Good article about e-commerce shipping logistics – Costco steers clear of e-commerce, store sales strong

Why Costco Loves Store Sales: Try Shipping a Tub of Mayo


Drum Roll …. Amazon steps in to help with Air Logistics

Not too long ago, I shared that Amazon is getting into the Ocean cargo & logistics business. Now, Amazon is getting into air logistics, offering to deliver goods directly from China to their US warehouses … unclear whether they are piggy backing onto other air carriers or buying and running planes and flights themselves …
Here is the low down.

Elephant in the Room? Retail – dead or not

Great article in WSJ today that – I think – speaks to fact that retail is not dead. Even though the article thinks it is talking about how retail IS dead. Does exactly opposite. 
My theory – retail is not dead. Dead product is dead. Because of the quick disruption afforded by the Internet. And people (including journalists) often conflate the two concepts.

1.B. The role of prototypes & design documentation in manufacturing

Eventually, you will place an order for goods from a manufacturer by issuing a Purchase Order. A purchase order is an official written order issued by a buyer (you) to a seller (manufacturer) for goods. The purchase order will specify the quantity you are ordering, the price you are paying, and what – aka the goods – you are ordering. The goods are defined in the purchase order by referring to an approved prototype. A prototype, often called the golden sample, is a physical replica of the thing which it is you seek to order from the manufacturer. A prototype ensures that you and the manufacturer are exactly on the same page as to what is being ordered. A prototype, unlike written words, leaves very little room for misinterpretation.

So, in order to get manufacturer pricing, or to eventually place an order for your product, you will need a physical prototype of your product. Often, you’ll approach your manufacturer with both a physical prototype AND relevant instructions, patterns, or engineering documentation. These next posts are about how you go about translating an idea into a physical prototype and any necessary written instructions.

Step 2: Isolate who is going to help you design your prototype – manufacturer or independent product designer

Step 2: Isolate who is going to help you design your prototype – manufacturer or independent product designer

As I mentioned in response to another reader’s questions, there are two general ways to get from idea to prototype. The first way is by working with the product designers employed by the manufacturer you are looking to work with. The second way is by working with an independently hired product designer. Each has it’s own pluses and minuses.

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Step 1: Inventing your next product idea

Step 1: Inventing your next product idea

The first step might seem too intuitive to mention. You have an idea and you want to manufacturer it. Why spend time talking about inventing your next product idea?

This step is not so much about coming up with the initial concept (which I’ll assume you have already done and is exactly why you happen to be reading this post right now). This step is more about making sure you understand enough about the relevant manufacturing processes so that you can refine your idea in order to come into the market at your desired price point.

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Before you go down the path of talking to manufacturers about mass-producing your product, you’ll want to figure out what you want to create, be able to communicate the idea, and eventually, develop a prototype or sample of your idea. At the end of the day, a manufacturer will use approved prototypes to initiate and guide a production run.

Step 1: Inventing your next product idea
Step 2: Articulating what you want manufactured
Step 3: Creating a prototype of what you want manufactured