Kickstarters and manufacturing can be tricky to setup and plan for. Have you thought through all the possibilities of what can happen with a Kickstarter campaign and manufacturing? There is a lot to think about and plan for, especially for most people starting a Kickstarter campaign. Unless you’ve designed and worked on products through cradle to cradle product development, there are a few things you should pay attention to.
Manufacturing Lead Times
Sourcing manufacturers and then thinking that their lead times won’t change can be a huge pitfall. Lead times can change between the time you initially sourced the manufacturer and when you place your order. Lead times are usually only guaranteed if you order within a certain time limit. Those time limits are typically 14-60 days depending on the manufacturer. Because of the potential long lead time between quoting and actual order time, this can cause issues. Quotes usually are good for 30 days and then they have to get requoted. This is typically because of lead times and them knowing what jobs they have over the next 30 days or so. If someone else brings a huge order that takes up their floor to the point of pushing back any other future orders and you didn’t have a spot in their que, then your order may end up being delayed by days or even months.
Product Vendor Failure
There are multiple ways failure can occur. The vendor could close its doors, which happens even to the huge companies. Production could start and quality issues can arise. Management can change unexpectedly and leave you with the a useless contract. Companies pivot and stop offering certain services. Some of the issues with vendors can be mitigated by proper vendor vetting, however you can’t catch everything every time, especially if you don’t have an established relationship with the vendor.
Material costs can sometimes swing in price drastically. We live in a global economy and pricing on materials change based on a number of things. Lower volumes always cost more than larger volumes. How much is large depends on the manufacturing process. Manufacturing for a Kickstarter campaign typically doesn’t create enough volume to be considered high volume. That being said, it can happen and planning for it just in case is worth the time, especially if you have goals for higher volumes shortly after your campaign ends. Manufacturing for a product based Kickstarter is different than other types of launches.
If you keep these things in mind, you can prepare for them. Managing your kickstarters and manufacturing is something anyone can do, but not always well. By working with a firm like us you can make ensure your Kickstarter delivery happens on time and outsource your sourcing. Planning out your Kickstarter and manufacturing is the key to success. Back-up manufacturers, existing relationships, keeping your spot in production, and avoiding vendor failures are all things we can help with.