Many new entrepreneurs entering the brush-making business either end up making a copy of existing brushes or of brushes that are already copies of other brushes. For a product to be distinguished from the array of available products, it needs to have its own unique identity. Rajiv Sanghavi, Managing Director, Borghi Brush Machinery Pvt. Ltd enumerates seven principles to keep in mind while designing a new brush
The first important step when considering a new design is cost reduction:
A new manufacturer always wants to design a handle that is cheaper than his existing competitors’. This means reducing the weight of the handle by compromising on the design. A common approach would be to design the brush with a common design over multiple brushes.
Substitute a Single Component Brush with Multiple Component:
This is gaining popularity nowadays as you can have one mould for the grip of the handles and the main handle of different brushes in different designs. The grip can be commonly used on multiple brushes, not only giving an aesthetic look but also ergonomic finish. Many a times during the original design process, assumptions are made and design requirements are made more stringent to minimize risk. Because of this, many brushes are overengineered, resulting in higher costs. The second approach of material substitution is to use a lower performing or lower quality brush that still meets the specifications and design requirements. Care should be taken that 2-3 component handles should not increase handling and assembling cost.
Location of the Manufacturing Unit:
Most of the time, manufacturers prefer to remain at the hub of a production facility. For example, Agra is the prime hub for brushes while Rajkot is slowly becoming a secondary hub for brushes. The critical part is to understand what cost should be incurred for shipments of the brushes to far off areas. What would be the implications if the shipments are delayed? What would be the implications if goods are damaged in transit? The majority of consumer product manufacturing companies outsource part of their manufacturing needs. Be sure to understand the capabilities of your contract manufacturer or moulder; they are constantly improving their capabilities and implementing value-added services to improve efficiencies and lower costs, so take advantage of that.
The primary focus of any brush producer should be the workmanship of the product, but it is also extremely important that it looks good. Make a brush as attractive as possible as the first look is the last look. Manufacturers have one chance to catch the attraction of the customer, inducing him or her to pick it up at first glance.
It is critical that manufacturers understand the needs and requirements of the customer, and decide their product mix based on this evaluation. Over a period of time, conditions and preferences change. Therefore a brush which was a ‘must-have’ in the past can become irrelevant in the present. Look at the sales history and then decide the options for creating a product range. The customer does not want to pay even a rupee more than necessary, even if the item is extremely useful.
Aesthetic packaging is the need of the day, but waste of packaging material is not desirable. A campaign to emphasise the need for recycling used plastic packaging can be started by putting a label on the packaging that the final consumer should not dispose the packaging indiscriminately, but should send it for responsible recycling.
Constantly evolving design:
Every brush producer must change the product from time to time. Stagnancy leads to redundancy and consequently kills the product. Everyone needs to develop new designs to keep up with changing needs.