Product development, a pull or a push effect
Not all customers are just passive buyers; they offer feedback, make suggestions and requests. If you listen, you can improve the functions and measurements of your product. Some of our customers are thinking ahead of others and are pushing our products to the limits of what they are made for.
Here are three different scenarios or examples of product development with interaction with the customer:
1. Adapting products | In some cases, a customer’s product must be compatible with the unique characteristics of a supplier’s product. And When solving this problem, possibilities or new USPs might arise that you previously did not think of.
2. Alternative usage | In other cases, the customer may want to use the product in an alternative way that offers new insight into how to improve the design.
3. Specific requirements | A third case is when a customer is far ahead of others in workplace safety and has tough and specific requirements for strength and security.
When you have good, constructive input from unique customers, you can call it a partnership because the sharing of ideas and the development is mutually beneficial.
The goal of both parties is, at the end of the day, to take the business to the next level.
If we consider the product development input from customers a pull effect, then you can call our own input and development a push effect. In my view, a mix of pull and push is the best recipe for success. Anyway, I believe that you should not miss out on one or the other.
The different advantages of the pull and push effect in product development are:
Pull effect: The advantage of when good customer input leads to an improved product is that they have better use for the product and then tend to stay as a customer. A big plus is that you also will improve your relationship with the customer and can keep them closer.
Push effect: If we deliver a better product and solution above the customer’s expectation, then we add to the perception that we are innovative and professional. In order words, a company with a strong reputation that you would like to do business with. This is very important if you are a market leader as Troax is.
Uni-Bracket with secure clip & wire
Troax’s latest release, the Uni-bracket with secure clip & wire, which is a key part of our anti-collapse system, is an example of product development that complies with all three examples above:
1. Adapting products | This customer’s pallet racking beams had a special offset compared to other pallet racks. A sprinkler system often shared the same space, therefore they required a cut-out in our bracket to enable closer mounting to the beam connector position and the sprinklers. When adding this cut-out to the bracket we also later realized that this feature eased the removal of pallet racking beams that are located near the brackets.
2. Alternative usage | The second example is the request for a double bracket, meaning that it can be positioned both over and under the framework of the panel to increase assembly possibilities. We came up with the idea of a single noose where the secure clip could be fastened from both sides.
3. Specific requirements | The Secure clip & wire was the result of a customer with really tough security demands where the system must withstand an impact of 2500 joules. With Our secure method ensure the panels are locked in position, otherwise, the task would have been unattainable. Furthermore, to make the Uni-bracket even stronger, we have added a formed rib and a small indent, which also makes our anti-collapse system stronger sideways.
So, partnership develops
In my view, the Uni-Bracket is the result of approximately 70% input from customers and 30% input from ourselves. So, in other words, a mix between pull and push effect in product development.
However, some people favour a 100% push effect, releasing original new products to the market. But in my book, if you haven’t done enough market research, you have a bigger risk as no one really needs or will buy your invented product.
Hence, I’d be happy to get even more input!
With the Uni-Bracket, I’m assured and confident that the product is requested and needed!