The Product System


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An insight driven approach to product development. This is a presentation about how we work at Locus Research.

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  • The 'Circadian System' Programme developed with Design Mobel sought to redefine sleep and sleep systems to create a new generation sleep surface. Bedding Manufacturer Design Mobel is a leader in the bedding market, and wanted to have a more detailed understanding of sleep and sleep function and to develop a product that was capable of delivering a truly world class sleep system. The Circadian System was an FRST funded R&D programme that investigated sleep and sleep health, developed a new sleep surface through a concurrent research and testing programme, and developed a method of specification which enabled users to get into the right sleep system without having to lie on the surface. The programme was carefully structured to build a true picture of product efficacy and provide an empirical basis for the sleep system. As there was no initial information in the public domain, the team undertook a pressure measurement survey of 100 people who were a cross section of New Zealand's anthropometric estimate (from very big to small). This provided 4800 text files which we had to interpret. The key discoveries from this were that the primary drivers for sleep system specification were height, weight, and gender. A thin tall person generates more pressure (and therefore affects comfort more) than a shorter person of the same weight, while the primary difference between men and women related to men's wider shoulder breadth and women's wider hip structure.This information was integrated into a functional sleep surface design that was then put through a 'method of limits' test which blind tested both the product and our fledgling specification system. With an 85% success rate the team moved from testing into the next phase of detail design and testing. After the initial parts were tooled, a group of 20 people were selected to take part in an overnight test hooked up to an EEG which can measure sleep efficacy through analysing brain electrical activity.A strong life cycle approach was implemented throughout the whole product with all aspects being fully labelled and disassembled with single material assemblies. A range of environmental studies were undertaken to fit into an ISO 14001 system.
  • Design Mobel was sitting with a customer approval rating of 87% and a profitable business. But the sleep system was beginning to show its age after 10 successful years in the market. A new system was developed to reduce the overall cost of production and environmental impact whilst delivering improved performance and product quality.Design Mobel had built its reputation on great design, excellent sleep comfort and health, and had strong environmental commitment with its ISO 14001 management system.An analysis of the system indicated that by changing materials and going to a higher cavitation tooling it would be possible to both halve the weight and the unit price. The development team set about investigating a number of options to improve the sleep system. Many iterations were developed and put through Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to evaluate their performance and stress points. To prove efficacy of the sleep system, the team prepared single cavity prototype tooling and we worked with Doug Gaunt at Scion to test the cyclical performance over a 10 year equivalent performance. The new system outperformed the existing system with less creep and fatigue after the testing.The proposed new material replaced the rubber vulcanisate-polypropylene blend with a superior polyester elastomer (Hytrel) from DuPont. This material was selected because of its performance characteristics and its environmental credentials. Dupont were able to provide an aggregated Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) of the product to enable a detailed environmental assessment. All parts were labelled with their ISO Class plastic code: TEEE (Polyester Elastomer) to ensure effective end of life identification.The existing sleep system required each type of bed design to be stocked in both sleep systems. The new concept eliminated this by being able to unclip from the rail significantly reducing stock holding requirements.From a sleep performance perspective, the new product enabled the uptake of ground breaking sleep research undertaken by Locus Research for Design Mobel and created a new three zone platform which more effectively catered for different somatatypes.
  • What do you do with a vertically integrated supply chain that grows the trees, harvests them and processes the materials? Cortex was the first end consumer product for the forestry enterprise Pacific Wood Products. Locus Research worked in partnership with PWP to understand the consumer, develop and test the products, and take them into the market.Research selected the exterior cladding as an effective market to enter, and determined that customers were looking for a lower maintenance solution and that builders were looking for a systemised product with a low risk of failure.Stability was an area of ongoing concern for builders and contractors with timber cladding. This was considered a result of poor materials processing, handling, and installation detailing. Often poor quality documentation of the products further aggravated the situation and non-systemized detailing made installation time consuming.The team addressed the issue of maintenance by providing a consistent 120 micron coating in production, which dramatically reduced the volume of paint required over its life span. A concealed fixing system enabled assembly without the penetration of the exposed face, increasing both strength and durability (and providing a patented point of difference).A series of proprietary extrusions provided systemized detailing for all key interfaces improving weather-tightness and ease of installation. Sustainable design underpinned the product development, complementing the client’s existing commitment to sustainability through Forest Stewardship Council certification of its own forest estate and chain of custody.
