Situation: A company has built a strong prototype line capable of handling projected volume for the near-term as they scale up production. Their long-term plan is a fabless model through manufacturing partners. They have solid IP counsel and protection. What are the most critical elements of scale-up? How do you generate scalable manufacturing?
Advice from the CEOs:
- The answer will depend on the product strategy, if the near-term focus is on quick tactical wins.
- The most critical elements of the scale-up will be:
- The planned speed of the scale-up. A tactical approach, which will make limited demands on production near-term supports a prudent scale-up plan.
- Having the right business development talent to generate quick wins with smaller volume opportunities to feed the scale-up.
- When you are ready for larger volume – and your scale-up capacity can support this – hire an experienced sales professional who is known in the industry and who can bring you some relatively quick higher volume contracts.
- Que near-term contracts according to the sales cycle.
- Design cycle – build awareness of your capacity among significant market players and focus on quick turn-around to respond to their demand.
- Qualification cycle will be longer, perhaps 6 months. As your brand awareness builds push for qualification orders which will be larger, but still within near-term capacity.
- Focus business development efforts on building strong awareness across your target companies. Some companies tend to limit early knowledge of vendor capabilities between their divisions until they have confidence in the vendor’s ability to deliver. Optimize customer awareness by:
- Cultivating business partners who can facilitate a high-level approach within your target customer companies.
- Start creating a small forum of industry savvy individuals who can become your champions. Leverage this forum to spread your message and bring you opportunities.