Although manufacturing is a complex vertical, the scope for improvement in the industry is immense. You may start small with a couple of products and master your niche and process. But manufacturers expect to add a new product line at some point. But launching a new product or implementing innovation cannot happen without meticulous planning, development, and execution. Moreover, there aren’t any shortcuts to success because launching a new line is like starting from scratch. Let us share a few valuable manufacturing tips to add a new product line.
Discover your objective
Every time you plan to enhance your industrial operations, you should have a clear objective in mind. For example, manufacturing a new product makes sense if demand is high and competition is limited. Start with market research to decide the scope of your offering because it determines the success of the initiative in the long run. Check the pain points of your target audience and determine how your new product can address them.
Brainstorm and refine
Once you are sure your potential product line has a viable market, brainstorm a product idea and refine it to create an ideal prototype. Typically, you must consider factors like engineering requirements, performance characteristics, sustainability, manufacturability, user safety, cost targets, and price points. Also, check the industry or government regulations and compare your idea with the existing solutions in the market.
Design and engineer a prototype
Designing and engineering a prototype puts you in a better place by reducing uncertainty and decreasing risk at launch. You are ready for prototyping after brainstorming and refining the original idea. At this stage, you must look for the ideal material for the final product and the elements critical to it. Also, ensure the necessary durability, sustainability, and safety because they determine the success potential.
Prepare for production
Once you brainstorm and refine the product idea and have a prototype ready, you must prepare for production. Your current equipment may not suffice for introducing a new line, so you should be ready for investment. For example, pharma manufacturers diversifying into the gummy supplement range will need a gummy depositor, washer, and packaging systems to get the new line up and running. Consider the investment an expansion initiative, and you will not have second thoughts about it.
Anticipate problems and related solutions
You may have a great product in the new line but avoid launching it right away. Experts recommend tightening up the details to anticipate problems and formulate solutions. Adjusting beforehand where possible reduces the chances of defects and failure in the long run. Test the product thoroughly before going ahead with full-scale production and launch.
Keep post-launch activities in mind
Another significant tip for adding a new product line to your manufacturing unit is to plan for post-launch activities. These include packaging, marketing, sales, and customer service. You may face questions from the client, so your engineering, marketing, sales, and customer service teams should be ready with answers. It is the only way to maximize customer satisfaction and acceptance. You may even need to respond to concerns or fix issues.