According to Gary Bortz, director of Bortz Product Design , nano industrial design consultancies with one or two designers offer enormous advantages over larger operations.
In addition to the clear cost benefits, nano-consultancies eliminate superfluous overheads and intermediaries while enabling direct communication and quicker turnaround.
Consultancies should be selected based on experience in developing new products and involvement at all levels of the process. Modern technologies such as 3D CAD systems allow competent designers to create photo-realistic images, model, test, prototype, specify and document the design, and very importantly, enable a single person to do the work that required five people in the past.
Moreover, a single designer handling this entire process means design intent is never lost and additional time is not required for all team members to fully comprehend the project.
For instance, prototyping bureaus offering rapid turnaround times of various forms of 3D printing or NC machining, mean that workshops and model makers are no longer necessary in the design consultancy. Alternatively, desktop 3D printers are the new in-house workshop that can get a rough concept prototype at the press of a key.
Cost benefits are maximised when commissioning a nano-consultancy where the principal/ senior design skills are employed at all levels of the project at no extra cost, overheads or time delays resulting from the typical hierarchical structure of large consultancies, which involves the project being handled by junior designers and checked off by a senior designer.
Flexibility is also a benefit delivered by nano-consultancies where there are no internal project meetings that add time or cause communication gaps between client and designer with a project manager as intermediary. Any design changes are direct and the implications can be understood and communicated immediately.
Though large consultancies also have their advantages in terms of the significant knowledge and talent at their disposal in-house, a nano-consultancy can always outsource if additional skills are required.
At the end of the day, it is all about relationships and the value the consultancy can offer. Skill, knowledge, speed, communication and flexibility are a few of the benefits nano consultancies can deliver and usually at a very competitive price.
Bortz Product Design is a Sydney-based industrial design consultancy, specialising in a diverse range of projects from consumer and industrial products to street furniture and structural packaging.