Tag Archives: Executives

Using Prototypes for Strategic Advantage

Our website – Planet Proto was developed by designers, engineers and technicians to provide the kind of prototype parts they want and need as essential tools in product development. The core team developed Planet Proto’s proprietary processes as the internal product development group of a Fortune 500 company. The goal of this group then was to support the company in being first to market with emerging technologies.

Pre Intel Dominance Workstation

Back then, the design team wrapped these technology products in well-considered, well-executed industrial design and mechanically engineered solutions all before injection molding tooling was ordered. This prototyping capability became a critical tool to the development of the larger company’s reputation as a true technology innovator.

The team’s normal approach was to attend a trade show with a dozen operating products in their enclosures running reliably before the first dollar was spent on steel production tooling. The competition always wondered how we did it.

Prototypes and product models serve the strategic needs of a product producing company. Ideas are proven or disproven with good models. Approaches are evaluated with little speculation. Prototypes are developed to answer questions. Consider this truth: Prototypes tell the benefits and results of your product development process to executives like no PowerPoint slide deck ever could.

Team Communication, Decisions and Speed

The most effective communication tool in product development may require the fewest words. Prototypes or models prove their value in a project team reviews and again later when an idea needs to be sold to decision makers. When the time comes to make to validate a concept, use models to make an effective evaluation.

Object Model for engineering review meeting

Objet Model created after the first 2 weeks of engineering.

You can’t hold a CAD file and neither can an executive. When a team of seasoned professionals needs to accelerate its product development process they use prototypes. The quickest path to a quality product is to prototype early – prototype often. The quickest path to developing a performance product is to prototype several levels of prototypes.

Use Rapid Prototypes early in the process, cast resin prototypes later in the process. The quickest path to cost reduction is to prototype often. Extending time between prototyping extends the product development process. Models and prototypes help decisions to be made with confidence, clarity and speed. Time out of market is usually the most expensive failure a product development team can make. A good prototyping plan can help get your product to the market faster.

Industrial Design of the electric brake Controller is realized

Models are finished up prior to the Trade Show.

Get to Know Your Customer

If you need to question a marketing executive’s assumptions, use a model. If you need to gauge a customer’s actual response to a product before committing to steel tooling, use a prototype or model. If you don’t need to do this, how do you know if you are making the right decision? If you need genuine, valuable feedback from a focus group, use well-executed models. If product reviews with individuals are your approach, use quality models.

Business executives are evaluated on the good, timely decisions they make. Developing products customers want and need is essential. Help gain the insights you need and find the flashes of inspiration required to get ahead by getting models in front of customers early. Be innovative by knowing how your customers think and what they really need. Observe their reaction and the way they handle your product way before you commit big money to tooling. Prototype as early as possible and get these models into the hands of your customers. Learn what they think. Learn what they expect. Get into their heads and find those unmet and unarticulated needs. Become the executive with the ideas that sell and have real traction in the market. Innovate smartly.

Working model used for executive review

Working model used for executive review

The Secret of Design Executives and Entrepreneurs

Selling the idea to a decision maker is done most effectively with a model. CAD renderings and visualizations are great, but when your reputation is on the line, when you need to build confidence in your concept, show upper management a model. Many successful companies use Planet Proto prototypes and models to attend a trade show before tooling is ordered. Many Planet Proto customers order 8 to 10 sets of models to fill with their components and take to a trade show. The quality of a model shows the effectiveness of your design process.

Quantities of your product on display and working demonstrate that your entrepreneurial company can make it happen and with confidence. Is there anything more important to an investor than confidence? Give them that confidence with a high-quality model or quick (rapid) prototype.
Planet Proto is a web-based system developed to provide high-quality parts and assemblies to a larger marketplace. We know the critical importance of being on-market, on time with your product.