What makes us unique?
IDE has built its business by developing flexible long term relationships with our clients. Almost all of IDE’s business is based on repeat business and referrals from existing clients. Our first project with a new client might focus on product design rather than product engineering or prototype development. However, once our broad spectrum of development skills is realized, we are often retained for our product engineering and product manufacturing expertise.
Our philosophy at IDE is simple – if our clients receive value from our relationship, then IDE will continue to receive new business in the form of new projects or new client referrals. It is very rare for IDE to do only one project with a client.
Another important thing that sets IDE apart is our detailed Project Plan and Budget Estimate. We typically provide a preliminary Project Plan upfront, which details the project goals, constraints, and pre-determined specifications. It will also include a breakdown on a phase by phase basis of all tasks, deliverables and estimated costs to complete the project. A milestone timeline (MS Project worksheet) is also included with the written project plan. This allows a client to judge the true accurate costs associated with a project before committing to the project.
How is IDE compensated for its work?
Typically, a cash retainer is required at the start of the project, which is credited against final billings. We send an invoice every two weeks or at the end of each phase. IDE provides a detailed invoice with expenses and hours defined for each specific item. There are no hidden fees or costs in the work we do. Our Project Plans are so detailed that it is extremely rare for IDE to go over budget on a project.
How does IDE communicate with its customers?
A project manager is the point of contact for the customer. IDE project managers have intimate knowledge of the project plan, project status and timelines. In some instances a lead designer or engineer may also work directly with a member of the client’s team for specialized tasks. While most meetings typically happen remotely (via Go to Meeting), we enjoy meeting face to face with a customer for presentations, detail design reviews, or mutually-beneficial working sessions.
Who owns a design created by IDE?
Our clients typically retain all ownership of intellectual property created during the course of a project. IDE’s engineers and designers are often listed as the inventors on patents, but the client generally owns the intellectual property. Cost of acquiring a patent is the client’s responsibility. License fees are not typically required, but IDE is compensated for the time associated with the review and signature cycle for a client’s patent application and approval process.
How do we get started?
Give us a call, tell us about your project, and let’s meet. We will usually give a brief overview on our capabilities and past projects, followed by a briefing from you about your business and specific product design needs.
Once we understand your needs, we’ll prepare a preliminary Project Plan and Budget Estimate, which includes a breakdown for each phase of the project along with estimated costs and timeframes. There are no fees associated with the preparation of the preliminary Project Plan and Budget Estimate, and we usually have it ready in about a week.