The Value of Agile Hardware Development

James White

VP of Product, Duro

January 20, 2022


High-tech agile hardware design begins with shopping
It’s been a fun ride since joining PLM startup Duro, recently. Most of our customers are also startups; disruptors in mature industries. Some are even SPAC’s (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) who haven’t shipped a product but must build a prototype, fast. They prefer cloud-based PLM solutions for SaaS to run their business and have little to no knowledge of legacy on-prem PLM solutions, yet fully understand PLM workflows and processes.

Research tells us that about half an engineer’s time is spent doing non-engineering tasks like finding past design records, collaborating with customers/suppliers, and shopping for standard components.

Most PLM vendors approach this problem by building integrations to ERP or Supply Chain systems for agile hardware design, even buying a company to connect to their PLM. In other words, they add another solution that was never architected with PLM in mind and which often brings a foreign user experience to the engineer. This leads to lost concentration, time, and mistakes. Despite this ongoing problem, I’m not aware of any PLM solution that’s addressed the root cause of an engineer wasting half their day. Until I joined Duro.

The Opentrons Lab Automation Robot, a great example of a high-tech disruptor

Duro focuses on the PLM needs of high-tech hardware customers, the DNA of founders Michael Corr and Kellan O’Connor. High-tech hardware is no longer an industry vertical, but a horizontal layer spanning multiple industries. Do you know of any industrial or consumer product that doesn’t have some high-tech content? High-tech Hardware products are also supply-chain-centric, meaning a high percentage of the engineered product (up to 100%) comes from the supply chain.

This poses unique challenges for agile hardware design. For example:

  • Sourcing components from external suppliers by using #catalogs. How do you ensure sourced content remains accurate? (price, quantity, availability…)
  • Unpredictable workflows throughout the ecosystem
  • Traceability: How do you know who did what, when, why?
  • BOM Management when content is varied and from many sources
  • Change Management to ensure 100% confidence that the right notice went to the right person in time and completed the task
  • Digital Thread for seamless, continuous digital information flow between all tools and systems.
  • Compliance to ensure regulatory compliance throughout the entire lifecycle. All product stakeholders are governed and compliant


How Duro Helps
Duro is all about the Agilization of hardware design and manufacture. As a cloud-based PLM solution for SaaS, Duro offers deep capabilities needed for all stages of high-tech hardware product development, from requirements to engineering design, sourcing, change control, and BOM management, including real-time monitoring of any changes to sourced items. Duro is the next-generation cloud-based PLM solution that’s helping the market redefine agile product development for hardware.

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