I would hire the best business developer I could find. Etiher through previous relationships or from channel relationships that the other team members have forged. Try to get the word out ASAP and to the target market and other investors.
Good point Arena. I have used BOM.Com, now Arena and believe it to be a pretty good solution for the Engineering environment. I read your blog and heartily agree about an all inclusive BOM. As you know, there are direct materials and indirect materials. We used to assign Glip a PN with a UOM of one drop. Our EOQ was "bottle, 6 Oz". It was a direct material. However, we had other things like q-tips and Kleen wipes as indirect materials. We had these last two in free stock with Min/Max inventory control at the work station...not the stockroom. Would anyone consider these as COG inclusive or would you classify them as misc. Supplies and write them off as expenses?
The systems and all that are great, and anything you can implement that automates communication and change between departments will help you, but for companies who build a product, clarity of communication starts with the BOM. Making sure your BOM is complete is the first step toward making sure all teams have a clear picture of what the product is, how it will be built and what it will cost.
People often think they are writing everything down in the BOM that should be there, but this is where taking an inter-departmental approach comes into play. The core mechanical and electrical parts are usually recorded (because that's what engineering cares about) but what about the random and non-modeled parts like glue, software, cables, and patch cords? If you have these types of elements in your product, make sure they’re in the BOM!
In addition, it’s important that the documentation, warranty cards, offers from business partners, and packaging are accounted for, because these pieces, while they may not directly be part of the product, affect the working of your product as well as your customer’s experience.
I wrote more on this recently, as I have been thinking about BOMs and making sure collaboration between teams happens. Check it out.
William, you have to wonder why Documentation Control isn't one of the first hiring areas for Engineering Support. Many evils are avoided by a really well run Document department because they usually take ownership for ECO/ECNs,fabs, drawings, and artwork. The problem becomes really evident when critical people are left out of the loop because there are no formal sign-offs or routing channels for changes. I asked in an earlier reply for people to put hiring positions in chronological order when considering a start-up company's headcount planning. I find it interesting that nobody took a crack at that. I was also hoping that a CEO or a CTO would respond from an executive management perspective. I thought the responses would start flying in. To be honest, many of the people who are out of work, are from these key support areas, but top management did not consider the real cost of losing these positions.That subject is a blog of its own.
I have seen just exactly such an error made, which in that instance was the result of haste and not waiting until a design was released to start cutting metal. The solution in more than one of my jobs was for an engineer making a change to physically replace all of the previous versions, and write "OLD" on the version as it was superceded. The OLD part was a compromise to allow use of marked up versions of drawings and BOMs.
Of course, the big question comes up about starting to "cut metal" before the engineering is completed. Running production changes must always be carefully choreographed or disasters of some level are certain to occurr. In the example given, a change for the mating part should have been released at the same time as the change for the original part. It is possible to have running production changes, but they do need extra work to be successful. IN the same example, another option would have been the release of a third version that would work with both designs of the main part. I have done that once, and it did work out very well.
Douglas, documentation is a vital part in any sort of development activities. That’s the one reason ISO and CMMI have given much important for the documentation purposes. I think now a day’s most of the companies are using version control software’s to track all the changes made in documentation. More over, any change in such pages can reflect to other versions of same copy also.
Looking at a start-up, we find a highly talented beginning staff that usually have worked together in a former company, have decided to split and create their own fortunes, and who really know and appreciate each other's ability and can almost read each other's mind. Hence, this beginning crew trust each other implicitly and everyone knows the roadmap because everyone made a critical contribution to it. So we have the CEO, a CTO, a highly skilled Design Engineer, maybe a super tech, and someone well versed in Engineering support logistics. Purchasing, Part Mastering, BOM configuration, and maybe an inexpensive MRP system. This team are the ACE performers and together they can do everything to get that first proof of concept product in front of some venture people. Let's assume the venture people are so impressed, they toss in 3 million. Who or what position would you hire now that you have funds for headcount and the ball is ready to roll? You can hire up to five people and pay them up to 100k/yr salary. Ready, Get set, Hire! Who did you just hire?
As mentioned, establishing the process is quiet important and also the support team to be in close network and work should go hand in hand. with lot of care taken both sides definitely there will be a sync established.
I agree with elctrnx_lyf, processes are right output of a good internal organization, based in principle on collaboration among teams involved in activities. Coming back to the question " right time for support services ", in my opinion, either you are conceving products or services, support services are a part of the project and as per other physical components, they need to be embedded as whole part of the project, since the beginning.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.