Consumer Electronics Product Supply and Fulfillment Chain
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: timelag-ga
List Price: $200.00
14 Oct 2005 02:03 PDT
Expires: 13 Nov 2005 01:03 PST
Question ID: 580141
We are trying to create a small consumer electronics device. It is designed and prototyped, so we have a bill of materials, a layout design, as near to what we think the production board will be (save changes we make for manufacturability), and built on that board, a working prototype that meets our test cases. The missing elements to bring our product to market are: Appropriate changes to design for manufacturability An appropriate board manufacturer An enclosure design and provider An appropriate assembly shop A contract packaging provider A fulfillment house that can integrate easily with our eCommerce site and that will handle returns and call center traffic. I'll fess up. We are an eCommerce company making our first foray (stop the laughing) into the real world of product manufacturing, so much of this will be new to us. As in anything, there is a path of least resistance to getting these sort of things done. It is usually most expensive. We don't mind spending the time to learn some of the in's and out's, but we also need to get to market. Therefore we are looking for providers that add an appropriate level of service to their portion of the chain. For example, we would love to find an enclosure maker who will help us with the enclosure design. We would like to have our product completely assembled (including enclosure) under one roof, or at least by one vendor. We would like the same company that does our packaging to handle our fulfillment if possible. And we would like a fulfillment company that provides returns management and call center services. As I said, we are new to this, so we may be way off base with what services can be found under one roof, or how they are combined. What we are looking for in essence is a list of prospective companies, a range of prices for the services mentioned, and some understanding of the lead times involved. We are looking to do an initial run of 1000. If that goes well, we estimate we'll ramp up to 10,000 a month within 1 year. About our product. It is a small consumer electronic device that we would like packaged in an upscale plastic clamshell type package or equivalent. It will be sold both on the web, and in brick and mortar venues. The product itself consists of a various electronic components on a small circuit board within a plastic enclosure (about the size and shape of a small flash memory device or mp3 player), one connector within the enclosure at one end of the device, some lead cord at the other end, and a connector on the end of the lead cord. The entire thing will fit easily in a clamshell cavity of 4.0 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches deep. On the engineering side, it is two sided printed circuit board construction, and our product enclosure design needs to be very upscale. The packaging needs to be upscale also. We can handle the artwork inhouse, but will obviously need guidance on actually printing it for the package (never had to actually PRINT something before :) What we would really like to do is to follow a tried and true path through this process, and in addition to recommended companies, price and lead time expectations, it would be nice to have a case study of an existing consumer electronics product such as an MP3 player, or some iPod add-on or something. (I know, and big sacks of money would be nice too....) Realistically, some guidance on the companies, prices, lead times, and minimum quantities would be great. The case study would be a bonus (and deserve one :) Thanks, Timelag.
Re: Consumer Electronics Product Supply and Fulfillment Chain
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 25 Oct 2005 14:05 PDT
Hello - Thank you for your question. You can essentially look to having two companies handle this project. One would handle everything *other* than the fufillment/call-center aspects. The other would handle both fulfillment and call center work (or you may elect to split that between a call-center house and a fulfillment house). For the manufacturing/production side of things, I have discussed your project with three companies who work in turnkey manufacturing solutions. They all have experience with manufacturing/engineering projects on this order, and will either handle everything under their own roof, or manage other company(s) to handle any other tasks as necessary. The costs involved with your project are going to be determined by several variables, such as material types, electronic components, packaging materials, etc. -- but all three of them were able to provide a basic, ballpark price range estimate, and all of them echo similar prices (aside from additional engineering). For the manufacturing side, a mold would firstly have to be built for the project, which should come in at around $8,000-$15,000. The board, next, can be made for $1000-$3000. This would typically include assembly. KMS Instruments, the first company on the list, would include engineering/designing in this quote. Atek Instruments would add a nominal fee. Time to Market Technologies charges an additional several thousand dollars for additional designing/engineering. Packaging typically comes in at under $1.00 per unit, and all three companies can handle this as well. All of them invite you to contact them directly so you can work out very specific quotes with them (at no charge). Ask for the respective names in the sales department that I include below: KNS Instruments http://www.knsinstruments.com/turnkeypg.asp PO Box 10158 Bedford, NH US 03110 800-356-4920 (8-5 Mon-Fri EST) (Contact: Mark) Atek Manufacturing http://www.atekmanufacturing.com (320) 761-5054 (Contact: Mike) Case studies on their involvement with product development are here: http://www.atekmanufacturing.com/s/content/s/difference/casestudies/ Time to Market Technologies http://www.ttm-usasia-mfg.com/ttm/man_f.htm 2475 Big Oak Road Langhorne, PA 19047 (215) 757 9611x222 (Contact: Gary) With regard to order fulfillment and customer service, I spoke with two firms who provided ballpark estimates on costs per item. These companies supply complete turnkey solutions for order fulfillment, customer service, and returns. They will integrate their hardware/software into your existing web site. See below for estimates: Innovative Fulfillment Solutions LLC (has Sprint PCS as a client) http://www.ifssolutions.com/contact.htm 210 NW Plaza Drive Kansas City, MO 64150 1-888-275-3000x101 (Keith) 816-587-5881 Fax Cost: $2-$4 per unit. Start-up fee: $500-$1000. Advantageous due to being in the center of the united states (for shipping costs). Progressive Distribution http://www.prodist.com/cdocs/PDS/panels/Contact.htm 1.800.304.3699x170 (Tracy) Cost: $5-$8 per order Start-up fee: from $10,000 to $25,000. Additional link ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Echo Data (provides order fulfillment; no customer service, but refers to another company) http://www.echodata.com/about.asp $1-2 per order (or $.65) Start-up fee around $1000. 800-511-3870x114 (Contact: Bob) Additional manufacturing/production companies may be found here... ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? DMOZ Directory http://dmoz.org/Business/Electronics_and_Electrical/Contract_Manufacturing/ Additional order fulfillment/customer contact companies may be found here: DMOZ Directory http://dmoz.org/Business/Transportation_and_Logistics/Distribution_and_Logistics/Distribution/Internet_Order_Fulfillment/ Sources/Search strategy ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Thomas Register Link 1 http://www.thomasnet.com/nsearch.html?cov=NA&heading=26200733&sa=95963427&navsec=relbox Thomas Register Link 2 http://www.thomasnet.com/nsearch.html?cov=NA&what=Manufacturing%3A+Turnkey&heading=49861230&navsec=prodsearch Select Google search terms: order fulfillment, call center, turnkey manufacturing If you need any additional clarification or information on this answer, please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you! jbf777 Researcher Google Answers
rated this answer:
Thank you jbf for your answer. I appreciate the time you spent on this.
Re: Consumer Electronics Product Supply and Fulfillment Chain
From: jbf777-ga on 09 Nov 2005 14:16 PST
Timelag - You're welcome. All the best for your project! Please stop by again. jbf777
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