Staying in tune with the evolution of the digital consumer…

In an age where college hobbies quickly become multi-billion dollar digital megaliths, keeping on top of what influences customers during the dawn of the “Internet of Things” phenomena seems like trying to hit a target that’s moving at light speed. As soon as companies had websites mastered, along came Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, and just a few years later, those are now graybeard dinosaurs threatened by an influx of new upstarts.  How can we possibly update our approaches to stay in tune when the rules of the game and the players themselves never stabilize?

In a recent webinar with Dave Norton from Stone Mantel, a firm focused on creating meaningful brand experiences, he outlines 8 digital success factors and specific ways in how customers are changing today’s and tomorrow’s rules of engagement.  Below you can review the slides presented at the webinar which discusses how ideas such as Positive Computing and IoT are creating new opportunities to engage customers on deeper and more meaningful levels.

This webinar was produced in conjunction with Stone Mantel’s annual retreat for digital strategists. Called “Summer Camp,” this is a different kind of learning and networking event intended for executives and their families to have a relaxing and fun excursion at a beautiful venue while collaborating with peers to learn the latest tools and methods that bring digital strategy to life.

Summer Camp is strictly limited to 25 participants and will take place August 5-7, 2015 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado springs.  For more information, click here.



Product developers to gather at San Francisco Tech Shop to chart the impact of 3D Printing

3D printing is absolutely everywhere right now.
I’ve seen news articles about the wings printed for Victoria Secret lingerie models, 3D printed body parts and pizza and even McDonalds interest in using the printers in their restaurant chain. More and more companies with traditional manufacturing and prototyping methods are increasingly asking themselves: “When is the right time to start paying REAL attention to this?” That time is, apparently, yesterday.

See our previous article with links to additional resources
on 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

robotic-hand-graphicWhile everyone agrees the field is exploding and cemented into our future, the acceleration of technology is quickly outpacing the attention span of in-the-trenches NPD professionals trying to eke out every last bit of efficiency from their outdated development systems. At a workshop conducted by Management Roundtable (MRT) in Chicago last October, representatives from various companies including Kellog’s, Federal Express and Monsanto, among others, shared their perspectives and current challenges with 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing in the real life business environment, things such as:

  • What are the real business opportunities that this technology opens up and what are the negative tradeoffs?
  • How are most companies currently using 3D printers, and what levels of resources do they dedicate to them?
  • How can 3D printing change your relationship with the customer and how can it improve quality and customer satisfaction?
  • How does the technology correlate into expanding into new markets or improving current market share?

MRT will be conducting this workshop again on March 6, 2014 at the San Francisco location of Tech Shop, a chain where members of the public can have access to and experiment with industrial tools and equipment. See the video above for a quick look at 3D printing at Tech Shop. During this workshop, participants will benefit primarily from:

  • Exclusive participation in the additive manufacturing maturity model benchmarking session
  • Hands-on exercises using 3D printing technology to solve a real product development challenge.

Product development professionals of all industries are invited to join in this important conversation with their peers, as they search for real world answers and existing best practices for this emerging field and how to best make the transition and avoid being left far behind.


Gregg Tong
Management Roundtable, Inc.

Our new blog: MRTplus

Will the 3D printer become the newest “Machine that Changed the World”?

I’ve been watching 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing for almost 20 years, when we used to refer to it as “rapid prototyping” and “stereolithography.”
  The industry has seemed somewhat dormant over that time, but as it matures and breaks free from the realm of “potential” into the role of “game changer,” it’s Q rating and industry mind-share are at an all time high.

In the short video above from GE, you’ll see a quick rundown on how additive manufacturing works, some samples of the types of wares it can produce, and a few of the top level business benefits for product development and engineering.  Back in the day, people used to hype the technology’s high ceiling of benefits the same way they do today, but now the economics, the sophistication as well as the need for it seems to currently be in a place that is brewing its respective “perfect storm” and putting us on the doorstep of something special.  It’s been a long wait, but the payoff may be worth it.

We are not as far from the Jetson’s future of a replicator in every house as it would seem.


To help you get up to speed with the latest trends, research and industry figures regarding how 3D printing, along with Big Data and the Internet of Things, could create a new industrial revolution, we’ve compiled some links to web resources and a couple recent white papers that will help you round out the big picture of what this could mean to your business and industry.

There are also 2 white papers that can be sent to you via email on request using the form below.  These white papers are:

  • Additive Manufacturing: Turning Mind into Matter (May 2013) by Neil de Beer for Sierra College/CACT.  This report describes the background and current trends of AM, covering a brief historical account of the past year; discussions on new applications for different industry groups; and ending off with a discussion on the emerging DIY maker community and a host of new business models that are challenging conventional ways of product development and distribution
  • Additive Manufacturing: Status and  Opportunities (March 2012) by Justin Scott, Nayanee Gupta, Christopher Weber,  Sherrica Newsome, Terry Wohlers, and Tim Caffrey for the Institute for Defense Analyses.  This paper provides a general overview of the AM industry, it’s opportunities, weaknesses and recommendations for future progress.


King Solomon’s Digital Data Mine: The Industrial Internet

industrial-internetIf corporations can be people, then certainly all non-living objects can have their own email addresses, facebook pages and even twitter accounts?  If you think I’m not serious then you’ve probably not heard about the new/old Internet, the one that’s for “everything.”  It’s also referred to as the “industrial Internet.”  What could companies hope to find there?  Hopefully the start of a brand new goldrush in data mining and a source of entrepreneurial inspiration that has gone missing in the current weak economy and the wane of the first human Internet age.

General Electric is one such corporate person attempting to spark the next industrial revolution by trying to leverage the Internet superpower of “information convenience” on tasks that are typically ignored or previously too complex to manage, such as windmill blade speeds and hospital bed allocation.  GE is your typical aging conglomerate, an essential source of fundamental human needs such as electricity, transportation and medical technology, whose footprints can cast huge shadows on the entire planet.  In areas where 1% improvements mean millions of dollars, it makes sense to push hard to create the next future of interconnected, data generating everything where no object is safe from being tagged a live node.

Recent articles on GE’s “Industrial Internet” commitment: