MAGNET Ideation Sessions Help Manufacturers Define, Discover, Develop and Deliver
By Jim Rundo, Senior Business Consultant, MAGNET
“If only we had a way to solve this problem…”
“Our company has to introduce some new products soon…”
“We are losing business to new competitors…”
Most manufacturers have asked one or more of these questions at one time or another. It’s a normal part of business to face these types of challenges. The good news is there is a solution available to assist Northern Ohio manufacturers: The MAGNET Ideation process.
This process is part of MAGNET’s proven “4-D”approach (Define, Discover, Develop, Deploy) and can be tailored to handle company-specific issues, such as overcoming a design challenge, or support a company’s growth plans by facilitating the discovery of new product ideas. The key to the ideation process is that it quickly vets outs the best ideas, since for every successful innovative idea there usually are several others that fail to make the cut.
Companies looking for a solution to a well-defined, specific challenge can opt for a MAGNET “lunchtime” ideation session. This brief, focused engagement brings MAGNET resources together with a client who is seeking a solution for a single issue. Often held during an extended lunchtime period, the session yields several ideas, generated in rapid-fire succession by the participants, targeted towards solving the challenge.
On the other end of the spectrum, clients come to MAGNET seeking ideas for new products or product enhancements. In many instances, these companies are in mature market segments which are under pressure by new offerings from competitive sources. For these type of engagements, MAGNET sits down with the client to learn more about the company and its products, the markets they are in, and the needs of its marketplace.
More importantly, MAGNET seeks to identify key differentiators which would make a new product offering meaningfully unique to consumers, giving them a reason to believe, and thus a reason to select the new product. The information learned during this preparatory meeting serves as the framework for the ideation session that follows, where MAGNET and the client work together to generate ideas based on the key differentiators. The resulting ideas are then scored against this criteria, until the best two or three are identified.
These “best of breed” ideas can then be conceptually modeled, vetted out, developed, and then transferred to manufacturing. The beauty of this type of ideation is that it can be completed in as little as two sessions, each a half day long, plus a preparatory and closing meeting.
No matter what the challenge, Northern Ohio manufacturers have a partner in MAGNET ready to help them come up with new ideas in the discovery of new products or solutions to existing challenges.
Learn how a MAGNET Ideation Project helped Sauder Woodworking Co., based in Archbold, OH, develop a new product line: it’s WoodTrac Ceiling System. While the WoodTrac product line is still in the early development stage, Dan Sauder says the company is pleased that it has hit all its targets so far. The company has exceeded $110,000 in annual sales, and is selling WoodTrac in 13 Midwest states. Learn more.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for