It may sound like rocket science (well, because it is), but business processes in the space industry run in a very similar way as in other related industries (they just might be waaay longer and more complex). Certainly, these processes vary from company to company, but here at NanoAvionics we stand for transparency and clarity – that’s why we’ve prepared a simple checklist of actions that lead our customers from an idea to a successful LEO mission!
First things first, after initial contact via an e-mail, a phone call, or a brief chat at a conference, we always invite potential new customers to visit one of our facilities in Northern-Europe, UK or the USA where they can examine our production lines and workshops, as well as check our nanosats and subsystems. During the pandemic period, we also host personal online expos for new customers during which they get a virtual tour of our facilities.
Thus, in the beginning is the meeting. During the initial meeting (in person or online), we present typical mission steps: from satellite configuration and production to the legal framework and launch specifics. Importantly, we talk everything through in people’s language – everything is explained as plainly as it can be, regardless of whether you do or do not have previous experience in launching a space mission. We also discuss the main objectives and needs of a potential mission in order to understand the best option in each case: a rideshare of several payloads on the same nanosat, a 100% single-mission nanosat, or a constellation of such.
In order to facilitate more in-depth technical and commercial discussions we sign an NDA and share more detailed technical specifications on our nanosat buses and their subsystems, as well as CAD files in order for the customer’s engineering team to get a better understanding of our technologies and how the payload will be integrated into the nanosat. Once the initial exchange of technical info is done, our customers receive the Mission Questionnaire (MQ) to record and lock all mission requirements and specifications. Depending on the customer’s experience with space missions, the client can skip the Mission Questionnaire and instead pro-actively send us a Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal/Quote (RFP/RFQ).
After receiving and reviewing MQ or RFP, we set up several (or as many as needed) call conferences between our technical teams follow up with additional questions or technical issues of the mission. Once both parties come to an understanding of technical requirements and mission needs, we to conduct a detailed technical analysis for the mission and dive into preparation of the full scope proposal. .
After that stage, a detailed commercial and technical proposal is generated and sent to the potential customer. The offer is then reviewed by the customer, followed by a call or a meeting at our or customer’s facilities. Afterward feedback is received and if required, the Best & Final Offer is prepared and submitted to the customer.
In case we reach a principal agreement to continue with our cooperation, our teams start contract negotiating – with NanoAvionics’ C-level management being always there to help facilitate any issue resolution. And then…
SALE! We sign the contract, issue an invoice under agreed terms, and we ignite our production stoves! Check out this article on how we then bring missions to life and send customer payload to the orbit!
Also, if you haven’t read it yet, do check how you can test your payload performance in close-to-real conditions remotely thanks to our FlatSat system.