3 Steps to IoT Hardware Success for SME’s


If your small or medium sized company wants to develop an IoT hardware device or adapt one of your existing product for IoT, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard. Just as long as you follow the following steps.

1. Define your service value

The true value of an IoT device is in its handling of data in a way that benefits the life of the user. This services value is of more importance than the device itself, many projects fail when they focus only on making a product ‘rather’ than considering real value it offers.

As the old adage goes Adding some sensors and making an app, does not a smart device make. The beginning point should always be the pain point that this device will be designed to alleviate through the data collected.

2. Define Your Device

From data, start to think about the product itself and the gap in the market for a device of this type. Ask yourself the following questions:

* What is the purpose of your product?

* What is the purpose of your product?

* What problem does it solve?

* What is the benefit of your product (a.k.a. life having your product vs. life without the product)?

* What is the primary function?

* What could be other additional features?

* Who is the target audience?

3. Find and Evaluate Manufacturing Partners

When you have thoroughly considered the above two points, you are now ready to turn your attention to looking for the right supply chain partners to build your device. Your relationship with your supply chain partners can make or break your project.

* Related Background- Make sure that the company has worked on similar projects to yours and the engineers can give you instant advice on the problems your project could face.

* Capacity- Look for partners who match the size or scope of your project, otherwise you run the risk of becoming a second priority for them.

* Communication- Nothing is more important than clear and straightforward communication. Seeing as there is a large chance that you will be working with factories in China, choose wisely to avoid multiple evening screaming down the phone to someone who still doesn’t understand you.

Timeline for Engineering IoT Hardware

Quick note, be realistic about the time-frame required for developing IoT hardware. Just a quick glance at the diagram above shows you that conservative estimates from the tooling stage to mass production is around 24 weeks.


For SME’s who follow these steps, it’s possible to create amazing IoT hardware that really can benefit the lives of your customers. In 2017, manufacturing is all about reaching out and communicating with the right people. The HWTrek platform is a one-stop shop for not only matching SME’s with supply chain partners but also managing product development.

We have helped a number of great companies in India develop smart products over the last few years. For example, the Mumbai makers of the amazing fitness trackers Actofit were having problems finding quality manufacturers to show interest in them.

Even when they we did, they were not able to communicate clearly with them or make them understand their requirements. We helped them reverse this situation, as CEO, Pratik Saraogi explained: “HWTrek helped by not only sourcing the right partners for us, but also being involved in advising, creating RFQs, timelines and project reports with their expertise.

They’re a face of trust for the non-Chinese / Korean customers who need help in manufacturing and production.”


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