  • Hip fractures are a major global health problem. 20% of elderly adults hospitalised for a hip fracture die within a year and about 50% suffer a major decline in independence and mobility. Global health issues such as osteoporosis and dementia can further increase the risk of hip fracture, but more than 90% of hip fractures are attributed to falls. Existing hip protection products (hip bone protector pads located in undergarments) often lack desirability and fail in market by not providing the required protection and comfort levels. Delloch founder and paramedic Sean O’Connor felt compelled to develop a better solution having seen the devastating effects of falls on patients and their families. Delloch approached Locus Research to develop the next generation hip protector, setting the challenge to maximise comfort without compromising protection from hip fracture and propel the innovative start-up into the healthcare domain. User-centred studies, thorough design and test phases, external compliance verifications, and clinical evaluations underpinned the product development while manufacturer sourcing and supply chain management converted prototypes into fully realised products. Ministry of Science and Innovation funding streams were leveraged to support the development stage. An intellectual property strategy was developed to secure long term value for Delloch. The team developed, managed, and directed the R&D and commercialisation programme to deliver a class-leading product range on an accelerated schedule, meeting the speed-to-market requirement of the start-up. A dual-offer of compliant protector pads for varying fall risk profiles, specific male and female style undergarments, packaging, brand and marketing material, and a complete New Zealand based supply chain took Delloch into market. Delloch unveiled the HipFit range in November 2011 at the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapists Workshops on an exhibition stand designed and delivered by Locus Research.
  • One of IML’s top storage products was being affected by poor quality suppliers. They needed to find an effective response to maintain and strengthen their market position, increase sustainability and extend into other export markets.Research delivered key insights: the key customer was female; the existing systems were overly complex; installation was difficult; and the process of specification was complex and difficult for ordinary consumers. These insights were put to work creating a basic system that sought to improve these key functions.A succinct story was created with a personal feel appealing to the female purchaser: ‘Your Home Life: Safe, Clean and Organised’, playing to the key benefits the storage programme. A graphic language helped consumers understand what they could make from the basic units provided in store. These were simple equations, rather than the competition’s complex checklists.The GetSorted venting system is a market first and allows for the transpiration of moisture away from the clothes keeping them fresher for longer. Initial environmental assessments provided useful information which enabled the team to specify the lowest VOC particle board available with the E0 Classification. This was safer due to low emissivity resins.Bunnings (Australia & New Zealand) & Mitre10 Mega has launched the storage programme through its network of stores, ensuring a rapid break even and uptake of the product.
  • Medical design excellence was achieved by innovating with merino to create a new internationally recognised preventative therapy for a high growth global market. Encircle Compression Therapy was developed for The Merino Company (TMC) to extend TMC through the value chain and to establish a new business venture for merino within the medical and healthcare sector. More than 40% of people over 45 suffer from circulatory problems, ranging from venous stasis, hypertension, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to ulcers and chronic venous disease (CVD). CVD is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases and in the United States accounts for 4.6 million lost working days every year. Encircle is a range of knee-high garments composed of an innovative and proprietary bi-component material made up of merino and Thermocool. This creates a micro environment around the skin to assist and regulate the skin or wound environment. Unlike other existing therapies, Encircle garments are user-centric. The self-applied socks make compression easier to specify, apply and manage during use while lowering the overall cost of care.Encircle has impressive medical research and clinical claims to back up its effectiveness with published studies conducted by Professor Richard Beasley and his team at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand through approved studies by the Ministry of Health. Encircle was awarded the Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) in the United States which recognises the achievements of medical product manufacturers, engineers, designers and clinicians who are responsible for groundbreaking innovations that “change the face of healthcare”.Locus Research lead the team throughout all stages of research, development and commercialisation, as well as initiating distribution opportunities with the largest pharmacy brand in Australasia, as well as leading medical companies in Scandinavia and the US. Locus developed the product platform and intellectual property, as well as creating the Encircle brand and early sales and marketing devices. Delivering the project from initial idea right through to a finished and branded product, Encircle is now available in over 1000 pharmacies throughout Australasia with distribution being established into the UK, the US, and Scandinavia.
