While making hardware is hard, making high-quality hardware is radically more difficult. That doesn’t stop many companies from chasing “Apple-like” quality. In a survey of engineers at over 100 companies, Apple was the most frequently mentioned as a quality leader to emulate. However, even Apple can struggle to meet its own bar: AirPods shipped months late. Discovering and fixing product quality issues is a highly manual process requiring massive capital resources and weeks or months on the factory floor, often in Asia. Product launch delays are prevalent and cost large companies millions or more in lost revenue each day. The best hardware development teams leverage new advances in smart manufacturing technology to reduce inefficiencies and prevent delays. When done right, it’s possible to stop delays before they start and roll out an exceptional product on time.