I say molds, you say moulds

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.

Searching for manufacturers and parts

Went to hardware store to see if there were any standard parts that I might be able to use for Product #1 or #2. Nope! And nothing like these products really exist there.

Put together a rough budget with no real idea about how much it’s going to cost to get these products manufactured. I heard that simple moulds could cost about $20k each. This is definitely going to be the most expensive business I have after started.

Found an Australian product designer/manufacturer online – Manufacturer #1. I liked what they had done for another business in their case studies – makes me think that our values are aligned. I need to put together some sort of product requirements doc for a prototype before I call them. I’m not really sure how to do that, but I suppose I can use a similar format that I would have used for software development in my old IT days

Industry research

Been doing lots of research. I have an idea about doing some private label work with an established recycled plastics company. They’re already doing great things. Perhaps they would be a good partner, and I can market their products locally?