  • Technical bio-lubricants are the next generation in high performance natural lubricants and anticorrosion protectants for extreme applications.The need for non-synthetic based lubricants and protectants is high but they have been plagued with pit-falls. Technical lubricants need to work in extreme conditions from -20°C to +30°C but traditional natural and wool-grease based lubricants perform poorly in cold temperatures as the lubricant hardens losing critical function. Lanolin based lubricants and protectants also have a distinctive and undesirable organic odour from degradation of fatty lipids and sulphur compounds, which affects market acceptance. The traditional synthetic based formula is also not compliant for use in food processing. Prolan NZ manufactures an environmentally friendly range of lanolin wool grease and liquid lubricants, corrosion inhibitors and anti-seizes made from New Zealand wool grease (lanolin) selling into the engineering, agricultural and marine industries. Prolan NZ needed product development help to improve the natural lubricant’s performance in harsh conditions and other key areas but critically without losing the ‘stickability’ and ‘environmental friendliness’ of Prolan products.Organic lubricants and anticorrosion protectants have a synthetic base which can restrict their application and performance, and can limit its use in food processing where mineral, spirit, hydrocarbon type solvents do not comply with standards. Locus Research and Prolan NZ collaborated with Dr Stewart Collie and Mahbubul Hassan from AgResearch to develop and test a new lubricant formulation and create a range of high performing lubricants overcoming these technical hurdles. Locus Research mobilised the team and managed the product development and test strategy to a successful market entry, with co-funding being sought and provided by Tech NZ.
  • This project set out to develop a fundamentally new type of preformed shower base and waste system, along with an advanced and architecturally designed glass enclosure that was engineered to be completely waterproof. Drybase is an innovative tile shower system developed for rapid, reliable, and cost effective installation.Key design objectives included: allowing tile installation directly onto the surface of the base; ensuring water is contained within the shower capsule; withstanding the load of the shower user without structural support; an installation process that is 100% accountable, reduces shower creation time, and eliminates margins of error in trade crossovers. The Drybase Shower System is made up of four integrated components. Drybase is the first one piece, patented, rim-moulded waterproof tiled shower base produced from High-Strength Engineered Thermoplastic (HSET). Hi-flow is the first silicon-free waste system to include over-moulded TPR gaskets within the body of the plastic components; these compress to seal and mechanically lock the waste safely into the base. Drywrap is a composite waterproof membrane used under the ceramic tiles and is applied to the Drybase and walls to provide a smooth continuous surface for adhering tiles. The glass enclosure is a simple clamping system that firstly holds the glass in position while the full shower enclosure is installed and then securely locks the glass position once final alignment of the glass is made.The Locus team worked from initial research right through to supporting the investment process within an Australasian company. Drybase successfully received inward investment from experienced investors and is now working toward a listing on the ASX in the next three years.
  • Jaedon Enterprises is the leader in forestry protection and safety clothing in New Zealand and Australia. Managing Director Mike May wanted to build on their leadership by developing the next generation in chainsaw protection. The project entitled ‘Protex’ was created to develop a whole new internal structure capable of stopping the chainsaw more quickly and preventing injury.The project involved the development of a primary material through textile engineering and science and the technical garment construction. A significant benchmarking exercise was completed to establish where current international products were positioned performance wise. This information was taken into the yarn and construction assessment which defined the best material composition.Concept development and type testing over 359 layers with 102 drop tests provided a library of alternative compositions and test results. Six layers proved optimal from the wearers perspective and delivered the required protection. A critical insight was that the outer layer plays a crucial role in stalling the chainsaw (whereas industry knowledge suggested it did not play a role).Locus then moved into the development of a new brand platform capable of meeting the requirements of the innovative new product and to effectively communicate the material.The ‘Forester’ brand was redeveloped and complemented with additional devices used in support of the product marketing and launch. The new product has entered the RD1 retail chain nationwide and has been picked up by both Husqvarna and other global brands.
  • A lawyer and an advertising executive decided to follow their dream: creating a new niche in the surfing industry.This started at the beginning: our team assisted with getting start-up funding from the government and set out researching the industry and developing a platform of products to release and get the business started. Sociocultural research enabled us to get a clear view of where surfing is going and what Simon and Al were trying to achieve.Concepts were developed and embodied physically in 1:1 prototypes that were sewn up and produced from both digital and traditional patterns. Initial prototypes were tested thoroughly to validate the principal concepts and to learn more about each design. Testing was undertaken to assess storage capacity, durability, level of protection, handling, impact resistance and performance. One of the key requirements for the product was to be able to withstand the common wear and tear caused by luggage handlers and luggage conveyer belts during international travel. Prototypes were therefore tested by luggage handlers on the conveyor system at Air New Zealand to ensure the product was suitable for application.Fully detailed manufacturing specifications were produced for each product that included a full bill of materials list, physical and digital patterns, and assembly details for Curve Surf to manufacture the products. Several production samples were created before the products were signed off for production.The end result was point of difference over other board bags and an extended system of products which Curve have increased and refined since their launch. Simon continues to build credibility and sales with clever marketing and effective sales.
