you can cut corners?

1. Consider cost, quality, and schedule. You need to find balance in all three, there simply won’t be enough time or money to do it all perfectly.

2. Risk Management: You’ll have to make one of two types of decisions:               
          a. If you get it wrong, there’s still a chance that you can fix it later; or         
          b. If you get it wrong, it will cast a long shadow and be very difficult to fix.


When testing a product, what should startups consider?

1. Focus on quality first. Cost and schedule should come second. Know you did right by your customer and having confidence in launching your product to market will help you sleep at night.

2. Reliability and Performance testing: Test hard and often. You want to create a failure. Find out what makes your product fail and fix it early.

3. Make sure to use a reliable factory and create good partnerships.


Click here to view photos of the event. 

About The Speakers

Scott Miller

Scott Miller

Dragon Innovation CEO & Bolt Partner

Scott co-founded Dragon Innovation, Inc. in 2006 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since February 2009. He is the Venture Partner at Bolt Innovation Group and served as its Co-founder and Partner. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Olin College and teaches the Mechanical Design and Design for Manufacture courses. Prior to founding Dragon Innovation, he spent ten years at iRobot.

Bob Khor

Bob Khor

Product Realization Group Consultant

Bob Khor has over 15 years of Global Operational leadership experience within the High Technology sector helping companies manage their global supply chain and transitioning mass production to low-cost locations. He was previously Director of Supply Chain at August Home Inc., the leader in smart locks, and Director of Operations at Pano Logic Inc., a leader in cloud computing hardware. He has also worked in the EMS industry, providing engineering and operational support to major ODM/OEM players.

Jay Feldis

Jay Feldis

Product Realization Group Consultant

Jay has over 25 years of experience leading the development of electronic high technology products in Silicon Valley. As a founding member of Logitech’s webcam product group, Jay helped to create and define webcams and video communication as consumer products. His experience includes key roles leading hardware, software, and program management teams through all stages of development from product conception and system design to manufacturing and retail launch.

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