Time to Market: It’s Not All About Money

When considering a fast time to market, be prepared to pay a little more. The phrase “time is money” was never more accurate than when you are “buying time,” so to speak. To accommodate your need for speedy companies, you have to move other things out of the way to put your product at the top of the list, essentially cutting in line, which costs money. Often, your suppliers will work day and night 24/7 to get your product designed, built, and assembled so that you can make your deadline. Expect it to cost a little more.

But when you consider the true value of getting your product built swiftly enough to make your required date, you come to realize that it’s not all about the money. Sure, you can count on it costing more, and you’ll have to pay more for getting from concept to reality in only a matter of days. However, in most cases, the true value of getting your product to market rapidly far outweighs to price.

Think about the true value of getting your product on time and how much it will truly cost you if your product does not get out as fast as you need. After all of the planning, scheduling, and marketing you’ve done, here is what could happen if you don’t get your product on time. And in the end, how much would these cost you?

  • A competitor could beat you to market. They could introduce their product before you have a chance to introduce yours.
  • You could miss introducing your new product at a big international trade show.
  • You could miss a date to your customer, even one who paid you a premium to get their product delivered on time.
  • You miss a big meeting with your prospective venture capital people, or you have to go to that meeting empty-handed, which has all kinds of negative connotations in the eyes of those investors.
  • With no product available, you don’t have anything new and exciting to show at the meeting with your shareholders that has been planned for months in advance.
  • Without getting your new prototype product in time, you could miss discovering a problem or a series of problems that only could be discovered when the first NPI is complete. Now, you have to start from scratch when it’s almost too late, and you lose even more time.
  • To add insult to injury, by holding up the prototype, you discover what causes you to be late to production, leaving expensive equipment and people idling while you frantically work out the bugs. That’s a lot of time lost.
  • Because you did not get the prototypes out in a timely fashion, you could miss a high sales time of the year, such as during the holiday season, when your customers traditionally buy your product. What if your competitor takes advantage of you not introducing your new product at that time?
  • Missing that high sales season could make your product obsolete by the following selling season. I don’t even want to think about what they would cost!
  • Think about all the NPI meetings you had scheduled, as well as those press conferences, press releases, and interviews; that extensive and expensive advertising campaign; and all of that dated marketing collateral material. All of these things have to be changed, updated, or rescheduled.
  • Then, there is the most important thing of all—the damage to your credibility and your company’s reputation as dependable. People will start questioning the very essence of your company’s makeup and values; there is no true cost for that because it’s priceless.

These are just a few of the things that can go wrong if you are not willing to invest in a company that specializes in quick turnaround new product introduction. If you are not ready to pay the little extra that it takes to make sure that your product is built and delivered on time—and if you diligently add up all of the extra costs incurred by not getting your new product in the right hands when you wanted—it far outweighs the few extra dollars you could spend to ensure your product hits your dock when needed. This makes you wonder if saving a few bucks is really worth it.

Imran Valiani is an account manager at Rush PCB. He can be reached at imran@rushpcb.com.



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