  • We first started working for Cubro Rehab in 2002. Cubro are a leading New Zealand manufacturer and supplier of high quality medical and rehabilitation equipment. Our work has ranged from the design of walking frames and accessories to gutter pads, walking tips, and rubbish bins. A quick walk through any hospital in New Zealand will give you an impression of their coverage; the little Cubro sticker is on just about everything..
  • Fibre-Gen, Carter Holt Harvey's R&D division, had been working on the Application of the Finnish 'Thermowood' technology to New Zealand Pinus Radiata. Technical testing had yielded a range of materials. Locus Research was charged with creating some real design applications for the product and evaluating its manufacturing credentials. Mark Smith, CEO of Fibre-Gen, gave us a wide brief of  'I'd like you guys to come up with some stuff'. The team developed a wide range of possibilities that might test the boundary between indoor and outdoor furniture.Thermowood had great attributes; it could function outdoors above ground, and did not need staining or colouring in any way. The technology offered a more sustainable alternative to existing preservative treated timbers that used a lot of solvents and inorganic active ingredients. The timber is put into a kiln at high temperature in a reduction atmosphere (without oxygen) which both colours the timber and lowers its effective moisture level, thus making it more able to meet the demands of an exterior application.The design  team created several cross over pieces: a bench seat (Fernlief); a space divider and storage unit (Stoe); shelving (Sterling); and tall stools (Blane). The objects tested the permeable boundary between the house and the outdoor room by developing designs that could operate both indoors and, as a consequence of materials, function well outdoors also. The material played a central role in the design. The colour selected was a mid range temperature equated with cherry, and this was complemented by fabricated stainless detailing and 316 fasteners to ensure complete exterior durability.The results were taken as part of the Urbis Lounge at the 2004 DesignEx Exhibition in Melbourne and was awarded a commendation by the judges. Locus Research also utilised the material as a flooring substrate that was assembled onsite into the Design Room; this was awarded a New Product Award.The project was closed with a complete production and manufacturing appraisal of the materials which enabled CHH to understand some of the key advantages and issues with the new material.
  • Littl' Juey was the brainchild of local entrepreneur Frank Walker and is a rapidly growing new brand in the international outdoor power tool and lawn care market. The brand was established with the development of the Littl' Juey cutting technology and has now grown into a family of simple, easy to use, and efficient line trimming products engineered to take the hassle out of lawn maintenance. Locus Research had provided Littl' Juey an integrated design team since 2005 when he approached the company with a request to develop the Littl' Juey cutting head for production and marketing. The generation of packaging and branding for peripherals related to the Littl' Juey cutting head was closely followed by the development and branding of the new Littl' Juey Electric line trimmer machine. Now a full product range, Locus is continuing to assist Jafsco in progressing and developing their online presence to include e-commerce and service features.Litt'Juey provides a range of high performance and durable grass cutting products developed specifically for easy and safe use and quick reloading of tangle-free cutting line. No springs, no clips and no catches. The Litt'l Juey system generates a technical point of difference through the patented Littl' Juey Cutting Technology, the clip-on Line Reload system, and the fully adjustable Litt' Juey Electric line trimmer.The process began with the initial idea for the new cutting head by the client. Development and testing were undertaken to qualify and validate the performance of the new concept. During this time models were made and metal samples machined by John Braks at Gaminco for testing.Once the design of the cutting head had been proven and the intellectual property protected, further development was undertaken to move the product from a machined metal component to an injection moulded, glass reinforced product. Tooling was commissioned and samples were produced and tested to ensure that the plastic variety performed as well as the first generation metal part.
  • A family business that originally developed out of the construction industry led by Ross Provan Legacy moved into the value added timber space manufacturing edge glued panels and DIY components. Legacy panels were renowned as a high quality product. Locus experimented with the Legacy team to create some innovative new applications for edge glued panels. Initially in DIY applications and then in higher value furniture applications.  We had worked with edge glued panels before and were excited by the potential of the material.The design team reworked the legacy 'thread' shelving system by adding anodised tube covers and knurled end terminations. The shelving system took advantage of this exceptional strength and stiffness. It is three times the stiffness of MDF, so would not sag under weight over distance.A lot of work was done on materials and finishes which could work effectively together. Trials were conducted on stains and other finishes to create a palette to design with. Simple light and dark stains were chosen for the timber with complementary anodising colours to create a contemporary aesthetic.The 'Taapa Wall' concept was developed around this time. This initially experimented with a repeating pattern which would be machined into the timber panel that then formed the basis for shelf supports. Anodised aluminium shelves were inserted into these slots to form a wall mounted shelving system. The patterns were a geometric experimentation and closely resemble the structure of the patterns found in Taapa cloth common in the South Pacific cultures.y product into Japanese and Australian DIY exports and were a leader in the advancement of Edge Glued Panel manufacture.
