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Contract Manufacturing: 4 Reasons to Just Say “No”

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Many start-up CEOs are seduced by the low cost development offered by some contract manufacturers. But as they say, you get what you pay for.

First off, you will be required to legally commit your start-up to a high volume, long-term agreement for medical device manufacturing in exchange for lower up-front engineering costs.

Second, similar to fixed-rate bidding, you immediately enter into an adversarial mindset. The contract manufacturer’s goal is to make the time spent on the project low… while your goal is to get the best medical device engineering possible. Speed and quality are not the incentives. Far from working in partnership, you goals are set up in opposition.

Third, time constraints are imposed that shut down innovation. The tried and true are cheaper than the innovative and new. Your great “spark” of an idea is put into a cookie-cutter medical device development system, regardless of the complexity and uniqueness of your project. Opportunities are missed because the development team’s focus is on spending the least amount of time possible.

Fourth, design restraints are imposed to fit your device to the manufacturer’s capabilities. Rather than design the best device possible, you get the device the manufacturer knows they can put into high-volume production.

Depending on the complexity of your device, tying yourself to a contract manufacturer can spell disaster for your product, which may never even reach feasibility. The difficulty of development – and your risk – is often underestimated.

Before you sign that contract, consider REV.1 Engineering. You’ll get a complete medical device R&D team dedicated to producing the most functional medical device possible. Plus, we move – 2x Faster than building an in-house team. Give us a call at 951.696.3933, connect with us on LinkedIn, or send us an email at, and we’ll offer you the R&D value and flexibility you need.