Tips and FAQ
If I am interested in working with Priority Prototypes, how do we start?
We’ll start with a conversation to get to know each other better. You share with us your goals and we’ll share with you how we can help. This meeting determines whether our philosophies and work styles mesh and if there’s a good fit. If we’re both in agreement, we’ll write a proposal suggesting a work plan, deliverables and deadlines.
How would you typically staff my project?
All projects are different, but typically a senior designer, engineer or model maker would be assigned as your project manager. That person will oversee coordination of your project and act as your lead contact. On larger-scale projects these PMs are assisted by additional designers, engineers and model makers, who phase in and out from other projects as needed. Our open structure allows us to be extremely flexible and scaleable, ensuring that all our clients have access to the best talents within our group. We also try to have at least two people up to speed at all times on your project, to ensure a consistent communication link for you.
What if I only want a prototype part, or just engineering services?
No problem. Some clients want start-to-finish product development and marketing, while others seek specific services only. We pride ourselves on being flexible and are happy to mold ourselves to fit where we can be of most value to you.
What is the turnover rate at your firm?
We care deeply about creating a positive work environment and subsequently our turnover rate is exceptionally low.
What is the tenure of your staff?
We have a well-rounded staff: 70% has 5+ years of experience. 20% has 10+ years experience. The other 10% is made up of experts with 15+ years of experience.
What computer platforms do you use?
We use Mac and Windows platforms with the following software:
Photoshop • Illustrator • Freehand • Corel Painter • MS Office Suite
Pro/E • Alias Studio Tools • Maya • SolidWorks • Solid Edge
What is your experience with manufacturing resources outside of the U.S.?
We regularly work with overseas vendors. (Domestic, too.) Our experience ranges from transferring hand sketches or handmade models to production-ready Pro/E documentation. It really depends on the needs of the vendor, and the wishes of our client.
Typically, we use the vendors selected by our clients. But we also have experience sourcing vendors, so we can provide you with introductions or recommendations. We work closely with vendors to verify issues such as software compatibility (specific file formats and release versions), key contacts, their needs for documentation, etc. Each case is unique and we adjust according to circumstances.
Because of our specialty in soft goods design, we keep a short list of preferred manufacturers and material vendors in this category. We have experience traveling overseas to work with them, and those relationships are solid. For quick reference, we maintain a large soft goods materials library in our Columbus studio.
What do you do to protect my confidentiality and intellectual property (I.P.)?
We understand confidentiality is paramount to you. We hold all work in the strictest of confidence until it is made public by you. We limit knowledge of your work to only those directly involved on your project. Additionally, we can house your work in secure areas when required.
We interact with I.P. legal issues in a number of ways including:
• receiving briefings from counsel early in projects to guide concept
direction (usually with respect to existing patent or vacant areas)
• presenting concepts or design proposals for review throughout
the development process
• completing forms and issuing statements to support I.P. protections
• supporting legal activities with depositions and testimony (both fact and expert)
We are prepared to work with you according to your legal needs. It has been the case, however, that most of our clients manage many intellectual property issues (such as researching and obtaining patents) with their own legal counsel.
How do you structure your fees?
Our fees are fundamentally based on the time it takes to do the job, multiplied by our hourly rates. We have different hourly rates depending on the experience of our employees and the technology they may use for your project. We estimate the time it takes to do a project and express that number, with associated expenses, in a summary quote. Product development is rarely an exact science, and often our working arrangements are best organized with a time and cost tracker that reflects actual costs usually with agreed upon milestones or not to exceed specified limits.
Do you ever work on a royalty basis?
Yes. In these instances payment terms and deliverables are negotiated on an individual basis.
How is your client billing structured?
Typically, we bill monthly. For new clients, we also ask for a percentage up front before starting.
How can I get a job with Priority Prototypes?
We are always on the look out for talented professionals who share our priorities. Send your portfolio and/or resume to Todd Mendoza and tell us why you would be a good fit for Priority Prototypes.