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The concept of the Logitech presentation device is to enable the presenter to engage with the audience in a professional, yet flexible manor. The device is ideal for businessmen, teachers or anyone who intends on performing a professional presentation. The Logitech presentation product is a Bluetooth cordless control pointing device which allows the presenter control over his/her PowerPoint presentation.
The presentation device enables the presenter to move freely in an environment up to 50ft, therefore delivering an engaging presentation with impact without being confined to one section of the room.
The device features a timer, enabling the presenter to keep his/her presentations on track and on time. The timer is displayed on a 1-by-1/2-inch LCD, and is large enough for the presenter to see without having to strain his/her eyesight. It also provides efficiency with the vibration feedback tool to notify the presenter when there are five and two minutes left on the timer.
The presentation controls are easy to identify by touch, allowing the presenter to navigate through each slide, while yet holding the audience’s attention with maximum eye contact through a complex presentation.
The device is also a digital laser point, which can be used to connect the audience and useful in dark auditoriums.
The device is relatively easy to set up and involves no software installation, it simply requires plugging the receiver in to a USB port and it’s ready to go. The device is also easy to pack away as the receiver can be safely stowed away within an internal slot in the presenter device. The product also comes with a protective storage case which is perfect for travelling.
500 hours of battery life, includes a battery indicator, which lets the presenter know how much time is available with just a glance.
Presenter buttons (fwd, bkwd, start/stop, black screen on/off)
15m range minimum, 20 preferred
Battery life indicator
Digital clock/stopwatch with patented technology
Built in vibrating function which briefly buzzes in hand 5min and 2min before the end of the presentation
500 hours of battery life
Volume up/down buttons
Support devices: PC Multimedia
Max operating distance: 50ft
Features: LCD display
System requirements: Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 98
Included accessories: RF Receiver, Carrying case
Battery: AAA type (included 2)
Manufacturer warranty: Service and support for a period of 3 years
Innovation & Learning from the customer:
Karcher the engineering director and unit manager for Logitech retail pointing device product unit creates two new approaches in two logistically valued areas: outsourcing product manufacturing and design and in-depth customer feedback sessions in order to get in to the minds of users as a marketing research tool.
This involved lengthy interviews of 9 representatives who would best fit The 2.4 gigahertz cordless presenter customer profile. Karcher developed a detailed cluster of outcomes customers expected from the product and created segmented customer groups from the interviews. He felt these best described customer wants and needs for the device.
Gibralator passes go-gate:
This entailed a series of gates to determine the overall project approval. The first gate approved product authorization and commitment, the second gate critiqued and speculated blue prints, expected costs, and marketing estimates and the last gate was regarded as the “sanity check” on the overall project and project commitments.
Dragon selected as vendor:
Located in Taiwan, Dragon the selected vendor would handle the complete development and manufacturing of the product. In addition Logitech partnered with US. Based Cypress technologies in order to reduce engineering costs
Detailed customer interviews sculpted Karcher expectations of the product, however conflict arouse with engineering as they felt innovation was in their hands and not in the mind of the customers. While marketing activities begged to differ on customer interview result. Compromises were met however Karcher felt somewhat defeated as time and resources was an issue.
The prototype was finalised and approved in December.
The 2.4 gigahertz cordless presenters is press released at the computer electronics show in Las Vegas. The product is a hit with its innovated design.
Available for purchase:
Product retails at 79.95 in stores and online in the United States.
The Design Funnel
Progressively reducing the number of possibilities until the final design is reached.
Large number of design options
Working Prototype final decisions:
Timer function on LCD display.
Start/stop button considerations for presentation.
Past Logitech presenters: TrackMan Live & Cordless Presenter.
Competitors: Kensington pocket presenter wireless, Targus wireless optical mouse/pointer/presenter.
January ’04 – February ’05Choice and evaluation screens
Question 1 (b):
Critically assess the approach adopted by Yves Karcher in conducting product & market research as part of the product development process.
