What We Do – General Discussion
Business today is not simple or easy. With worldwide competition, you can have competitors coming at your company from all directions. In fact, today, competition is probably the most vexing factor in running any business. To capture and keep a market share, you have to stay ahead on innovation, design, costs, marketing, as well as protecting your company IP from the “dirty” competition such as China, North Korea and Russia. Then, as if that is not bad enough, make a mistake and governments will be gunning to “fine” you for a mistake, and customers will be looking for “compensation” for your transgressions. Fines, compensation, and competition; enough to induce heart attacks and strokes.
What happens when you fall behind on innovation? Ask RIM [the blackberry, remember it?] Ask Kodak; remember when everyone took their film cameras on vacation? Ask Sony what happens when the company IP vault is opened to hackers – or for that matter, ask the U.S. government. Losing to competition due to overburdening overhead cost? HP just announced a layoff of 30,000 people. What were all those people doing that HP can now lay them all off?
Feeling the pounding of competitive feet behind them, engineering departments can become myopic in their efforts, looking at only getting a product to work technically, and ignoring other factors that keep a company moving forward. Put yourself in the mindset of General Motors. They just agreed to a $900 Million settlement with the government over their ignition switch “problem.” Had their engineering department paid a bit more attention to the big picture, they could have saved that half Billion, as well as dealing with lawsuits over the deaths of 100 people.
What do we do? We work with companies to help their various departments maintain a coherent overall picture of their objectives. All too often, engineering departments work in the vacuum of developing and designing a product in a lab, with no “real world” input. We work to bring the real world into the engineering lab. That can prevent events like the GM ignition switch disaster. It can reduce or eliminate the thousands of product recalls that happen in the US every year. It can make our food supply safer by catching salmonella outbreaks quicker.
We collect data on situations such as these mentioned, and we share these with our clients. We provide this data for learning purposes, and we hope our clients will share their experiences with us, so we can broaden our data.
Our staff is small. We cannot take on many projects at a time. Our founder, George Jerome, has a 50 year background in engineering, development, design, and IP development. His patents attest to his creativity and ability to think out of the proverbial box. We do not add to our staff unless the applicant is very well seasoned and has a proven track record of innovation.
Generally, we prefer to engage with a company in a small way initially to both prove ourselves to the client, and satisfy ourselves that we can deliver substantial rewards to the client. An “OK” job for us is a failure. We want to help stop other GM type disasters, not walk away having pushed some paper around.