Published 17th August 2020 | Articles, Featured, Latest News, Product Design

Why using a turnkey product design consultancy makes perfect sense

Lots of stuff is written in the textbooks accompanying MBA courses about procurement, and the comparative benefits of sourcing from single or multiple suppliers.

Many also cover competitive advantage, arguing that it is achieved by firms that can successfully combine their own core competencies with those of their suppliers and other external resources to a greater extent than competitors.

In other words, it is generally agreed that procurement and the process of working with a chosen supplier can lead to a position of competitive advantage.

For many years now, Cambridge Design Technology has advocated a true partnership-based one-stop shop principle – also known as operating a ‘turnkey’ product design consultancy service.

What do we mean by turnkey product design consultancy?

In summary, we recognise that reliable communications technologies and collaborative working tools mean that doing business anytime and anywhere with anyone is easy and straightforward, theoretically at least.

This brings its own set of problems, such as having to choose from a vastly increased pool of potential suppliers. For organisations undertaking product or technology development projects involving multiple disciplines and specialisms, this can add time, complexity and, of course, cost.

However, instead of using multiple suppliers to deliver a new product, it might be better to source the project from a single, turnkey provider – a process also known as single sourcing.

Benefits of single sourcing from a turnkey product design company

There are many benefits for both parties. Let’s look at each in turn.

1.   A fuller partnership

Partnership is a word used too freely and frequently – often simply meaning one partner buys a service from another.

For us, it means a long-term relationship based on trust, integrity and mutual understanding. It’s also about sharing ideas as well as co-operating and collaborating beyond the realms of ‘just’ the one project so that both parties enjoy the benefits.

A partnership that is based on trust and mutual benefit will not only blossom in the short term, but will endure for many years.

2.   Reduced risk

When you embark on a new supplier relationship, there is always a degree of risk involved, however small you feel it might be. The kind of risks might be anything from broken promises to poor quality or price hikes further down the line.

If you’re using multiple suppliers, that risk is multiplied.

But if you do your due diligence on a preferred single provider, get to know them, take up references and delve into what really happens behind the face of the business, you can be sure that you’ve done the best job possible to minimise your risk – and you’ll only need to do it once.

3.   Increased trust

The value of trust is underestimated in business relationships. Very much as due diligence mentioned in (2) above is about checking out under the bonnet of your new supplier, once you have done that, and you’ve maybe got your first project underway, the level of trust will be high.

Building mutual trust based on the complementary sets of skills and expertise that you both bring is an essential component in a commercial relationship.

4.   Greater commitment from the supplier

If you single source, then by definition the supplier from whom you’re sourcing has more to lose than if they were just a single cog in the machine.

That means, by and large, that they’ll be willing to invest more upfront in making the relationship work – whether that’s new training, equipment or other resources.

To use the vernacular, they’ll have more ‘skin in the game’.

5.   More competitive pricing

We add this one to the list cautiously, as it is not always the case that single sourcing translates into lower pricing.

However, as time goes by, your supplier becomes more embedded into your project and your business model – so that as they reach the top of the learning curve, you’ll find that efficiencies increase.

6.   Access to your trusted partner’s trusted partners

Bear with us on this one. We’re talking here about a specific benefit of working with Cambridge Design Technology.

While it’s true that we offer depth and breadth in product and technology design and engineering, we also have trusted partners with whom we have built relationships over years.

These partners can provide other vital components that you might require to take your new product or technology to market, including patent lawyers, software and electronics design, prototyping, regulatory affairs and compliance expertise and last but not least branding and launch PR and communications.

The value of consultancy experience and advice

When you embark on your new product design project, you’ll need a whole range of services to take your new product of the drawing board and get it to market.

Most of these can be priced, and it may be that some product design consultancies will provide a quote based on the time they estimate it will take to do the job. Others may quote based on the value they believe their services will add to your development project.

If you can provide a specific brief, for a specific requirement, you’ll get a fairly specific cost estimate or price back.

However what value can you place on the ‘service wrap’? The decades of experience your product design consultancy can bring? Or the unsolicited, but extremely valuable advice you’ll benefit from along the way?

And what value can you place on the recommendations and relationships they will make to you for other specialist consultants or service providers that can help take your product on to the next stage?

All too often, these additional benefits of advice, experience and complementary partnerships are undervalued, overlooked or, worse, ignored.

Yet by placing your trust in a turnkey product design consultancy partner, you stand to benefit from these intangible and potentially invaluable benefits the whole way through your project.

Using Cambridge Design Technology as your turnkey product design consultants

If you choose to work with us to help you develop your new product, technology or engineering concept, we’ll help you turn your ideas into reality.

But more than that, through our breadth and depth of expertise in design and engineering, and our extended strategic partnerships with complementary specialist consultancies, we can help you take your new product off the drawing board, through prototyping, patenting, regulatory and engineering development right through to branding and market launch.

And you’ll get lots of hints, tips and guidance (if you want it) from 25 years’ experience doing this kind of work along the way.

For more information about Cambridge Design Technology and how we can work with you on your next product design project, please call Jon Plumb now on 01223 662300 or email

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