I spoke to the manufacturers today about my Request for Quotes. I think we’re all on the same page now. Essentially, they believe they can give me unit product costs estimates, but will struggle with giving me the moulds’ prices until they have redone the design work. That’s because the moulds (or tooling) are outsourced to other companies.
What I have also learned is that there are many things to consider when designing the moulds. For instance, I can combine parts or create multiple pieces of the same part in the same mould. The bigger the mould, the more it costs. However, I can save money in the unit cost. Of course, if we get it wrong I might also have a lot of excess parts the customer doesn’t need.
I’ve also learned that it may be possible for the manufacturer to amortise the tooling cost into the products with them essentially acting as a bank. That could be really useful depending on how much money I can raise from investors. I’ll be surprised if they’ll do this though without a large order – something I can’t agree to do until the products are proven.
I’ll write a longer article next week about what I might have done differently in the design phase.