How Product Design Companies Calculate the Cost of Product Design

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The first thing many product design companies see clients do is think about all the issues their new product is going to solve and how much attention it will receive in design magazines. They aren’t thinking about how much it will cost them to get to that point. 

No matter whether you are a veteran to bringing ideas to product design companies to get ready for market, or you are a newbie trying to find your footing into the whole process, understanding how much you’re going to have to splash out is essential. If you don’t calculate your cost estimates correctly, you are going to get into some deep water fast!

Any product design and development company will tell you straight away that an enormous portion of your investment in your product will happen at the designing and prototyping stage. This is when lots of money will get spent, and at the same time, no cash is coming in, and understanding the cost of things before isn’t always easy. For this reason, doing a price cost estimate (PCE) is essential.  

For example, if you calculate your estimated costs too high, you may risk affecting your good relationships with your suppliers. A cost estimate that is too small is going to gobble into your profit margins swiftly and even make you lose money per unit. 

At the end of the day, you have to understand how much your product costs to produce to know how much to sell it for. When you get the right price, you’re on the right track to receiving a profit. Keep on reading down below how product design services know how to estimate your design and rapid prototyping costs. 

What Are The Theories About Cost Price Estimates?

The first thing that a product design services company will tell you is that you should expect a lot of money going into the process of designing and manufacturing products. As a matter of fact, there is such an overwhelming amount of money involved that there has been a lot of academic research in this area. Many people have made a career out of estimating costs.

There are two essential methods to estimate costs, and there are have been many models and theories placed around them.

The Quantitative Approach to Price Cost Estimation

When a cost estimator uses a quantitative method to their job, they’re examining the following:

  • The design
  • The features that the product will have
  • The processes that will go into production

And they’re going to use this information to analyze variables and resources that will be required to achieve a cost estimate.

Receiving a quantitative cost estimate for design and prototyping is a challenge. You should only go about this process when you have a detailed product design completed. You need a vast amount of information on hand to be accurate, even though it will normally give you a very precise idea of what you can anticipate your costs to be.

Despite the fact it’s not appropriate for the first stages of product development, it’s important to understand the process. When you get to the point of selling your product on the market, you can commission this kind of estimate to guarantee that you’re on the right track. 

Taking the Qualitative Approach to Product Cost Estimation

Instead of studying the raw data about the project, such as in the quantitative method, this approach takes a look at past projects and their costs to get a concept of what your project is going to cost. A cost estimator usually has a database of projects and can look for similar ones in terms of:

  • Processes
  • Materials
  • Design specs

Also, it will provide an estimate based on past experience. The data you receive will only be evaluated because it’s not based exactly on the product you want to make. Specifically, if you’re making something innovative or with several customized pieces, there may not be any reliable past data to work with.

Suppose you’re wanting to make something that can use a lot of existing components and isn’t totally unconventional but hasn’t dug deeper into the idea and pencil drawing stage. In that case, a qualitative PCE can bring very reliable figures.

Which Method Will Work For My Project?

Eventually, it will be based on which stage in the design and prototype process you’re in to figure out which cost estimate method you choose to go for. It’s recommended to take a glance at your costs early on before you throw too much money into what you’re trying to accomplish. If you get too deep when it comes to money, you may feel you’re committed without having any clue of how many financial resources you actually need. 

If you’re late to the game when it comes to cost estimation costs, a product design service process will have a good enough idea of what you’re doing and what you’re going to require, so a quantitative method is probably more suitable. Keep in mind to review the money you have already spent on the project at this point as well. 

When you’re more prepared and weighing in the costs early, you are going to be on the path of a qualitative cost estimate. This is going to require a lot of research about previous projects and also what’s already found on the market when it comes to the following:

  • Components
  • Tools
  • Materials
  • Skills

Whichever approach you opt for, you can do the bean-counting yourself or bring in a professional cost estimator who will have connections to industry databases.

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