Qi3, the hands-on Cambridge-based sales and marketing service, has worked with other local companies to provide a full product introduction for Beptech, the Thames Valley-based subsidiary of 300-person company Burke E Porter of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
REDgrid means Rapid Engineering Development from intent to implementation. It is a hardware / software platform with which engineers can rapidly create real-time test, measurement, control, and automation applications using powerful hardware modules and intuitive software. It achieves high performance control of dynamic systems in aerospace, automotive, defence and research applications. REDgrid is used in test, research and development and quality assurance environments.
Beptech approached Qi3 in October 2002 – “their web site described exactly the service and style we needed”, says Andy Osborn, Managing Director. “REDgrid is effectively a diversification for our parent company into a new product and market area. We didn’t need consultants to tell us what to do. We needed a dedicated team of sales, marketing and business development staff to set us on the right path. It was only seventeen weeks to go before our product introduction at the Aerospace Test Expo in Hamburg. We didn’t even have a name for the product”.
Qi3 developed a team of five to work on the product marketing. Nathan Hill led the team as “Marketing Manager” and other Qi3 team and network members worked as product managers, business plan gurus, and marketing communications managers. Within five weeks, the competitive advantages and “go to market” strategy had been tested. The business plan was tested and adjusted with subsequent market and competitive research. The product introduction campaign was designed and a pitch was run for a marketing communications agency to handle the creative work. This was awarded to Lime Group of Saffron Walden in early December.
Taking Qi3’s detailed product positioning, the team worked to develop a brand identity and product name. Creative concepts from Paul Weber, Lime’s creative director, convinced the team to use strong branding and bright red throughout. The name “REDgrid” was developed, tested, trademarked, an identity created and the main domain names acquired in December. By the middle of February, a complete range of literature, web site, and exhibition stand materials, multimedia presentations, technical PR and even foam aeroplanes was ready and shipped to Hamburg for the exhibition.
In Hamburg, Qi3 staff managed the stand and developed sales prospects as part of the REDgrid team. These leads, with major aerospace companies and systems integrators are now being converted into early sales. Qi3’s Cambridge office runs a dedicated telephone line to deal with technical and commercial enquiries and staff have visited sales prospects to progress leads.
Meanwhile, Qi3 has assisted Beptech in the recruitment of the European Sales manager of a competitor to head up European sales for REDgrid. Qi3 will continue its support and development of the full-time team for the next few months, after which the company will be self-sustaining.
So what do they all think of the experience? Nathan Hill, Managing Director of Qi3 said “this is a great example of our VACME Value Added Commercial Management with Enthusiasm! I love product launches and REDgrid was a super challenge. It’s technically complex, international and the applications are fascinating – I bet it’ll be a $50m product in a few years”. Andy Osborn remarked “it’s very hard to find a service company that will really step in and deliver high value support. I didn’t really believe they could understand our product and market so quickly. Of course the Qi3 team did just this; they rolled their sleeves up and worked enthusiastically to make our business successful. We now have a superb start with REDgrid – it’s a name we can already be proud and confident of”.
Beptech, the company that has designed REDgrid, is led by a team of engineers that has already developed an earlier generation of control systems. They took the new idea from concept to execution with the support of Burke E Porter Machinery Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. The company builds systems which are used in automotive testing, ranging from end-of-line production machines to dynamometers, servohydraulic test systems, and a variety of specialty machines.
The team that developed REDgrid is led by Andy Osborn and Chuck Cowham, together with a team of over a dozen experienced hardware and software engineers in Beptech’s Thames Valley Headquarters.
REDgrid is the subject of trademark applications in the USA and United Kingdom. The novel technology underpinning the REDgrid platform architecture is the subject of two US and UK patent applications. Beptech is the trading name of Burke Porter (UK) Limited.
For further information, logos and high-resolution images, please contact Nathan Hill, Marketing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org telephone + 44 (0)1344 448030.
Qi3 is an organisation dedicated to sales and marketing support for growing technology businesses. The company has a team of experienced technical business development staff, who provide hands-on support for Technology Translation for public sector organisations and commercial management for high-tech start-up, spinout and mid-sized companies. Qi3 provides a free SchemeFinder service www.schemefinder.org for companies and academic groups seeking public sector support for Research and Development. See www.qi3.co.uk or contact Nathan Hill at email@example.com telephone +44 (0)1223 422404 for further information.
Lime is a strategic partnership of Brand and NewMedia Communications. They provide an integrated approach to produce effective and cohesive communications across all media. They combine creative, technical and marketing expertise and resources to produce effective and targeted solutions for b2b technology companies. Lime group offers bespoke communications packages to SME and start up Businesses as well as an online consultancy service. See www.limegroup.info for further information.