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Top 5 Manufacturing Challenges For Hardware Startups


Hardware startups have a unique set of challenges they must overcome in order to find success. KREATIZE is a startup that was created in part to provide solutions to these distinctive problems. Allow us the opportunity to show you how!

Starting a business is always a challenge.

Starting a hardware business that requires manufacturing services perhaps even more so.


Manufacturing is a capital-intensive process that requires many factors and a sophisticated set of interdisciplinary teams to develop products. At its core, manufacturing is a technology-based industry that is constantly evolving as a result of improvements within its industrial processes. Therefore, a degree of agility is necessary in order to accurately meet the demands of the market. This flexibility is often naturally present in startups, but it can only be of value if they also possess some of the core elements of a mature manufacturing business.

Hardware startups have distinct challenges they must face on their journey to maturity. As a startup that helps these businesses, KREATIZE was created to transform the outdated and inefficient procurement processes of both small and large hardware businesses. We are also deeply familiar with some of the challenges faced by startups in this space. In fact, one of our main goals is to provide fellow startups with solutions to their specific problems as nascent businesses that require top-notch manufacturing services.

Here we would like to present you with the 5 main challenges hardware startups face, and how KREATIZE helps solve them.

1. Building The Right Supply Network:

Startups are naturally hyper-focused on their products. This product-centricity is actually one of their greatest strengths. Equally important, however, is developing the right network to have all the industrial components necessary to manufacture their products. This part of the equation takes a lot of time and resources to develop effectively though. This part of the process can chip away at their go-to-market timeline, and add expenses.

Startups usually lack the manpower to develop both their product and a superb supply network simultaneously. The due diligence, negotiations, and back-and-forth between potential suppliers and their business is an exhaustive process—one that shifts their focus from creating their products and revenue-generating activities.

How can KREATIZE help?

By working with KREATIZE a hardware startup will have immediate access to a network of audited suppliers and part manufacturers. This effectively liberates your company from request-for-quote (RFQ) processes, back-and-forth negotiations, and from having to develop the high-caliber supply network necessary to allow your business to operate effectively. We essentially allow startups to skip a painstaking part of the process, and provide them with better chances of success.

drill, milling, milling machine

2. Product Quality:

Another aspect that is very much tied to the supply network challenges discussed before is quality. Smaller companies often lack the resources to quickly find stable and quality suppliers. They also may not have the time and team expertise necessary to ensure quality supplies. Even upon finding the right suppliers, startups may lack the production volume to fully obtain the best service from them. Companies with larger bulk orders tend to experience better customer service, get preference for key talent, and as a result, get better overall quality from suppliers. We’ve seen many startups grow frustrated, rightfully so, as a result of their quality expectations not being met.

How can KREATIZE help?

By working with KREATIZE you will have access to our very own quality center. We are in close contact with each supplier, and work to ensure that your parts are being made the right way by our partners, thereby providing you with a high degree of quality assurance. At KREATIZE, we also bundle multiple orders from our clients and place them with our top-notch contract manufacturers. This has an obvious beneficial effect on lowering the price, but it also has a positive effect on quality. By bundling our orders, we get better customer service and access to our supplier’s key talent pools so we can ensure a better quality product. This allows us to provide startups with a way to get the same quality service as larger established players, from the very start of their development process.

3. Skilled Labor:

The manufacturing industry as a whole is struggling to recruit and maintain skilled laborers. Startups may feel this reality even more acutely, as established players often have more resources to attract the best candidates. The sheer fact that there is a skills gap across the industry also means that startups may have to work with less permanent or freelance talent, which can create additional operational complications.


How can KREATIZE help?

With KREATIZE you will be able to cut down your staffing needs and operate with a leaner team. For starters, your procurement needs will be almost entirely digitized and require less staff to operate effectively. You will also invest and build less manufacturing infrastructure that requires lots of manpower—you will find the suppliers you need with our proprietary cloud software. As stated before, by bundling, KREATIZE also gets better professionals from our top suppliers to work on your orders. The KREATIZE team acts as your partner throughout all of this. We will even help you review your component drawings to ensure you have the best product possible. Your engineers will get access to data from our cloud solution, allowing them to optimize their designs in real-time during the production process. KREATIZE provides your teams with insights and an agile platform for product innovation.

4. Systems Know-How:

Hardware startups usually have a high IQ in terms of product development and innovation. However, when it comes to actually setting up a system that can deliver their product within a proper time frame, they stumble. This is often because they lack experience in setting up high-volume manufacturing operations. The journey from initial vision to final product is a challenge for anyone, and startups may require more time or a more experienced partner to show them the ropes.


How can KREATIZE help? 

At KREATIZE we love working with hardware startups and have found that we can be the most helpful when we get involved from the beginning of a project. This way we can help them build supply capacity early on and address any problematic features within their initial component drawings. The latter is important because it allows us to assess any issues early on,  so we can recommend a material or part that may be more effective, and even less costly to make. These are insights that will allow your startup to scale more effectively. 

5. Scaling:

Speaking of scaling, in order for a startup to find success, it must bring itself to a position where it can foster and support the growth of its business. This means having the capacity to grow without major impediments, and the ability to gain greater market share and introduce new products to the market without major disruptions in business operations. This is the ultimate challenge for any startup and can only be attained after successfully tackling all of the previously stated challenges.


How can KREATIZE help?

In order to achieve growth at scale, a startup needs the right staff, systems, technology, supply chain, and partners. KREATIZE is a one-stop solution to help hardware startups address all of these factors. We provide everything you need to build a quality supply chain, access highly skilled labor, and manage procurement. Plus we offer a team of experts that is ready to give you valuable, real-time input as you design the components for your products. With all of this, we are offering you the agility necessary to scale your business and continuously improve your product, without fear of disturbing your existing business processes.

Are you a hardware startup that is looking to tackle these challenges? Do you have a problem in product development that needs immediate solutions?

Our mission at KREATIZE is to provide manufacturing that the world loves. This means helping your startup create innovative products, providing your engineers with the necessary tools to develop great products, and helping you to deliver your products to the world easily. With our proprietary and patented software, KREATIZE uses the power of cloud manufacturing to give you access to the very best industrial facilities through our expansive network of first-class suppliers.

Start now with your free account by making an appointment with one of our cloud manufacturing specialists today, and allow your business to enter the future of manufacturing.  Or by creating your account for KREATIZE Manufacturing Services today, and allow your hardware business to make a leap into the future of manufacturing..

Are you a large hardware business in need of solutions to your challenges? Please read our article for large hardware businesses to see how we can help you as well.


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