Product Development Process can be defined as “a cycle by means of which an innovative firm routinely converts ideas into commercially viable goods or services.”
Logitech used the process of “learning from the customer” to conduct their market research. They selected nine representatives from the targeted customer segments and conducted in-depth interviews. Karcher wanted to capture customer insights and cover all aspects of their personal experiences.
The goal was to learn the critical issues related to delivering electronic presentations, discover new needs and therefore formulate what would be needed for a new line of presentation devices. All too often a product development team will wait until they have a prototype or tangible example of a product to start getting customer feedback.
Interacting with customers and listening to their views is a less structured way to conduct market research. Questionnaires and interviews usually tend to be structured in order to assess customer’s ideas or check products or services against predetermined criteria.
By Karcher conducting customer interviews, the company gained crucial feedback in relation to customer’s needs, product usage and perhaps any negative experience with similar products. 
Karcher’s method of customer involvement into product development could have an effect in how the company designs their product. This aspect is an important step in product design as it displays innovation from new ideas and suggestions for the improvement of a product. From the knowledge from these interviewees, it could help Logitech in cost cutting their efficiency by performance while improving the quality and product process.
Through research conducted by Karcher, it was possible to prove the influence of product specification and design by consulting the targeted markets in relation to additional concerns which may arise when using a presentation device.
Through the cluster of outcomes diagram, the different aspects which relate to the product specification and design are in relation to the customers view.
The product itself is a small and personal device. Understanding how the customer actually uses the device during the presentation brings up influencing points. For example the placement of the buttons allows the product to be comfortable and easy to control without making direct eye contact with the device.
When carrying the device from location to location, other issues arise in relation to requiring additional necessities, for example batteries, which helps marketers empathise with the end user. This is one of many concerns for the end user. In order to understand this concern, marketers would have to consider the robustness of the product, in terms of handling for a period of time, transporting and the possible issues of using the device repeatedly on a daily basis.
Customer involvement will help examine the possible unforeseeable outcomes relating to the product and what additional scenarios would be likely to arise through these competencies. Also through customer involvement the business could predict where customers stand in relation to the technology.
The engineering function in conjunction with market research can be a difficult area to analyse as engineers are more knowledgeable than the average customer, and have greater awareness of technological advances and trends in the industry. Marketers and customers may be focused on the same understanding of basic knowledge around a specific product.
Market research primarily creates scenarios in order to empathise and understand the customer, while engineers would not have a similar outlook or understanding in this area. Engineers would have a better influence on the product outcomes, for example, the issue of the start and stop buttons for the presenter.
If Karcher’s reasoning had been approved, it may have possibly set the device standard back a step, in presuming customer incompetence’s around handling computer devices.
However in order to improve product development for particular issues, for example particular scenarios, the involvement of the engineering function would enable conflicting decision gaps to be concluded by their level of expertise. Therefore the dynamic of engineers will harness a valuable aspect to customer feedback and market research, which can result in thoroughly analysing the research by people of expertise in the field.
The main issue that arose from Karcher’s research was the determination of which buttons should be used to start and stop presentations. Karcher was adamant on using the simplified buttons in order to appeal to non-computer literate users, while engineers were certain that the buttons F5 and ESC would be generally adopted easily by users of Logitech products. This results in the issue of where the design decision should lie between the design and function, and how overall it would be more valuable to the product.
Additional design decisions such as the internal compartment on the device, is used to store away the mini-receiver. These additional decisions reduce the need to install software onto external computers by using the mini-receiver, as this can be time consuming and problematic for the end user. Also this reduces the likelihood of losing the receiver with constant handling, by having a reliable compartment to store the mini-receiver in.
This proves that the two main concerns have been analysed and understood, and the final design decision brings both design and function together amicably. Therefore ultimately design and function should go hand in hand with each other in order to create a better product which satisfies both design and function.