  • Coast had developed a product, but the materials and manufacturing had caused a range off issues which needed to be solved. Our team carefully reviewed the existing Cayo products and developed a series of recommendations that would retain the key design features Coast had developed but productionise it and improve the materials and processes behind the design.A successful design company already it was considered important to also approach the design with the Coast philosophy in mind; which is quality of materials and attention to detail. Materials selected had to be proven durable to ensure no potential for failure during use.The design demanded the use of timber with its large sections, so a sustainable replacement was sought. The team settled on Finger Jointed and Preservative Treated and Primed New Zealand Pine. The timber is FSC accredited, and had a proven performance profile for the application.A water based enamel was developed with Resene to form a hard durable surface that would weather very effectively. Reducing refinishing time substantially over normal stained and oiled settings. The selection of a light colour was to effectively reflect light extending surface life.Cushions used Dripore and Sunbrella fabrics to align with the existing coast products and to deliver the 5 years required fabric performance.A critical part of the design process required the whole product to be knock down, this required careful redesign with the available timber sections to ensure the range stayed within conventional supplier specifications. The fasteners were all stainless to stick with Coasts design and material aesthetic. A limited number of sub assemblies and parts were developed to enable easy assembly, but efficient packaging for export.
  • A project with a particular purpose; create an impact in the Japanese market for a key Sales manager. It used our teams 2 and 3 dimensional design skills creating a story with a gift for the key customer meetings that embodied the product. PWP were targeting the Japanese market with their high end edge glued panel and board product offer. The Japanese market has discrete considerations ranging from how to communicate during meetings, to how key customers interpret information in a business to business environment.Clearboard™ is a finished panel and board product that is ideal for DIY applications and furniture manufacture. Defect free and available in lengths of up to 1.8 metres, making Clearboard™ the longest clear length of its kind in the market, the products are sold as ready-to-use sections for home improvement.A unique story was tailored for PWP;  narrating the product offer, creating the story of 'Tree-Farming' and the benefits of coming from New Zealand. In addition to that the team at Locus developed a gift, crafted from the panel, which  the Sales Manager could deliver to his customers to break the ice.The product story was  also developed so it would be portable between the large DIY markets of the US, Australia, and Japan. The execution included product support literature, the physical design of a gift, in-market product labelling, and the extension of the PWP brand family to include the 'Clearboard' brand and story.The gift proved a huge talking point and the trip was successful resulting in strong interest from key Japanese DIY customers for the Board and Panel products.
  • We were approached in 2011 by Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), New Zealand’s premiere dairy technology business, to look at undertaking a board level review of their new product development and innovation across the organisation. After undertaking several board reviews, the team decided it was time to develop a complete framework to enable a consistent approach to determine the key areas for improvement. This has become the ‘Six Lenses for Innovation’, a framework which looks at all the key aspects of a business that influence its ability to innovate successfully from groups, teams, and culture to management and process.This type of ‘Innovation Consulting’ has become more important to what we do, as increasingly companies have seen innovation as a vital part of their core business.
  • Altitude Aerospace Interiors was born out of the Air New Zealand engineering group and is led by a team of innovative engineers. Baden Smith, Head of Commercial Airlines, recognised the potential to expand their offer to production galley systems for Boeing and its customers. They identified that this would mean bringing in a greater understanding of product development principals, structure, research, and disciplines, different to their current expertise. We have collaborated closely with the internal team over a period of time to deliver critical documents and milestones and bring our product development experience and framework to Altitude to help realise these opportunities.
  • Mokum’s brand and design team were known for original textiles and products but their sales were dominated by just a few product lines. CEO Sean McElroy wanted to understand more clearly how his executive team could better use their product development capability to generate greater value. This provided our first board level product development review and a chance to analyse and understand another company’s design and development capability and how to improve it.
  • Scion have developed an innovative program that uses super critical CO2 to create a new material that is capable of being used in a variety of potential market applications.We have worked in an ongoing capacity in collaboration with Mark Smith to develop a commercialisation framework and business case to support the science program while the material is still being developed. Part of this used a small amount of lab scale material to investigate its properties and display them for both internal and external stakeholders. The sample helped to visualise the opportunity in a tactile way, which has proved invaluable to the team..
