The Conceive stage is focused on identifying a problem or a need, defining the opportunity around that need, testing that the market is real and achievable, then determining the technical feasibility and design approach for product concept(s). Upon exiting the Conceive stage, the product idea is a client-approved Proof of Concept that is used to secure funding for form factor design (fit, form, function) in the Alpha phase.
Synapse’s primary areas of engagement in this stage are with Architecture Proposals and Proof of Concept phases. This engagement begins with a scoping activity prior to the Architecture Proposals phase. Synapse works with the client to capture product goals, project exit strategy, and an understanding of the market and potential users. During this period, Synapse is also working to create an End-to-End development plan with ROM costs, timing for follow on phases, and detailed scope (cost, milestones, and deliverables) for the Architecture Proposals phase.
The Develop stage takes a proven product concept through initial implementation of desired fit, form, and function in prototype volumes (Alpha), then prepares the product for volume manufacturing. Synapse refines the initial Alpha design for volume manufacturing by engaging in DfX activities (“X” being Cost, Manufacturability, Assembly, Test, Safety, Quality, etc.).
After selecting a Contract Manufacturer (CM) and transitioning the refined design, Synapse enters a cycle of New Product Introduction (NPI), which builds, tests, and reviews, with the goal of identifying and addressing design and process issues before increasing to production volumes. Engineering Validation (EV) serves to prove the design is manufacturable with the chosen CM and supply chain. Design Validation (DV) serves to prove the design and manufacturing processes will result in products that meet specifications with acceptable yield and reliability.
During the Realize stage, the product goes through production ramp up until stable levels and production plans are realized. In addition to validating the scaling of production volume, this stage emphasizes process consistency in production, supply chain, planning, and logistics operations areas.
Risk mitigation plans are implemented, and continuous improvement initiatives are launched to maintain and improve steadystate performance.
The Support stage starts once production has reached steady-state levels, and cost, quality, and yield targets have been met. Maintaining production at these levels requires ongoing, sustaining engineering, manufacturing, and vendor management.
During this stage, the focus shifts toward full-scale implemention of downstream aspects in the supply chain. This encompasses forward logistics aspects, like inbound shipments to market, warehousing, distribution, inventory management, order fulfillment, customer deployments, and product support. There are also reverse logistics aspects, including product return management, and the structure of repair and refurbishment processes.
Wait. Did we say that was the final phase? The final phase is actually all of us at Synapse tapping a new keg and racing electric skateboards around our office while shouting “yippie ki-yay!” at the top of our lungs while Ryan, the receptionist, fires off the confetti cannon over and over to celebrate another job well done.
Dream it, and Synapse will make it a reality. Like a robot that turns frowns upside down with one raise of its hand.