759: Why Businesses Should Outsource Product Design w/ Ryan Gray

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Ryan Gray, Managing Partner at SGW Designworks.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Wouldn't it be nice to have several thought leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vannerd truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BTB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well? Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BE TOB growth show. This episode is sponsored by Directive Consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. Today we are joined by Ryan and gray. Ryan is one of the managing partners at s GW design works. Ryan, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me having to be here. It's a fantastic have you on the show. Today we are going to be talking about a topic that is very near and dear to your heart, why businesses should outsource product design. So I'm excited to dive into it, but before we do, Ryan, I would love to hear a little bit more about what you and your team at design works are up to. Yeah, you bet so. SGW Design Works is a company that we created specifically to help other companies develop new products, and there are a lot of different elements to product development. We focus on the design and engineering part of that for companies that have a manufactured product, and the kinds...

...of products that we work on range from consumer consumer electronics to pieces of industrial equipment to defense products and everything in between. The types of companies we work with range from funded startups to fortune, five hundred businesses that are very mature and everything in between. So we see a wide variety of projects come through our office and it's it's fun because we get too oftentimes develop the very first of many types of products. So we do a lot of prototyping. Is Part of our development process and if you walk around our office you'll see you'll see things on people's dest that don't exist anywhere else and the very first of something. Yeah, that is very cool. I mean you guys, you, you and your team must just I mean you got to have fun. I mean obviously you and your team are are brilliant, but that's got also got to be a lot of fun. My college roommate, he was an engineer and he was always building the first of you know, whatever it is now. Obviously this was this was college fraternity days, so the things that he was building were, you know, I'm sure not of the caliber of what you and your team were doing, but it was still a lot of fun to watch that creative design process happen. Yeah, you know, that's what engineers are kind of built for and we're lucky enough in our office to have tools to enable engineers like your roommate to excel and to do things they wouldn't have been able to do in the dorm room or even in their garage at home, but still to apply the same creative process and in kind of a methodical approach to developing new things, and the outcomes can be pretty amazing sometimes. Yeah, absolutely so, Ryan. Obviously today's topic right in your wheelhouse, again why businesses should outsource product design, and we had a chance to talk a little bit before we started recording. We've got a couple of points that we're going to get through, but number one we're going to start off with this idea that you know you need to be you need to challenge assumptions. Can you expand a little bit on that for us? Yeah, so every business that we work with comes to us with a set of assumptions...

...and an opportunity that's related to those assumptions, and a lot of times those assumptions are tied to how they believe the end user of a product is going to interact with that product or even what the market may be willing to pay for a given product. The challenges a lot of times those companies don't really realize that those sumps. Assumptions are just that, their assumptions and maybe not facts. And so we we found that when the companies that we work with are willing to let us help them challenge the assumptions that they think our facts, that the outcomes are much better. And and just as a really high level example of that, we had a project years ago that that comes into my mind every time we have this conversation and it's company came to us with really great idea for a great product, pretty well defined market and a target price point in mind. It was pretty pretty low, pretty aggressive target price point, and you can imagine when you're designing a new product, having the price point of the product in mind gets directly to how much manufacturing cost you can deal with in the product, which gets to what your options are when it comes to the design of the product itself. So that target price is massive input into the development process at a mass of constraints and at that time we were kind of new enough that we hadn't really built up, I guess, the courage to challenge a client on that assumption. So we went forward with development with that price target of mind, that costs are going to mind. It did drive us down in development path with the configuration the product, we get towards product launch and we found through some research that we did that pull it out, in fact, the markets willing to pay twenty percent more for this product than what we had constrained ourselves to, and if we had known that earlier on in the process, we could have gone a totally different direction with the product and include some features in it would really differentiated the product from the competition and made the product more successful for the client. So, you know, fast forward to today, we really get deep into conversations with the clients about what is an assumption, how can we validate or invalidate that assumption? And when we really get focused on it is is if a client...

...gets territorial about US challenging and assumption. That's one that we know we have to encourage them to let us dig deeper on, because those, yeah, yeah, those feel like the ones that maybe just to sort of have the blinders on. You know, they've got they've got that vision, but you know, yeah, those are the ones I would imagine that you need to push back a little bit more really force force them to challenge that assumption. Yeah, exactly, and it's you know, usually these assumptions come from from somewhere in credible. You know, it's not like they can come come up with these these things out of the blue, whether it's a price point or an assumption around a feature their product must have. You know, it's based on something they've learned over the years from from other products that they may be selling or producing. But it just often times assumption self is just misguided, or maybe the causational relationship between kind of the assumption and the information they had that led to it isn't quite right. So we need to help them on whind those things and when we're from the clients, let us do that. The outcomes are much better. Doesn't surprise me. It makes a lot of sense. It's story time, and this growth story is about search engine marketing. Okay, so the story revolves around e sub, a project management SASS company specifically for subcontractors. Even though he sub had incredible customer attention, they struggled with growth. Being a niche service, they discovered that there was little demand expressed for their solutions within search engines. To take on this challenge, E sub hired directive consulting the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. After refining targeting, pre qualifying clicks with an add copy and developing custom landing pages, directive was able to increase e subs marketing qualified leads by seventy one percent, while decreasing their cost per lead by sixty five percent. I have a hunch that directive can get these kind of results from too, so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right,...