In relation to market research, different aspects of the feedback process need to be taken into consideration. Feedback from each individual involved with the product is important in order to receive a more detailed analysis of how the product will be received by the customers.
Market research is used as a way to communicate with customers and gain valuable knowledge about the product being researched. Involving customers in this process allows the business to target only applicable customers. It allows the customer to feel more connected with the business and also feel secure about the customer service provided.
Businesses conduct market research as a way to identify new opportunities which can be advantageous to the business. A business can use market research results as a way to create ideas which can then be used to improve the business. Customer feedback during the research process can help to identify the areas which may contain flaws and require modification and therefore help to reduce the risk of the product being unsuccessful within the market.
The significance of feedback given to a particular product depends on the level of penetration of the product in the market.
In this case, Logitech has been distributing presentation devices since 1993 with the TrackMan Live. This proves that the product awareness is high and considering distribution volume, there would be many sources of in-depth valuable feedback available. Customers may use the product on a daily basis, depending on profession or occupation. Therefore through customer feedback, specific flaws which may not have been detectable through the internal value chain may be discovered.
Logitech’s marketers, who in essence control the category of Cordless Presenters, are given the task of selling the product and creating product awareness. This approach of feedback would relate to the number of sales and returns, comparisons to other similar products available in the market and other additional information such as substitutes that would be used. Although analytically sound, this may not provide in-depth discussion into further questions about the product.
Logitech’s engineers, who are the core driver behind the technology of the product, have a significant role in feedback. Similar to the customer, the engineers would have a close relationship with the product. However the engineer’s intellectual profession could overlook the smaller concerns that customer feedback may reveal. The feedback would highlight the level of excellence the device holds and where on the scale of innovation the product would rank, in comparison to competitors and other engineers holding similar positions.
It therefore must be considered that customers, marketers and engineers each hold a valuable element in specific areas for significant feedback, as they all relate through interlinked areas of the product.
As a result of the Gibraltar project, Karcher’s research positively influenced the final output of the device. As stated by Arora, without Karcher’s research, Logitech would have possibly launched the Cordless Presenter at a lower price, thus minimising room for product innovation and success.
Arora also states that as marketers, assumptions are more likely to be made through innovation. However traditional marketing is formed on the basis of outcomes, whereas the innovative approach focuses on the process around the research.
In essence, innovative new product development issues drive product development more effectively. In comparison, the traditional methods emphases the entire process and value change, which focuses more on long term visionary aspects of product development.
The general process described, would be adaptable to all kinds of product development issues if the combining resources of engineers, customers and marketers have an understanding of the advances that can be made by combining all sources of feedback.
This specific type of process combines different aspects of feedback to further develop products. This would be useful to any business value chain, as it will further product innovation for the market and compete with businesses that may be regarded as offering more technologically advanced products. This type of process will improve the business as it enables them to develop better standards of outputs and thus engage better learning outcomes from such projects in relations to operations.
As analysed in lecture, the Boeing Case Study, prove a clear clarification to why the exclusion of the suppliers and engineers input can result in untimely and ineffective feedback. It was found that it can result with unnecessary noise around product development that may hinder innovation, rather than building on solid ideas. For example, certain desired aspect by customers was a 25% wider aircraft, although this was an innovative thought and sound reasoning from the customer’s point of view; this idea was incapable of happening, as it would affect the functioning of the plane. Therefore, using customers, marketers, suppliers and engineers in the concept of an open team would identify better outcomes and exclude information which may hold back team effort and affect the timing of the specific project.
Question 2 (a):
For any product or service which you recently purchased, availed of or consumed, and which you consider NOT to be particularly well designed, state why this to be the case, and assess how the design issues may have been overcome prior to taking the product to market.
Javinos caffé is a newly established coffee house located on the Ennis Road, Limerick. Along with offering hot and cold beverages, the café serves a variety of dishes including soups, wraps, salads, paninis, quiches and desserts. The Number of employees is approximately 10. The opening hours of the café are Monday to Sunday 8am to 7pm. As the café shares the premises with Mac’s Off Licence, parking for customers is shared with limited spaces available. Currently the café do not offer the service of WI-FI.
