Creating prototypes has been an important part of the manufacturing process in many industries throughout the history of an industrial business. This process saves businesses time because they will not have to fix many mistakes after the final product hits the market. This also means that the business sees significant savings. Finally, creating prototypes allows the firm to assess the market viability of the product in the first place. The prototype can be sent out to different consumer groups and surveys can be taken that will show the level of demand for the product. Many experts of modern business practices feel that this is the most important benefit of creating prototypes.
Businesses that don't go through a proper prototyping process often spend months, if not years, revising and repairing products after launch. This eats up time that can be better used creating more products. Some businesses were put off by the time the prototype process itself takes. However, this is short-sighted. Going through a proper prototyping process will save time in the long run.
Many people's initial impression of a full prototype process is that it will cost a great deal of money. However, it will save the company money in the long run. Products that eventually hit the market will be of much higher quality, so there will be fewer recalls, repairs, and lawsuits. As with the time savings that can be seen from designing and manufacturing your prototype, the cost savings are long-term. Building a prototype costs money in the short-term. However, it will certainly be worth it.
As previously mentioned, arguably the most important benefit of designing and building a prototype is the capability to test the market viability of your product. Many companies send out their prototypes to survey groups to gauge the potential customer reaction. This is common practice for large corporations, however, in recent years, smaller companies have begun doing this as well. There are many companies that specialize in doing market research for small firms. There must be a prototype for these companies to be able to perform their services.