New Product Development: Neotech and Inventors
By Larry Kiliszewski, Owner, Zewski Corp
In 2007 I received a life and business changing call from a quiet, soft-spoken man asking for help with some new product development—designing a pop-valve for CPAP. Ten years later the man on the phone, Neotech Products President, Craig McCrary (who I now refer to as the peaceful warrior), and the Neotech team have become an integral part of what Zewski Corporation is and how we do business with everyone. But the growth and process by which our businesses have grown is far from normal. This is because, out of over 100 corporate businesses and 200 entrepreneurial clients Zewski has serviced in product design, Neotech is the only company we have found that offers a direct route for inventors to take a product from idea to production, and accomplishes it in a way where everyone wins. And in a world always leaning to the big guy, it comes almost fully in favor of the inventor in terms of risk and investment. How can they do this?
Understanding the Product Development Process
Understanding the authenticity of this claim starts with understanding the process of taking a product to market. An idea is put through a series of stages to get to production. The first few are generally low risk and low cost: determining if the idea is valid; who might want it; whether or not it can be made for a profit. However, once you have determined these things, you now get to the more costly and technical part of developing a product: issuing of a patent; designing the product for consumer or medical use; validation and finally production. Production being the most costly. To keep cost low enough to turn a profit, you have to produce very large numbers.
These steps don’t seem that tough until you consider the network of people you would need to assemble to make this happen. It starts with the inventor with an idea that fits the mold necessary for success. Then add, lawyers, engineers, clinicians, regulation professionals, and sales and marketing staff who understand the product market. Lastly, a method to manage and support all those roles financially and with guidance.
The original question was, how has Neotech managed to provide a product development method for inventors to succeed (with little risk) and still remain profitable to both Neotech and the inventor?
Honesty, Integrity & Perseverance
Believe it or not, the answer is not routed on a foundation of a single perfect product, staff experts or tons of money. Instead, primarily on the three words, written on the walls of our local Dojo: honesty, integrity and perseverance.
Neotech is expert at building strong and close relationships. Working only with U.S. suppliers, they proved to their suppliers they were not after the best deal but the best resources. As a result, those suppliers learned Neotech’s way of doing things as well as what Neotech needs from them to succeed. In turn assuring the suppliers own successes.
They applied the same standards to the clinicians around the world, and developed a powerful resource network to provide valuable feedback at little cost relative to its strength. Then, they opened the doors of communication to those clinicians asking for their ideas in return for a percentage of any sales made from the idea.
By building these two key pillars from which to construct their businesses (clinicians bringing the ideas and product knowledge, and suppliers bringing the know how) they have been able to be the conduit of invention success for a multitude of ideas. Especially in the area of Class I and II medical products that fill the NICU, PICU and beyond.
Neotech has grown to be a lighthouse to clinician inventors. Although they have to pass on many ideas, clinician inventors still have a far higher likelihood of success with Neotech than with any other company I have ever come across. Or going at it on their own.
The model for Neotech is rare and should be considered in other industries. But only by those who love and have passion for what they do. For I am positive, if it was not for the love and passion they have for their client patients, their success would not have been as great.
Download the New Product Development brochure.