(Morrisville, N.C.) Montie Design, an innovative concept-to-marketplace product design and development firm, recently participated in the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA) Breakfast with a Prime event August 25th as one of the presenting companies. Held at the Research Triangle Park Archie K. Davis Conference Center, Breakfast with a Prime featured a main presentation by renowned government contracting group IEM and was well-attended by representatives of private businesses, local government and universities. (more…)
The landscape of the average person is a very connected one. As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with requests for our time and attention. Surveys and focus groups only capture a sliver of the wealth of ideas and opinion that your customers already have. Customers have amazingly valuable opinions and ideas for improving your product and customer service. Maybe customer A has an idea for your next ground breaking, earth shattering product. The dilemma is how do you engage your customers in a cost-effective manner.
Napkin Labs has risen to the challenge. They are offering a service that provides a collaborative framework for customer engagement. It even rewards participants using a point system. Why not give your customers the opportunity to become super customers in the eyes of their fellow customers. I like the idea. Here are a couple of videos that describe the Napkin Labs approach.
Last weekend, we packed up again to Troublesome Gap to do more product testing. This time we were testing a bracket system for a company called Ronin Metal Masters. They have a really cool technology that allows you to ship a sheet metal part flat and bend it by hand when you need it. They have turned this into a product line called BendAShed. This is a big advance in metal folding technology in an industry where large press brakes are normally needed, because you can now do it by hand. Al Ely of ADR Hydrocut in Morrisville, used their waterjet to cut out the stainless steel brackets that we use.
After some hardwork and a bunch of those really cool brackets we ended up with a picnic shelter. The purpose of the picnic shelter is to use the challenging weather conditions at Troublesome Gap to test just how robust the Ronin Metal Masters design really is.
We also had the opportunity to test an assault rifle accessory that we are working on. Seems like we also consume a lot of ammo on trips to Troublesome Gap.
Looking for How People Misuse Your Product
Some of the best product enhancements come from how users put make use of your products in creative ways. This picture is a good example.
I also noticed how the cutting board grip (handle) didn’t fit into the Montie Gear Camp Rack slot, so a short length of 550 cord fixed that problem. Similar situation for the black plastic ladel. Future products and products enhancement goodness in this picture for sure. By the third evening, Al had decided that the loft in the structure would be a great place to sleep, so after using enough clamps he gave it a try. Thankfully he remembered that the first step off the cot is a big one. I think that Mike was already rethinking some of his structure design when he saw Al’s creative use.
I will admit it was hard to come back to Raleigh after 4 wonderful days on Troublesome Gap. Here are some pictures of why it is so hard to come back.
Now the only question is “Are you Troublesome Gap Tough?” Come with us next time and find out!