Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is SGW Designworks able to sign NDA's?

Generally, we are willing sign nondisclosure agreements. We prefer to use our own, but can review others as well. Typically, we are able to get through an initial high level discussion without the need for an NDA. This allows us to make sure both parties feel that SGW Designworks is a fit for the prior to the administrative step of signing the NDA.

Is SGW Designworks willing to work collaboratively with my internal teams?

Yes. When we engage deeply with a client company, the outcomes are optimized. We find that valuable development input comes from across an organization. We are happy to engage with production teams, marketing groups, sales teams, and leadership teams throughout development. We are just as comfortable in the board room as we are on the shop floor.

Is SGW Designworks able to get into long term business relationships with client companies?

Yes. Most companies that choose us as their product development team stick with us for a long time. We commonly run multiple projects in parallel for client companies, and engage with businesses for long periods of time. In these long term relationships, we are able to develop a deep understanding of the client business, and their challenges. This allows us to not only work on development projects, but also to help senior leaders to prioritize their development pipeline and develop long term development plans.

I already have internal engineering resources - how can a company like SGW Designworks help me?

Over half of our clients have internal engineering or r&d teams. These businesses hire us for a few different reasons:

  1. Their internal teams are already overburdened with the day to day sustaining engineering required for existing product lines.
  2. They are lacking the specific skills and experts required for product development as opposed to sustaining engineering or primary r&d.
  3. Projects are behind schedule, and a fresh approach or perspective is needed to get things moving again.

Can SGW Designworks produce design packages in line with our corporate standards?

Absolutely. Most of the larger businesses we work with have requirements about drawing format, dimensionless, design review processes, and more. We are accustomed to tweaking our processes and outputs to meet the needs of our client companies.

What software does SGW Designworks use for design?

Most of our design work happens in SolidWorks and Altium. We do have a number of clients that work in other programs, such as Siemens NX, Catia, Solid Edge, etc. We are generally able to provide outputs form our programs that work in the platforms our clients use.

Can SGW Designworks help me decide whether to manufacture internally or use a CM?

Yes. As development work progresses, we often help clients decide what the best manufacturing options are. This is sometimes their own internal manufacturing team, or an outside contract manufacturer, or a combination of both.

Can SGW Designworks provide a quote for full development?

Typically, product development projects include a lot of risk, and many unknowns before development starts. This makes it difficult to quote an entire project without being overly conservative. We typically break projects down into phases of work, and can quote or estimate the imminent phase. Subsequent phases are driven by decisions and findings in earlier phases. Each phase is scoped and estimated as the prior phase ends. This allows for changes of direction during development, and for objective assessments of progress. Read more about typical project structure.

Can SGW Designworks sell me a custom machine?

Our core expertise is development. We do develop equipment and machines for many different applications. These projects are a fit when the goal is to develop something that is not already commercially available. We approach these as development projects, as opposed to transaction sales of a machine. We do typically build prototypes and iterate the equipment in-house as development progresses.

How are contracts with SGW Designworks structured?

We generally operate in one of two ways:
  1. Usually, development projects include a lot of uncertainty, and are impossible to fully scope out. Therefore we break the project into phases. We get a master Time and Materials (t&m) agreement in place with the client, then we build Scope Addenda, that describe a phase of work and the intended output, as well as the estimated cost for that scope. Once the client and SGW Designworks agree on each addendum, work on that scope can start.
  2. If a project is well defined, without much risk or uncertainty, we may be able to provide a scope and quote in contract format for one or multiple phases of the project.