2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

The Intangible (& Uncalculated) Cost of Asia

#sxsw #RealCost

While overseas manufacturing provides inexpensive labor, lower component pricing, and (in some cases) lower development cost, without deeply experienced employees and trusted partners the savings may be not worth it. Beyond the calculable (though often unconsidered) costs of doing business abroad—freight, travel, delays, quality issues, etc.—are the intangible costs of developing and manufacturing products with off-shore partners—delays, communication difficulties, personal time spent abroad, and more. Before assuming that Asian manufacturing is the sole solution for hardware manufacturing, we should make a critical accounting of all the costs; in low volumes, the increased costs of off-shoring can exceed the apparent savings. We’ll dig into the details of manufacturing that are often overlooked, and talk about how stateside hardware production can be the right path for your product.



Rob Bangerter

Manufacturing Consultant

Rob Bangerter is an Operations Professional with extensive experience in Consumer Products. Rob has been involved in all aspects of operations from NPI to Reverse Logistics. He has worked in a wide variety of product categories and for industry leading brands such as Ride Snowboards, Gargoyle Eyewear, Cranium Games and Discovery Bay Games.

In 2010, while at Discovery Bay Games, Rob was part of small team that created the world’s first, game based App-Enabled accessory for the iPad. Over the next 3 years, the team went on to create eight more products in the mobile space.

Since leaving DBG in early 2013, Rob has worked with companies, as a consultant, to bring connected hardware to markets around the world.


Sean McBeath

Mechanical Engineer/Founder

Igor Institute

Sean is the co-founder of Igor Institute, a product engineering firm focused on hardware startups and crowdfunded project development. Prior to Igor, Sean was a mechanical engineer at Synapse Product Development, and design engineer at Chef'n where he worked on machined, injection molded, and rapid-prototyped part designs for consumer electronic and household devices. Sean earned his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University.

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