2019 is already a turbulent year due to political and economic situations, such as Brexit, in the UK and around the world. So, what can be done to ensure your business and design team are able to deal with what will happen? There is a huge amount of pent up investment which could be flooding onto the market – or we could have a devastating jolt to our economy. Either way, those of us outside of politics need to get on with things and try to make the best of what is thrown at us.
Most companies use early January to plan business, marketing and sales activities but how many have got a genuine plan for innovation and new product development in 2019 and beyond? Even if you do, how do you ensure the right products are being developed for the right markets? All the experts say that doing nothing, whilst our politicians argue, is not an option for businesses keen to grow and prosper in the future. 2018 was a fantastic year for Haughton Design so we would like to share a little of what has worked for us and helped in that success.
We’ve had mixed results in the past with general marketing or business consultant advice. What we, nor they, realised is that many businesses operate in niche sectors and some of those don’t conform to general marketing and business conventions. If you add in design and innovation, it’s incredibly difficult to map out and accurately plan for the new product development work companies need to do in order to thrive in uncertain times. We’ve found that by utilising experts for the sectors you are interested or operating in, rather than just having a go ourselves or using general business consultants, has proven key for strong growth. NPD is a time consuming and expensive business so it’s vital to understand the market you are in or breaking in to, who the big players are, their specialisms and their portfolio too. It gets even more difficult if the product is a combination product or medical device for instance. Combination products introduce pharmaceuticals and a whole host of additional regulatory requirements, it’s also the same for other highly regulated sectors such as rail and aerospace too. It’s therefore imperative to identify and work with people who truly understand the marketplace, the development process and your business needs too.
Finding experts in the area of medical devices and combination products, who can see the bigger picture for a business, and who can truly advise on these markets is incredibly difficult. However, we’ve just completed a two-day training session with Alastair Clarke of Weaver Technical Solutions, and he’s done a fantastic job of making a rather dry subject extremely interesting and fast paced. Our entire design team are now fired up, bang up to date with the pharma industry and learnt a whole new set of skills to use this year, it’s given us all a boost! His session has provided far more than what we wanted to achieve – to improve our understanding of the market and identify opportunities for Haughton Design. It’s brought the whole team together and included them in the overall development of our company, so we now have a development plan which everyone has contributed too.
Our experience is that reaching out for expertise is a powerful way to significantly advance a design team or business. The key thing to all of this is that identifying the right experts and working with them can bring huge benefits to your company and team. On this occasion we were looking to advance our team in innovation for the medical device and pharmaceutical sector, but the same principles apply. Reach out or get out to engage with the experts if you truly want an innovative team and business. You can take a look at some of the images from our most recent training session with Alastair below.