If you are considering hiring a conceptual engineer to help you with the initial stages of creating a technical product such as an app or device, you may be wondering about the most effective way to work with this type of consultant.
Although the process varies based on your needs and the type of product you are developing, there are some general ideas that apply in most situations. Consider covering the following questions with your consultant.
1. What Assistance Can You Offer in the Ideation Process?
Conceptual engineering typically starts with ideation. If you have a creative team, you may want your team to meet with the conceptual engineer so that he or she can help facilitate brainstorming sessions. In addition, however, you may want to ask the consultant what he or she plans to bring to the table in terms of ideas. For instance, what type of experience do they have with this type of project? Do they have any ideas off the cuff so you can get an idea of their thought processes?
2. How Will You Conduct Market Research?
Once you hone in on the right idea, you need to make sure there is a market for it, and a conceptual engineer can also help with that. Depending on the services they offer, these consultants may be able to guide the market research (i.e., give you advice on which questions to ask and which research channels to use). In other cases, they may be able to do all of the market research, from collecting information to bringing prototypes in front of test groups.
3. What Is the Timeline for Creating Samples?
The research and development part of a project can be financially draining, and it helps to have estimates of when you are going to be able to go into production and sales. This can be very hard to assess, but the advantage of working with an engineering consultant is that they bring experience from similar projects.
As a result, you may be able to give the consultant the information you have, and he or she may be able to generate a timeline based on that information. Keep in mind that you may receive ranges rather than deadlines, as it can be hard to estimate timing due to unforeseen challenges that may pop up along the way.
Conceptual engineers can also help you with other issues related to the development of your product, including creating design requirements, deciding on engineering techniques and problem solving with prototypes. To learn more, contact an engineering consultant today.