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One year on.... How we are pivoting the business to develop further.

NewProd Design is now one year old and Dan and James took this opportunity to stand back and think about how best to develop the business moving into 2020. Take a read of this blog post to find out more about which aspects of the business have worked and the how we plan to change and develop to keep the business moving forward.

Photo taken during a meeting to review NewProd's online presence - specifically addressing the website style, design and layout.

Pivoting is a hot word at the moment but it's nothing new. Companies have always changed to match the market or even better, to stay ahead of the competition. The B.S.A. company for example became famous for manufacturing motorbikes, but their initials actually stand for the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). Although we aren't planning quite planing to start making motorcycles, we are seriously rethinking how we attract new business and keep our existing clients.

Dan and James at 2018 New Designers in front of a wall of test rigs made for their final year projects.

NewProd - the story thus far...

After graduating from De Montfort University in July 2018 and turning down some very good job offers, Dan and James decided to set up as a new design consultancy focusing on being involved in the whole design process from initial idea through to final tooling and manufacture. The business quickly gained some great clients who provided a host of challenging and interesting projects and in turn gave the confidence needed for Dan and James to invest time and money into the business. In October 2018 Dan and James moved into "NewProd HQ," renting a full work-space form Tennant Rubber Ltd. in Nottingham. A suitable amount of office space was available along with a working area for 3D printers, model making equipment and any other prototyping tasks.

From October 2018 the business has developed from being two sole traders operating independently to a Limited Company in April 2019.

Through the last year we have developed the facilities and tools available, gaining use of Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360 for CAD modelling. In regards to equipment the company now has five 3D printers including a resin printer for fine detailed prints and 4 FDM printers for specific tasks such as large volume fast printing, heat sensitive printing (e.g. ABS) and flexible filament printing.

Throughout 2019 we have attended numerous trade shows, meetups and networking events with many of these yielding client work. One of the main points that we have found when talking to potential clients as a drawback has been an inability to discuss current projects as these are often protected by confidentiality agreements.

OpenProd logo for our open source projects.

To look beyond confidentiality agreements, Dan and James agreed to develop OpenProd, a series of completely open source projects that anyone can access to and see exactly how they have developed as a project, from initial concept to working prototype. This open-source approach aims to highlight not only the skills that both already posses but also push both to develop new skills to match the requirements of the projects, not to mention sharing our passion for design and technology with a wider audience.

A product design consultant can be a difficult job to sum up in a tag line as it encompasses so many skills and processes. By recording the processes in video form, viewers are able to quickly find the segment that is relevant to them; for example: idea generation, CAD, 3D printing and rendering to name a few. Some viewers will watch the whole series and follow the entire process whilst others may just view a few videos depending on their interests. With this in mind we hope to be able to cater to both types of viewer.

OpenProd is a significant side-step for the business and something we hope to continue developing as the consultancy flourishes. With an aim to engage with the design and technology community through the projects, OpenProd will be developed through sharing our experiences developing physical solutions to problems or through sharing our growing knowledge about product design.

Screenshot from the latest OpenProd video, showing both Dan and James in fits of laughter when a mechanism failed to work after a big build up. The videos are aimed at being entertain to watch and fun to film.

An aspect of OpenProd is to attract more potential clients and build up a business portfolio, but it will also be a cause in it's own right and something that the company feels will stand as a entity on its own right in time.

This is the point where we've pivoted our business, moving away from simply trying to sell ourselves as product designers and turned the tables to show what we can do with our design skills and allow the client to approach us directly after seeing what we can offer through our library of videos.

We hope this is the start of something really big and Dan and James are both determined to put time and effort into see the business flourish......Watch this space.

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