Star War Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Toy Premiums 64 Million units, 28 designs for Worldwide Markets.
One of the most complex designs for fast food premium toys became more complex when a collectable gift box with taper-proof seal was offered after tool start for the "WOW" factor. The first time a collectable gift box was used this way, it became a challenge to optimize size for each unique shaped toy while minimizing cube size to save the client's freight cost and pass drop and transit testing. The box was designed with printed graphics inside and out for collectability to build 2 murals from all styles collected. This fast-cycle project was completed on-time (no air frt), near budget (gift box extra) and safely with the proper "SPEED BUMPS" in the process for design evaluations, pre-production research testing and during-production testing using production process flowchart and pareto charts to control the factories and supply chains. The success of this mission is due to the talent and dedication of the Hong Kong office staff.
8 million custom toy premiums for 1997 “Special Edition” Star Wars trilogy movie release to theaters.
8 months leadtime on 1997 Star Wars custom toy premiums in-store for theater opening day promotions.
Sourcing, New Product Development and Quality Assurance
Key Success Factors for Sourcing
1) Planning with detailed Milestone Schedules. 2) Precise communications with frequent daily monitoring. 3) Leveraging the manufacturer and transparency
Key Success Factors for New Product Development
1) Planning with detailed Milestone Schedules. 2) Detailed production specifications with process flowcharts. 3) Bill of material cost sheet with cost factors, labor rates and flowchart hours.
Knowing your supply chain is critical to control quality and safety compliance. Face-to-face meetings with factory owners at their workshops add value to establish trust and accountability. Negotiations based on win-win results occurs when importers provide effective compliance training to the manufacturer’s staff with intentions of providing steady business in return for competitive prices and compliant product.
Due diligence supply chain evaluations; raw materials through pre-shipment inspections.
Raw material storage
Work in progress (WIP)
Pre-shipment inspection samples:
Example of how due diligence factory evaluation prevented a major 1993 CPSC recall.
Due diligence factory evaluations ensured that millions of crayons and sidewalk chalk shipped to clients were lead-free by carefully evaluating suppliers and their quality systems. The result found a reliable "Conforms to ASTM D4236" manufacturer from Southeast Asia in 1993, thus saving the company and our clients from CPSC's operation dubbed "Dead Lead" during 1993.
Successful execution of toy manufacturing requires 3 critical documents for transparent control of the supply chain:
-Milestone Schedule: set, track and document detail plan to execute requirements (i.e. black box data recorder).
-BOM (bill of materials) Cost Sheet: verify components and cost to prevent risk of quality fade.
-Product Specification: document manufacturing requirements and critical control points.
On-boarding New Factories starts with:
1) Factory self-audit questionnaire and profile with workshop photos. 2) Factory visit to survey workshops and verify information given in questionnaire and profile. 3) Trial order for factory to learn order process requirements and implement corrective actions as needed.
Project Milestone Schedules
Concept Stage: customer needs & expectations convert to product function, features and regulatory standards. Feasibility Stage:verify technology and resources to the design, produce and market.
Project Turnover from Upstream (art) to Downstream (parts).
Planning Stage:careful, realistic product business planning compliant with product regulatory standards. Design Stage: detail design specifications for tool let.
Prototype Stage: (EP-Engineering Pilot) 1st Shot, Fit/Function, Line tool let, research testing, test to failure to create test standards with force diagrams. Pilot Stage:(FEP-Final Engineering Pilot) Pilot Line tooling, pre-production testing and Quality Assurance Plan. Validation Stage: (PP-Production Pilot) Pilot Assembly & Packout, final pre-pro testing Production Stage: (PS-Production Start) Ramp-up Production, dupro testing
Product Safety and Product Liability Prevention
Three types of product defects to consider during product design evaluations and reduce the risk of product hazards:
1) Design defect: caused by poor designs and/or improper testing. Design defects require corrective action on the entire production. (i.e. Sleepwear flammability failure 16 CFR 1615/16).
2) Manufacturing defect: caused by poor manufacturing processes and procedures. Corrective actions are required on the production lot tracked to the root cause of manufacturing defect. (i.e. lead in surface coatings, 16 CFR 1303).
3) Marketing defect: failure to warn, lack of appropriate warnings of dangers accompanying normal use or misuse of the product. (i.e. misbranded toys/games with small parts, 16 CFR 1500.19).
Potential root-cause: Overseas trade show exhibition featuring local product designs that violate international product safety standards (i.e. battery compartment design, etc.).
Solution: Design evaluation to meet international standards and require manufacturer to modify design to meet mandatory safety standards such as ASTM F 963. Never place orders before factory inspection and product testing.
Potential root-cause: Manufacturer speed up machine cycle-times to save money and meet delivery dates and subcontract without quality control.
Solutions: Verify production capacity based on tool plans, monitor daily production output based on correct cycle times and conduct unannounced quality inspections. Be proactive and vigilant to reject use of “Golden Samples” for testing and “Show-Demo” workshops for factory audits which can violate CPSIA compliance.
Solutions: Design evaluation based on international design standards . Verify reasonable and foreseeable use and abuse product safety and liability risks. Create new instructions sheets with appropriate warning statements using ANSI Z535 to inform end consumers of potential product hazards and consumer safety risks.
Manufacturing, Sourcing, Product Development, Quality Assurance, Regulatory Compliance, Overseas work assignments with extensive travel to industrial clusters throughout Asia; including within 29 of China's 34 Province-Level Divisions.
Sourcing Consultant, Children's Sleepwear Importer, Greater New York City Regiion, USA
Sourcing Director, Toy Importer,NJ, USA
Director Product Evaluation, Compliance, Quality Assurance, Consumer Products Importer,NY, USA
Global Sourcing Director, Northern China, Home Textile, Fashion Accessories-Handbags, Toy Importer, NYC, USA
Director Quality Assurance Greater China, Promotional Marketing Agency Gift-with-Purchase Importer, Hong Kong, SAR
Applause/Dakin Hong Kong, SAR Sr. Director Strategic Alliances Asia Operations and Premium Product Engineering
Strottman Intermational Inc., Southern California, USA Sr. Project Engineer: Sourcing, product development, project engineering and quality assurance. Sr. Cost Engineer: Developed Costing System and cost engineered new product concepts..
"To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest omission of duty, to be prepared before hand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues." Sun Tzu
"Product development has 3 stages: 1) System design 2) Parameter design 3) Tolerance design." Genichi Taguchi "An important feature of a good quality program is that it controls quality at the source." Armand V. Feigenbaum