Upon arrival at the premises, it was noted that there was limited parking facilities available in comparison to other nearby cafés, for example BB’s which is located in the Jetland Shopping Centre and provides customers with underground parking facilities. This would be unappealing to potential customers looking for a fast and convenient experience.
During a visit to Javinos Caffé, it was noted that the exterior of the premises was well presented and maintained. Entering the café, the interior was well- lit and appealing. Even though the tables were free from waste, it was noted that the table surfaces were not regularly monitored and maintained. This does not look attractive for a new establishment in terms of enticing consumers to revisit the premises.
During the ordering process, five employees were located behind the counter, and it became apparent that there was minimum customer interaction. Customers were left waiting for several minutes to place orders despite there being adequate staffing levels at that time. This can prove to be damaging to convenience levels as the whole ordering process was slowed down dramatically.
Javinos Caffé advertises that they offer “award-winning” paninis and fair-trade coffee so once the customer was eventually served an order was placed for these items.
During the sales transaction, the customer requested to pay via Debit Card. The customer was informed, by the sales assistant, that this would take several minutes as the only Debit/Credit card machine was allocated in the adjoining Mac’s Off License. This required the customer to leave the cafés payment area and enter Mac’s Off License in order to complete the transaction. This was a very unprofessional way of dealing with a sales transaction.
Customers were instructed to take a seat and were informed that their order would be delivered to their table. When the food was received, it was noted that the panini was undercooked and the coffee was of a tepid temperature. This experience does not make a good impression to first-time visitors and has the potential to not evoke a need to return for repeat business. The overall experience of Javinos Caffé was unpleasant and requires changes in order to be more customer friendly.
Through investigating Javinos Caffé, flaws were found with the cafés service design. Issues arose with customer service as there was a failure to efficiently accommodate customers with a friendly manner. The allocation of staff was an issue as staff was idle behind the counter instead of maintaining table cleanliness which evidently required attention. The restriction of payment methods resulted in a negative experience and devalued the customer’s experience.
Finally it was noted that Javinos Caffé distinguishes their paninis as “award winning” which gives customers the expectation of high-quality food. However, the undercooked panini bread and tepid coffee could create a poor brand image to new consumers.
From the service experienced, the following recommendations have been identified:
As customer service plays a vital part in any business, Javinos Caffé must ensure to remain competitive in the current economic climate by providing efficient customer service. As previously stated, the issues relating to the allocation of work amongst the staff need to be re-evaluated. This can be implemented by improving the induction training and carefully choosing the roles for each employee. Employees must interact with customers politely and courteously to ensure the highest standard of customer service.
The area of management is another focus point for Javinos Caffé. Management must be able to delegate work effectively to staff to ensure the hygiene standards of the café are maintained. Management should also make sure the employees are delegated the appropriate daily tasks and that these tasks are completed in order to improve the service design.
Upon reviewing the experience, it became apparent that a there is a need for a Debit/Credit card machine to be situated within the café premises in order to increase efficiency and accommodate customers who do not wish to make cash payment.
The addition of a free Wi-Fi facility could potentially attract customers to Javinos Caffé as it has now become a popular service amongst cafés and restaurants.
As Javinos Caffé is a newly established café and do not have a website and limited social media presence, a recommendation would be to utilise these online facilities. Through these online mediums it could help create brand awareness about the café and reach a wider audience.
Social networking websites also provide a platform for customers to give direct feedback and share details on their experience in the café. This can prove to be a very positive aspect of marketing as customers can see the business interacting on a personal level by replying to both positive and negative feedback.
As Javinos Caffé is a new business venture, emphasis on promotions is a high requirement as this could encourage customers to visit the café. Highlighting promotions, for example “buy a sandwich and coffee for â‚¬4”, could entice people to avail of the offers.
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