Manufacturing Support Services for New Products

Did you know 70% of a product’s manufacturing cost is locked in during the design phase? We provide manufacturing set-up and support from the onset of your product design to ensure a smooth transition to volume production.

Video: Meet the Design 1st manufacturing team

Trusted to Design, Develop, and Engineer Manufacture-Ready Products for Startups and the World’s Most Innovative Brands

What You’ll Get With Our Manufacturing Services

End-to-end manufacturing support enabling you to easily scale to high-volume production.

Early-Stage Production Planning

Did you know 70% of a product cost is locked in during the early design stage of a product development process?

The best solutions start with manufacturing knowledge incorporated into the very early concept stage of design where it matters most.

At the very start of your project, you will be working with a senior manufacturing expert to get upfront key item costing and begin sourcing the best partners for your project. Their expertise and network can streamline the manufacturing process and deliver high-quality results.

Early Component Selection

Finding reliable part suppliers early on reduces churn during downstream development, prototyping, and testing saving you valuable time and money.

We provide early selection of suppliers which helps you lock-in your product cost with predictability and ensures the parts will be there when you move to production.

Mechanical Part Sourcing

Knowing where to look and who to ask for the right component requires experience and knowledge.

We identify off-the-shelf (OTS) plastic, metal, rubber, and composite parts that get manufactured by many suppliers through a variety of processes.

Then, we help you choose the right one. If a part or subassembly needs minor customization, we can also manage that process.

Electronic Component Sourcing

Electronic parts can be sourced off-the-shelf (OTS) or modified to suit the need. What you need is dependent on a variety of factors including function, pricing, lead times, and potential single source or end of life supply risks down the road.

We provide electronic component design and sourcing including printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA), cables, connectors, switches, display, and other components. In some case we can take an OTS electronic component and make custom modifications to meet your needs.

High-Level Key Item Cost Estimates

Getting parts and custom tooling cost targets early helps your business plan for unit cost and pricing.

It also helps the design team to make the appropriate decisions when refining features of your product design.

Benefit from our knowledge, contacts, and existing supplier relationships which allow us to provide estimates of major parts/components early on.


Supplier and Production Quality Assurance

Ensuring quality during volume production is paramount to your business success. However, obtaining low-defect rates for dozens of critical functioning components is always a challenge.

We help you put a quality program in place for the contract manufacturer to follow and report on.

Our manufacturing set-up support includes product files, factory visits, and QA documentation that streamlines the transition to volume production.

Manufacturing Factory Selection

Choosing where and how to manufacture your product is critical to quality, meeting timelines, and maintaining low production costs.

During product development, we identify the right factory for your product and your supply strategy objectives.

We know how to engage oversea suppliers during low-volume pre-production unit builds and testing. We also coordinate factory communication for you, during the production startup stage.


Manufacturing Support Service Specializations

Providing you with a comprehensive range of manufacturing support capabilities.

Part Sourcing

Meeting all your component needs, we can:

  • Provide electronic part sourcing
  • Offer mechanical part sourcing
  • Advise on component part sourcing

Cost Estimates

Providing you with comprehensive manufacturing support, we can:

  • Offer high-level cost estimates on key items
  • Suggest where to manufacture your product for the best cost-savings
  • Provide early estimates for major parts and components to save you money and project churn

Manufacture Selection

Helping you find the best contract manufacturer, we can:

  • Advise on the best manufacturer, locally or globally, for your needs
  • Engage overseas suppliers for low-production unit builds and testing
  • Coordinate factory communication, visits, and documentation

Part Supply Logistics Planning

Offering you a full range of logistics planning, we can:

  • Offer part supply advice
  • Give comprehensive logistics planning
  • Provide QA documentation that streamlines the transition to volume production


What Clients Say About Working With Design 1st

George Tsintzouras

Director of Product, Christie Digital

Immediately understood what was needed

When we wanted to transition our older generation projector models to a more modern look and feel, Design 1st was a valuable asset. Given the depth of their design and engineering experience, Design 1st immediately understood what was needed. They worked with our internal engineering team through the process to provide us with compatible solutions to meet our needs.

Stephen Rayment

VP Engineering, Ericsson

Our trusted engineering partner for six years

Design 1st has been our trusted industrial design and mechanical engineering partner for over six years and they have proven themselves to be valuable, competent and committed to our success. They add value because they understand the tradeoffs between user value and cost, the need to balance both the business and product objectives, along with excellent knowledge of materials and manufacturing / tooling options.

Mike Tettenborn

VP Engineering, Caframo

Right balance of art and engineering

We selected Design 1st because their designers and engineers demonstrated the right creativity and technical understanding. With their CAD and modelling tools they were able to address the numerous design challenges encountered with this type of product. The end result was an easy-to-install, powerful marine hatch fan – unlike any on the market.