  • The Life Cycle Thinking workshop series were concieved by Locus Research to drive the uptake of sustainability in New Zealand. This interactive two day course programme enables executive managers to learn about sustainability and how to practically apply it to their businesses for success. The Life Cycle Thinking series was made possible through the support of the Hothouse at Unitec, the Ministry for the Environment with support from Prodesign, The Designers Institute of New Zealand, Better by Design, Landcare Research, Scion and Formway. The LCT workshops were a series of three progressive workshops covering:Life Cycle Thinking - A Design Mindset;Life Cycle Management - From Product to Company;Life Cycle Tools & Approaches - Implementing Change.Locus designed a series of worksheets and stickers to create an action learning experience that was engaging and fun. The content focusses on constructive actions that  individuals and companies can take to improve the sustainability within their organisation and their products and services. It describes how design can use Life Cycle Thinking to create innovative new products and services that are not just efficient but effective. The series draws on the experiences of key practitioners in New Zealand: Timothy Allan, Jake McLaren, Barbara Nebel, and Sarah McLaren, and the action learning experience of Cris de Groot.The 2-day course is ideally suited for a companies executive management team to help them better understand life cycle thinking and how it can improve the environmental footprint of their company and create more innovative products and services.
  • We partnered with Motovated Design & Analysis and EveredgeIP to introduce the informative Successful Product Development Seminars across New Zealand. The seminars address popular development topics including identifying winning products, protecting and leveraging ideas, and developing and engineering a vision.This series has enabled our team to get out into the provincial regions from Invercargill to Westport. We have seen first hand the brilliant companies that are driving the innovation and export potential of New Zealand in many unexpected areas, from rapid prototyping and mineral testing to automotive and electronics.
  • This was a 'Product Oriented Research' project looking at the exterior cladding context in New Zealand. The project was funded by the Scion Sustainable Consumer Products Group and was a collaboration that included design research, design engineering, engineering, environmental science and chemistry. It looked holistically at the New Zealand exterior cladding context and has subsequently gone on to form the basis for a major R&D project which will be launched commercially in 2008.Another output of this project was an experimental method called the 'Holistic Framework' which investigated a quantitative research approach to looking at social, economic and environmental factors in the same context. This formed a presentation delivered by Barbara Nebel at the annual SETAC conference in 2006.Locus was approached to investigate this project and propose a structure that would satisfy the required outcomes. The project was entitled ‘Guardian’, a term which means ‘One that guards, watches over, or protects’. This provides a conceptual theme for the project and a focal point. The primary objective of this project was to establish the feasibility of developing a new timber exterior cladding system and to provide a direction for this potential development. The secondary objective was the use of a different development process and model of thinking.The results showed that solid timber weatherboards have a place, but not in the mainstream market. They are a high-end product that is mainly used in architecturally designed homes. However, there would appear to be opportunities to develop new products for the mainstream residential, commercial and industrial cladding markets.
  • Compass was a project created to create a better understanding the US exterior market by PWP CEO Tony Clifford in partnership with Wayne Millar of Tenon with seed funding from the Forestry Industry Development Agenda (FIDA). This design research project developed a wide range of recommendations and actions which could be applied into the product development process for both Pan Pac Forest Products and Tenon. This programme was established to create an in-depth understanding about the use of finger jointed and primed timber products in the exterior cladding, siding, and trim market in the US. The research team was drawn from both Scion and Locus Research and incorporated design engineering, environmental science, design research, engineering and other skills.A key deliverable of this research programme was to identify options for adding significant value to finger jointed material and applying this information to enable new product development strategies to be formed.This was a technically and geographically demanding study that involved defining the key regional markets based on a range of metrics and then undertaking through two US market visits actual on the ground intelligence to be used to make final recommendations. The study involved both qualitative and quantitative data including the creation of a set of developed customer groups, customer requirements and technical requirements and benchmarking.The study also investigated the environmental sustainability context within the US and what frameworks were established and working effectively within the market. The team undertook a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Scenario exercise which looked closely at transport, but also looked at other environmental issues within the current value chain.
