A product development proposal is the start of your relationship with your design consultant. A well thought out and comprehensive proposal normally is an indicator that the design team has thought through your issues and will deliver a quality solution. Here are some key points that you should look for: Engineering is about tradeoffs: Cost Performance Schedule Volume targets Proposal Should Include: Problem Statement Required Information Project Deliverables Stages with dates References A well-written product development proposal typically includes: Problem Statement should include the issues and tradeoffs involved with your project based on your discussions with the consultant Outline the project deliverables Information and key decisions needed by the consultant from you to perform the project Outline of the anticipated project stages and completion dates References from past assignments that are similar to your work The written proposals should tell you: Does the consultant clearly understand the assignment? Did the consultant do their homework? Did they cover the specifics of your problem and issues? Are all the items discussed covered in the proposal? An example proposal can be found on our website at http://www.volersystems.com/v-2009/example-proposal/. Engineering is about tradeoffs. At Voler Systems upon understanding the basic system functionality you require, we make sure we completely understand your targets and tradeoff requirements. We will discuss with you the hardware and software interactions. Many of the ways we choose to implement a function will depend on your targets and trade-offs. We work to balance your cost, performance, schedule and volume targets to develop an optimum plan.