Collaborating and building community to support innovators who are Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey

Posted on: 13/01/2021

Innovators always need help on their journey to overcome key challenges and barriers. Our recently launched Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey: A Guidebook can help circumnavigate some of those barriers.

We are excited to be able to share our latest innovative publication: Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey: A Guidebook. The basis of this guide was derived from a successful series of weekly webinars we delivered from March to August 2020, bringing together a plethora of experts from across the design to manufacture landscape to explore how innovators should navigate the design to manufacture journey.

Technology market analysis by CB Insights (2019) found that 97% of start-up companies developing innovative ‘hardware’ fail (i.e., those developing physical products that require manufacturing). This compares with just 70% of tech start-ups fail (those without a physical product).

Clearly, innovation is tough. There are some specific characteristics of navigating the Design to Manufacture journey that make it more challenging than other kinds of innovation.

  • A diverse range of skills and experience is required
  • There is an increased dependency on third party relationships
  • Significant investment is required upfront
  • Energy and material implications are more acute

We are determined to change the failure rate statistics of physical product start-ups. Two strategic actions we are following to drive change are:

  • Upskilling innovators who are developing physical products. Providing insight into the scale of the complexity, the mindset required and key challenges.

The webinar series includes insights from 37 experts on different aspects of the Design to Manufacture Journey. The D2M Guidebook collates thinking from the series providing a broad guide for navigating the challenges ahead.

Forthcoming events (watch this space!) will bring real-life examples in the form of stories from experienced innovators.

In recognition of the nuances between product development in different sectors we plan to develop some sector-specific content too. If you are interested in working with us to develop the next iteration of The Guidebook, please get in touch.

  • Developing a community of support: connecting experienced and knowledgeable innovators with novices to share learning.

The community was formally initiated through the summer webinar series we ran in conjunction with Product Design Scotland: the support organisations, manufacturers, designers and innovators who engaged are all considered a core part of the creation. The 40 + organisations who have collaborated in the development of The D2MGuidebook represent a portion of this network and we are growing all the time as we support more organisations and make new connections.

We are continuing to grow the community and enable connections across the community by placing more emphasis on community and networking in our upcoming events. If you’d like to be added to the invite list, please let us know.

Please feel free to share The D2MGuidebook on social media, with clients and via your website – or use it to shape your own business evolution. We are keen to hear how you are using it, where you find it useful, and where it might be improved or if you joined us during the series and it resulted in new opportunities for your business, we also would love to know how you used this knowledge and expertise.



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