  • The Transform Initiative was prompted by former Textiles NZ Chief Executive, Sean McElroy. The conundrum was that Textiles New Zealand had about $810,000 in research and development funding from MED which it had not allocated and a deadline was rapidly approaching. Our response was to present a structured approach with four simple steps that would allocate the funds to progressive companies and interesting projects. These steps involved:Identification of a wide variety of technologies and companiesSelection of the best candidatesValidation of each selected project using the PDS processAction the actual R&D project against plans developed during the PDS process and monitored by FRST.A key step in the process was the use of our 'Project Development Specification'  PDS during the validation phase. Each of the final projects was put through the PDS process which enabled companies to develop a broader and more accurate understanding of the project they were about to undertake. The PDS process investigates technical, consumer, economic, and environmental factors to form accurate scoping and planning documents along with an effective risk assessment. It considers the implications of the commercial development as a whole rather than just the research and development component. The developed documents provided both Textiles New Zealand and the Foundation of Research Science and Technology a clear and developed commercial case to make a final funding decision.The selected companies are:1. Levana Textiles – ‘Encircle’ – Non-Invasive compression technology2. Jaedon Enterprises & Manukau Knitting Mills – ‘Protex’ – Technical chainsaw protective wear.3. Zephyr Technology – ‘Bioharness’- Fabric sensing technology.4. Designer Textiles – ‘Modus’ – Sustainable merino shrink resistance5. Maxwell Rodgers – ‘Lave’ – Machine washable bed throws6. South Canterbury Textiles – ‘Repose’ – Easy care sleepwear
  • There is strong interest in the government sector around the concept of 'Eco-Verification', which is, in broad terms, the enabling, quantifying and substantiating of improved environmental performance by industries. Life Cycle Thinking has been a developing area within New Zealand. However, little was known about the practitioners and their approach to life cycle assessment, and more specifically, the inventory gathered for these assessments. This report sought to answer some of the questions about both capability and capacity within New Zealand.The report was conducted primarily through interviews with leading practitioners. It created an impression of the status of LCT within the New Zealand economy. The scope of the report was widened to include impediments and opportunities for 'Life Cycle Thinking' in New Zealand.A significant finding of the report included the critical importance of education within the LCT sector, MAF have subsequently funded the establishment of a professorship and centre for Life Cycle Management.  In another key finding MED have funded the establishment of the Life Cycle Association of New Zealand (LCANZ). Both of these outcomes will directly improve New Zealand's capability and capacity to deliver sustainable innovation in the future.The Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology commissioned this publication from authors Locus Research in 2008 to learn more about the activities of New Zealand Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) practitioners, the LCI approaches and methods in common use, and their key parameters. This report investigates the application of LCI in the New Zealand context to provide evidence about current activities, and to isolate potentially significant issues and opportunities, so that all parties can advance Eco Verification activity more effectively.
  • Over the years we have worked consistently with both The Designers Institute and the Sustainable Business Network to improve the uptake and understanding of sustainable design. This has included the creation of the Sustainable Design Working Group (SDWG) and the subsequent creation of the Sustainable Design Resource, with case studies from great local companies, and also the Guide to a Sustainable Design Project. Our belief was that we could share some of the interesting work that was being done in New Zealand, collectively learning to create a community of like-minded individuals.
  • Every project we have taken on has been both an opportunity to create something new and to learn more about what we do. This has enabled us to constantly evolve and improve our approach to developing products. Our collaborations with other disciplines like science have allowed us to cherry pick interesting ideas and cross fertilise them into a commercial setting. Writing, thinking, and presenting have provided a means to condense and consider theories, philosophies, and thoughts. We have experimented with different research, design, and development approaches, whilst learning more about commercialisation and finance, with the sole purpose of delivering products to market successfully.
  • Company CultureAs a small integrated team, it is important to us to foster great teamwork and communication, both internally and externally. This is why we organise sessions and events throughout the year with various purposes, but with the common goal to unite as a team.Monday Meet-upA weekly meeting starts the week by reviewing external and internal goals, approaching deadlines, and team movements. More than just a catch-up session, this meeting gives everyone a chance to prepare for and focus on the days ahead.Daily Stand-upsThis is how we make sure our work is progressing as we’d like it, that we are focussing on the important tasks (not just the urgent ones) and that we all have a good view across projects to assist each other where needed. What-If WednesdayEvery other week, the whole team has a shared lunch where we each take turns to bring a pot of soup to share. These sessions have a dual purpose; they have a social element as well as providing a forum to discuss and collect thoughts that will push the company forward with marketing, culture, customer experience, and special projects that are central to our operations.Inspiration SessionsHeld every month or so, the Inspiration Sessions aim to inspire both our team and others. An inspirational speaker is invited to present during a casual pub-style gathering and share their history, interests and motivations, successes and challenges.Off-site Staff DayAt least annually, the team will gather off-site to work together on a task outside the business. Past events have involved planting trees together or team sports events. This is a chance to get out of the office environment and bring the team together socially.Learning CultureEvery team member is given the chance to attend external events to inspire and inform their work. They will then feed back to the team with a presentation or blog post to share what they have learnt. By getting outside the office we can continue learning about other systems, methodology, and cultures and helps to keep us up to date socially.
