finish line - Winning the Product Development Race
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A better way for small companies to develop technology products

We reduce your development cost - click here to see how
We lower your fixed cost overhead - click here to see how
We decrease your time to market - click here to see how
We increase your quality - click here to see how
We simplify your life - click here to see how

© 2014 Finish Line PDS

Reduce Your Development Cost

Finish Line PDS will lower your cost for developing products. Developing a product is almost entirely people cost. This cost is a function of how much work needs to be done and how efficiently this work is being done for.

Finish Line PDS reduces the number of hours needed to develop a product because we draw on 1,000s of projects we have done in the past; that is, we rarely start at the bottom of the mountain - we typically start half way to the top.

How efficiently a person works is a function of three parts:

• The amount of time spent on non-productive work

• The speed of the work being performed

• The quality of the decisions being made

If you hire a full time employee, you are “pre-buying” 40 hours a week forever - or, at least until the date of that person’s termination. Inevitably there will be times when there is no work for this person, or at least sub optimal work is being generated for this person in order to “keep them busy”. This results in paying for hours that are not generating true value - or at least not the optimal value. If you hire Finish Line instead, you only pay for the actual number of hours you use, and you’re under no obligation to continue to pay for hours beyond those already worked. Note: We are not implying that we advocate firing everyone, or not having full time employees - quite the opposite.

The more specialized a function, the more efficient the work can be done. All things being equal, a person who ONLY writes firmware is going to write more lines of code per hour than a person who writes firmware only occasionally. If you are a small company, it is difficult to justify adding more and more areas of specialization to the payroll - even if you did, you would be more likely to suffer non-productive hours. This means you are largely working with generalist who, although they may be able to do a quality job, will not do this work efficiently, and the result is that cost go up.

Product Development has been described a series of decisions. Each decision relies on the past decisions and directing the future decisions. If you get a decision wrong, often a lot of work has to be un-done. Dependent on the size of the group, diversity backgrounds and maturity processes used by the group, the better and more innovative the decisions will be. Adding Finish Line PDS to your team gives you the diverse experience and the mature processes to help focus and guide the group’s decisions.

We Lower Your Fixed Cost Overhead

If you are a small company in a niche markets, it is likely that you develop new products about every 5 or more years. Typically, it takes about 6 months of detail design for a product of medium complexity so, that means for four and half years, you have very little product engineering to do. If everyone on your development team is full time, your fixed cost for those four and half years is going to be high.

If, instead, you use Finish Line to compliment your development team, your fixed cost is greatly reduced during that 4 and half years yet, you have more help during the six months of detail design – and, we will still be here to support you for the four and half years for a fraction of the cost than having a full time team on board.

If you are a start-up and do not yet have your product into production, keeping your fixed cost low is critical because you have yet to generate sustainable revenue; the lower your fixed cost, the greater your chances of surviving a disruption. If you run out of money before getting to sustainable revenue, you have little choice but to lay off engineers. Once they are gone, they are gone. With Finish Line, you simply put the project on hold until you generate additional cash, and then start back up again with the same engineers.

We Decrease Your Time to Market

Finish Line decreases how long it takes to get your product to market. Time to market is an important metric; as for every month of additional time is an additional month of cost and lost revenue.

Finish Line’s reference design means you start the race half way done. These reference designs allow us to cut time spent learning the technology, time spent finding bugs and time spent in getting the product into manufacturing.

Finish Line’s processes cuts out waste and speeds development. We ONLY do product development, and with each project we improve the way we work together as a team. These processes improve communications between all stakeholders and allow decisions to be made quickly and effectively. Our reviews and checklist mean your design is vetted at each stage, avoiding the classic “two steps forward, one step backwards.”

By using Finish Line, your work is done by a team of specialist. Each specialist focuses on single technology for which they have expertise. These specialists are more efficient than generalist that need to come up to speed each time they switch from one area of technology to the next.

We Increase Your Quality

Finish Line is not a consulting company. Finish Line is a Product Development company. Our focus is on your ROI – not on some narrow technology niche (not that there is anything wrong with consultants – we use them all the time).

A positive ROI will not occur unless the product can be manufactured to a certain quality level for reasonable price. The time to think about this quality is not after the prototype is built; it is now, and at each step of the product development processes. Quality products happen when quality is built into the product.

Finish Line’s processes have been designed to build in quality. Everything from our checklist we use to help guide design reviews to our Design Verification test procedure, which lowers the risk of a design error.

While Finish Line also manufactures products, we understand that quality products are not accidents. Quality happens because someone on the team understands the relationship between design and manufacturing, someone who has spent years working on finding the root cause for product failures and then providing corrective action, and someone who has existing long term relationships with some of the best manufacturers in the world.

We Simplify Your Life

Lets face it; you already have plenty to do. The last thing you need is a bunch of engineers reporting to you, looking for guidance, occupying your mind share and taking up what little time you have left after doing everything you do now.

At Finish Line, you get a single point contact for the development and manufacture of your project. Experts who will explain the step-by-step processes, will provide guidance on each decision and will help you see the trade-offs between risk and reward. Someone you can count on to give you the kind of frank information you need to be successful.