Kurt Francis

Co-Founder, CTO, Molecule

Deepest bench of technical talent

I did a lot of due diligence on product development companies and Design 1st had the deepest bench for technical capability. They worked on such a broad range of products with successful commercialization. Design 1st’s early efforts in prototype development helped us move from a powder substrate into a commercially product for testing.

John Lupton

Director of Engineering, GeoSight

Got up and running fast

The whole design was my idea and I had patents on them. The team’s main work was to solve the functionality issue of a piece of my design. On top of that, they helped identify one of our manufacturers.

Didi Horn


Exceeded Our Expectations

The Design 1st team exceeded our expectations and helped us deliver an exceptional product to the market. As a startup, we were working within a budget but expected the highest quality product. Design 1st identified the risks up front, had the vast network of partners to find the right components, and customized it to meet our unique needs.

Fully Certified and Award-Winning

Our company and staff are certified with the Professional Engineers of Ontario and with ACIDO certified Industrial Designers of Ontario. We are also affiliated with Carleton University.

A Tailored Team of Experts

When you work with Design 1st, you’re accessing a tailored, cross-functional team of specialists customized for your specific project. As your project evolves, so too does the team working on it, so you get only the most expert people providing input every step of the way.

Embedded Systems

Seamless integration of electronics into physical devices.

Embedded Design Team

Mechanical Engineering

Find creative mechanical solutions to technical challenges.

Mechanical Design Team

Industrial Design

Transform your product concept into a refined manufacture-ready design.

Industrial Design Team

Electronics Engineering

Add power, secure connectivity, and interaction control to your products.

Electronic Design Team

Transfer to Manufacturing

Move your product into volume manufacturing.

Manufacture Transfer Team

Design Strategy

Set your new product up for success with a well-laid plan.

Design Strategy Team

Frequently Asked Questions

The answer depends on the nature of the work you hire us to do. The work may be support-related where we contribute design or engineering services to your product development team and process. The time required varies from a week to much longer depending on the activities you require from us. When our team takes your product concept from the idea stage all the way to a working product, it may take from 3 to 12+ months to complete the 4-stage design-engineering-prototyping and transfer to manufacturing process. It depends on the complexity of the product being designed.

Once the design concept is captured, engineering decisions are finalized and the product is 3D prototyped and documented, making it possible for manufacturers to bid on making the product in volume.

Our creative design, engineering and manufacturing transfer team finds solutions that differentiate your product and delivers the ‘I love it’ user response. Your design is carefully created to meet product cost that meets business needs. The documentation is well-defined and managed with manufacturers that want to produce it.

Our manufacturing setup experts will help you identify and secure trusted part suppliers and a contract manufacturer (CM) onshore, or offshore, depending your product objectives and needs.

We can facilitate the prototyping and product builds, from helping coordinate the CM and parts supplier relationships, to overseeing product batch builds, injection tooling approvals, release controlled documentation, quality plans, regulatory testing, Bill of Materials managements, and parts supply coordination.

Yes, we can navigate, negotiate, document and fine-tune product quality during the initial production batch builds and through to continuous production.

Our process ensures we bring value during the development stage, and we transition the product management as your operations team decides to take over manufacturing control.

However, if your business objectives require a more virtual, low-overhead operation, we can also stay on how to facilitate batch production builds.

The Design 1st team works with strategic business teams looking to reduce risk and cost and maximize product value.

We are an excellent fit for business teams new to hardware product development who want an expert team to plug in and move their concept design to volume production. We are experts at network products, wireless app and cloud integrations

Our diverse team of planners, designers, engineers, electronics and supply strategy experts makes the transition from product concept to manufacturing a much more predictable process.

NDA’s ensure confidentiality for both parties during conversations. We provide a mutual NDA where the terms apply to both parties. If your organization has an NDA that requires our signature, we handle this through email.

Development is a multiple-month effort. We recommend that funding is ready for the first few months as we are a work-for-hire organization and new projects require a deposit to start the work, typically covering the first months’ effort.

Designing a new hardware product starts with exploring possible Concept Designs (CD).

Our business, marketing and design teams work with you to plan out key product requirements then configure one, or more, potential product concepts to test and verify with users and buyers.

Our experienced development team will then facilitate and help you define the many product requirements, carry out the creative design and engineering process, examine manufacturing feasibility, and provide an ongoing estimate of the direct product cost as details are filled in and decisions on parts and quality are made.

For a new product concept, the design exploration and the product architecture definition stages typically take 200+ hours, but this timeline depends on the user buyer definition, complexity, and customization of the design relative to product in the market, the number of custom components required, product safety requirements, and the amount of documentation required.

Expert fully integrated product Design / Engineering teams in North America have rates from $125 to $400 USD per hour.

After a phone discussion, we can provide a design budget, based on your project’s specific needs.

Call us for a discussion: 1.877.235.1004 or click here for more information on our development stages.

The Measures Taken To Ensure Product Design and Manufacturing Success

Design 1st undertakes a rigorous product design and manufacturing process to bring your product ideas to life.