Original Design Manufacture

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The recently matured process of Original Design Manufacture (ODM) is expected by many to cause significant ripples in the international electronics business community. ODMs are like the construction contractors of electronic product design, where electronics groups and large brand names are the architects. The architects of a new product research the consumer group, the functions, and the usability, and the ODMs handle the muscle work, designing and manufacturing the computer systems to the specifications of the brands.

Though using ODMs isn't a brand new idea in manufacturing, ODMs have only recently become advanced enough to supply larger electronics manufacturers with the type of products that they desire. In some cases, the brand-name companies can go shopping for original design manufacture technologies that they feel are suitable for their products, altering them only as much as is necessary. By doing so, the companies both save money by using existing manufacturing operations and reduce risk should the product fail to be successful.

Human-Centered Design and Original Design Manufacture

They can also reduce the risk of a mis-timed, poorly designed, or undesirable product by using ODMs. Because the manufacturing and technical development (in some cases) is done by the Original Design Manufacturer, the client company is free to spend their resources building a product that is useful, functional, and desirable to consumers. In other words, they can concentrate on human-centered design processes and simply coordinate the manufacturing concerns with the ODM.

This allows the brands to employ a concentrated staff of talented officials who are engaged in brainstorming and industrial design processes, and who are able to stay ahead of the curve by continually working to solve emerging problems. ODMs allow the designers the freedom to alter manufacturing designs as needed, and be less concerned about how much a change in manufacturing processes or materials may be a detriment to the company.

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