  • As a small integrated team, it is important to us to foster great teamwork and communication. We constantly work on it - together.
  • The Product System

    1. 1. The Product System A framework for insight driven product development.
    2. 2. Research opens opportunities & reduces risks Structure guides your project & ensures results Culture & Creativity unlocks your potential
    4. 4. We help you develop world class products & take them to market 85% of all products to market in our 10 years; Research underpins this performance. We research, create, develop, test, and deliver products to market.
    5. 5. Circadian Sleep System
    6. 6. Evolution Sleep System
    7. 7. Cortex Exterior Cladding System
    8. 8. Delloch Hip Protection
    9. 9. GetSorted Home Storage System
    10. 10. Encircle Compression Therapy
    11. 11. Prolan Lanolin Lubricants & Protectants
    12. 12. Drybase Tiled Shower System
    13. 13. Forester Chainsaw Protection
    14. 14. Cubro Rehab Walkers
    15. 15. Thermowood & DesignEX
    16. 16. Littl’ Juey Weed Cutter
    17. 17. Taapa Display Wall by Hold
    18. 18. Coast Furniture & The Outdoor Room
    19. 19. Clearboard Finished Panels
    20. 20. Six Lenses for Innovation
    21. 21. Altitude Aerospace Interiors
    22. 22. Mokum Textiles NPD Review
    23. 23. Dewatered Wood
    24. 24. Life Cycle Thinking Series
    25. 25. Successful Product Development Seminars
    26. 26. Guardian Research Project
    27. 27. Compass Research Project
    28. 28. Transform Initiative
    29. 29. The Role of Life Cycle Inventory
    30. 30. Building Blocks for Sustainable Design
    31. 31. Product Development Process
    32. 32. Observation is Free Observation is a skill that can be improved and honed over time. Everyone can do it. It is, however, difficult to do from your office chair.
    33. 33. Get into place
    34. 34. Use a broad depth of field
    35. 35. Research Summary Leave the office and get into place Use a range of methods, both qualitative & quantitative Get a mix of perspective, internal & external Document in usable form to build a rich resource
    37. 37. Our framework not a prescriptive process for development; a descriptive framework to deliver consistently. Our work has evolved from a series of frameworks covering individual disciplines to a unified development structure.
    38. 38. Structure Summary Work within a framework to guide deliverables and maintain momentum Products don’t exist in isolation – understand the product service system Scope your project relative to the results you want to (and can) achieve
    39. 39. Culture & Creativity UNLOCKS YOUR POTENTIAL
    40. 40. Groups, Teams & Culture Customers & Markets Management & Process Group Modes Cross Pollination Culture Learning Environment Customers Problem or Need Market Research Brand & Marketing Process & Approach Gates & Milestones Programme Management Testing, Validation & Compliance
    41. 41. Case Studies & Constraints Commercialisation Creativity & Vision Expectations Barriers Success & Failure Business Case Handover & Transition Market Entry Intellectual Property Partnerships & Alliances Idea Sources Creativity Vision
    42. 42. Be Original
    43. 43. No.8 Wire Is about being resourceful, doing more with less, and thinking differently
    44. 44. My idea is better than yours Ideas are like possessions. They’re a battleground for egos, where objectivity has no place, and yet... Objective decision making is central to our ability to develop products successfully.
    45. 45. Unity starts with your team Developing products is not the core business for most companies. If it was, it would be everyone’s concern, not just R&D teams. Bringing disciplines together enables you to deliver a cohesive, unified product to market at pace.
    46. 46. Feeling it on the inside If you don’t believe it, how can you expect someone else to? Make sure your project is built to succeed and your team has confidence in it. Look to create internal momentum & motivation.
    47. 47. Company Culture Monday Meet-up Daily Stand-ups What-If Wednesday Inspiration Sessions Off-site Staff Day Learning Culture
    48. 48. Building Team Culture
    49. 49. Culture & Creativity Summary Take stock and look for ways you can work better Learn from local heroes Embrace the wider team – unity makes you faster Pay attention to getting your team working well together and feeling confident
    50. 50. Thanks www. for more about us and what we do 07 5715 007 contact me Twitter @kaikawaka & @locusresearch thoughts on innovation & product development