Creativity and methodology are our guiding lights in product development – We enjoy challenging the conventional and we never take anything for granted. Our product development model has been evaluated, improved and perfected since the beginning in 1982 – a valuable means to create profitability and competiveness for our customers. And that is why we have become an example for the product development branch.
The fact that our customers return again and again is proof of their continued faith in us. 80% of our customers have worked with us for over fifteen years. It is also very seldom that Creator’s customers’ products are returned.
Intense communication with the customer from day one to product launch is crucial for a smoothly-run product development project. It is a comprehensive, tightly woven relationship with suppliers, end users, manufacturers and Creator’s engineers and mechanical designers. Creator’s project managers function as a hub in the middle.
Product development usually begins with a preliminary analysis performed together with the customer to define the project’s time and financial parameters. This phase usually involves all of Creator’s expertise. An unhindered exchange of ideas and creativity are encouraged during the first few meetings with the customer.
A testing specification is established during the development phase to test and verify that the prototypes meet their requirements. A product’s durability and performance increases in Creator’s prototype workshop and the test lab.
The early prototype versions are tested here in extreme heat, cold and with violent blows to simulate any conceivable hardships that the product will face in its intended environment – and more.
By this time, a concept has usually been defined and a prototype that fulfills the requirement specification is ready to be manufactured. Creator composes a product specification, for example, in the form of CAD drawings. These are sent to potential suppliers, and Creator has a considerable contact network in several low-wage countries such as China, India, USA, Mexico and Baltic countries. A contract is then signed with an acceptable manufacturer.
The next step in the product development phase is creating the final prototype. Special prototype manufacturers create these prototypes, who carefully and exactly imitate the intended finished product. The finished prototype can then be photographed for product catalogues to facilitate the product launch as much as possible.
Even the final prototype suffers rigorous testing to adjust eventual weaknesses and eliminate the risk that any are discovered after product launch. In some cases more final prototypes are made, but it is usually sufficient to update individual components.
The production phase commences when all are satisfied with the final prototype and the manufacturer is ready. The manufacturer must guarantee that they have access to the correct manufacturing tools and machines.
For the manufacturing process to precede painlessly, a clear allocation of responsibility between Creator, the customer and the manufacturer must be defined. This is why Creator is so particular that the contract is drawn up correctly before manufacturing begins.
It is crucial that the customer feels at ease when the production process starts up. Then it becomes the manufacturer’s responsibility to stick to budget. Any extra expenses that arise after contracts are signed must be covered by the manufacturer.
“Close contact with the customer in the introductory phases usually facilitates a pleasant working atmosphere,” says Per Möller, Project Manager at Creator. “This ice-breaking stage is important for processes to flow smoothly and to avoid misunderstandings.”
Smooth cooperation simplifies the entire product development project. When product launch is the only stage remaining, the customer can rest assured that their products will possess the promised performance.
”Creator’s expertise is optimally integrated so that the product can become the best it can be,” says Per. “We know that our product development model works, because our customers return to us with new projects time and time again.”