The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Product Design

Are you considering outsourcing your product design? There are many reasons to get outside parties to work on your project. Maybe your team is too small and you can’t spare the resources. Or, you could want to expand your team without hiring full-time. Whatever your reason, outsourcing can be a great way to leverage others expertise for your product development.

If you’re an entrepreneur, it is especially enticing. The thought of a company magically turning your product idea into a ready-to-manufacture design. It’s tempting, to say the least. Odds are you aren’t a master at using CAD and 3D design programs, and even if you are, an outside perspective is always nice.

Unfortunately, it’s easy for an outsourced project to go wrong. Below, I’m going to go over the benefits of outsourcing and tips to ensure your product development goes smoothly.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Product Development

Get an outsider perspective

Almost every designer out there has gotten inspiration from someone else. If you’re struggling with a certain aspect of your design, getting another set of eyes on it may help. You could be overlooking something that someone else would catch. They say that a writer can’t edit his own work because he’s too invested in it. You can apply that principle to product design too.

Whoever you choose to bring on to your team will have a different set of skills and a new perspective to bring to the table. They may even approach your product design in a way that you would never even consider.

Output product quicker

If you’re a small business looking to expand its product offerings, it can be hard to balance existing operations with R&D, design, prototyping, and testing. You might only get around to working on your new product design once a week or during your free time. This will result in it taking quite a while to get to market, giving more time for competitors to swoop in and beat you to the punch.

If you outsource your product design, you’ll be able to set a timeframe for completion. It’ll drastically speed up your time to market, increasing profits and allowing for growth at a more expedient rate. A larger product catalog equates to more revenue, and if you outsource, there will be no downtime.

Expand your capacity without hiring full-time employees

Outsourcing your product design allows you to take on temporary help when you need it, no strings attached. Hiring contract employees for small contracts is an unnecessarily complicated process. Freelance product designers or design firms are there when you need them. After your job is complete, you go your separate ways until you need them again. No messy paperwork needed.

You’ll be able to hire many product designers all at once for a fraction of the cost of hiring them full time. And after they’re done your project, you can send them on their way.

Get expert advice

If you choose your product designer correctly, they should be able to give you expert advice on your design. A good example is Cad Crowd’s network of freelancers and design firms who can guide you in the right direction, resulting in profit for your business. You can leverage a team of experts that can do more than just design your product for a low cost.

If this is your first rodeo, it’s even more important to get the right guidance. Expert product designers can steer you in the right direction. This way, your design will be free of mistakes that you might otherwise make. Aside from that, you can find help with manufacturing, advice on which materials to choose for your product, and even engineering services.

Leverage other networks

If you connect with a reputable product design company or experienced freelance, they will have a large portfolio of successful designs. Likewise, they are probably connected to many people in the industrial design industry. If you hire them, you’ll be able to leverage their entire network. Should you need help finding manufacturers, help with prototyping, or patent help, this is a great way to get it.

All these benefits have one thing in common. It’s all about making your design process that much easier.

Tips for Outsourcing Your Industrial Design Project Successfully

Be specific

You’ll have a lot more success outsourcing your design if you know what you want. Be specific with your designer about the kind of results you’re expecting. The more detailed information you give your designer, the more personalized it will be. If you already know you want the final product to be blue, make sure they know that.

You should also brainstorm potential issues that might arise with your design. If it’s for a niche industry that you have expertise in, you may already know what could go wrong. Tell your freelancer what to keep an eye out for so they can avoid them.

Test your designer

If you’re hiring pre-qualified designers or working with big, reputable product design firms, you can skip this step. But if you want to test your independent designer, a good way to do so is to break your design up into parts. Send them a small section of the design to complete. If you like the work they do, give them the rest.

Do your own sketch of the design

This goes hand in hand with the above tip about being specific. Before contacting any designers, do your own sketch of the design. Don’t worry if you’re not the best drawer — it doesn’t have to be immaculate. As long as it shows the main parts of your design and some basic measurements, it’s fine. It will help the designer get a better picture of your vision.

Stay in control of your design

By this point, I’m assuming you did the research and decided to pursue your invention idea. Odds are, you want to protect it. Handing over complete control of your design now is the opposite of what you want to do. If you pull back and leave it in the hands of a designer, you’ll probably regret it.

Be as involved in the design process as possible. You want to know what steps the designer is taking and their thought process. Make sure you’re in the loop at all times and stay in control, or else you’ll end up with a design you didn’t want. This doesn’t mean you need to learn the technicalities of design, but understanding the basics will help you in the long run.

Reduce the risk

If you have the funds to work with a big design firm, they will have engineers and other quality assurance members on staff to fix problems. These firms are typically very expensive and not something entrepreneurs and small businesses can afford. But if you end up hiring a solo freelancer, there are ways to minimize risk.

First, you can hire them through a company that pre-qualifies their candidates. Cad Crowd’s freelancers are vetted beforehand and guaranteed to provide the best designs. Hiring someone off websites like Upwork could spell disaster.

You can consider hiring freelance engineers to check the work of your freelance designers. This can save you money in the long run as long as the engineer you hire is skilled. It’s standard procedure to have multiple engineers check a design before it goes into production. If you can afford to do that, I highly recommend it.

Hire people with proven experience in your field

You wouldn’t get a plastic surgeon to perform brain surgeon, right? Likewise, you should hire a designer who’s designed similar products to yours. Is your invention a plastic kitchen utensil? If so, get someone with experience designing plastic kitchen utensils.

Cad Crowd Contests

If you’re looking for another option, Cad Crowd’s contests allow you to crowdsource your product development. You can have our top-notch freelance industrial designers compete for your contract. It’s a great way to see different interpretations of your design. At the end, you pick the best design! This way, you’re able to see finished designs before you pay.

If you’re interested in hosting a contest or connecting with a freelancer product designer, contact us!