...let's get back to this interview. So beyond then, this idea of helping them challenge assumptions, as as being one of the reasons why you should outsource your product design, another thing that you were going to be talking about is kind of not having to redirect your internal team. But that's that can be like a big time and resource. The Er tell me a little bit about that. Yeah, so a lot of really all of the companies that we work with, have brilliant people inside of them that are, you know, in marketing roles in a lot of times in engineering technical rules as well. But if the business is is healthy, those people, both the technical folks and the Non Technical Folks, are super busy with the existing product lines, the business dealing with, you know, with business growth concerns and other stuff that is kind of outside of the realm of product development. And nonetheless a lot of those companies take those internal resources and try to realign them to product development and often times that that becomes really difficult to deal with because product development itself is an all encompassing, very challenging thing that just redirecting internal teams to kind of focus on for a while it's super disruptive at best and it worse, leads to a lot of of miss deadlines and failed product launches. So we like to talk to companies about the fact that, you know, if you consider for a second using an outside group the specializes in product development, you're going to be able to keep your internal teams focused on what's really critical for your day to day in your business. You're not going to be distracting your internal engineering resources, you're going to be able to kind of throttle that outside group up and down depending on, you know, the cash will of Your Business, and you're going to be bringing in specialists that only do product development instead of having to juggle product development with sustaining engineering of an existing product line. And it's just one of those things that leads to much better outcomes. It's something we truly believe and we've boss built this whole business around around the notion that using outside specialist product development is a healthy choice for a business, even when you have really get internal technical resources. Just as an...

...example, we work with a big medical device manufacturing company in one of the top three in the US. They have brilliant engineers internally. They have something like, I think it's a hundred twenty six phds that are all specialized in various areas to development. It's a brilliant people. But they've brought us in to tackle a very specific development problem that they had and we were able to work through this problem and get to the end state of the design in a matter of months. For them, they've been working on it six years internally and hadn't been able to get the same spot. And and it's not because the people are not intelligent people, it's just they're so distracted with all the other stuff they have to get done at finding times time for the special projects is really tough. Yeah, absolutely, I mean it's just it's just allocating your resources in the most efficient way possible. Obviously, with a hundred plus PhDs. No one is no one is questioning, you know, how much brain power they're bringing to the table or that they would be incapable of doing it. But, like you're saying, you know, I mean just, you know, allow them to do the thing that they need to focus on and continue to do it and bring in the specialist to just save yourself the headache at the end of the day. Exactly. Yeah, let those valuable internal resources focus on the key things that you are hired them for in the first place, rather than distracting them with basically another entire bucket of expertise that they need to go become expert in, which is product development. Yeah, yeah, and so this third point, Ryan, I think is actually probably, in my opinion, very related to the first point, but it bill still merits its own sort of section, is that we're going to be talking about the fresh perspective and how valuable a fresh perspective can be when it comes to projects. I tell us a little bit more about that? Yeah, for sure, and it is it is related to both, you know, the notion of challenging assumptions and it is related to the notion of getting things done without over burning your inside teams. But yeah, the notion of fresh perspective is actually that is a concept that goes we on product development and it...

...is true for lots of business related topics and even non business related topics. When you're able to bring in a fresh set of eyes and fresh perspective on a problem, you often are able to identify solutions that are more diverse and and sometimes more compelling than what you'd be able to do on your own. And we live and die on our ability to identify fresh solutions for clients that they could not come up with on their own or maybe, for whatever reason, because of internal momentum in their organizations, you know, just were not able to come to on their own. It's at the heart of what we do and when people bring technical problems to us, a lot of times will start by asking them what possible solutions they've identified to the problem and use that as a springboard to new discussions around different ways to consider the problem, different perspective to put on the problem. That leads US different solution sets that are more valuable than what they've been able to come up with on that on their own. Yep, absolutely so. Ryan. I mean this has been some tremendous information, especially, you know, an actionable information, you know, as it relates to product design. You are one of the managing partners at a creative, a very successful company, sgw. Again, and this is one of the questions that we have get been given the opportunity to ask star guests in two thousand and eighteen. That I'm excited to ask you is this idea of legacy and, you know, kind of as it relates to sew as it you know, professionally, personally, a combination of the two. Ryan, what kind of legacy are you hoping to leave behind at the end of the day? So, for us, our legacy as a professional services company focused on producing creative solutions for other companies. We actually consider our legacy really tied to the success of our client companies. And in the most pure way to think of a legacy for us is that our legacy is sort of embodied in the successful products that our clients launched. So, in all reality,...

...our legacy is a physical manifestation of these products that are that our clients are able to launch and market and be scut successful with because they engaged us to provide creative solutions and technical solutions engineering problems on these products. So, even though that's maybe not as lofty as some business founders may be able to come up with as a response, I think it's a pragmatic, but but real where that we look at legacy as a sew design works. That's fantastic. Well, Ryan again, you know I just I can't thank you enough for your time, for your wisdom sharing that with art, with our listeners. Before I let you go, if anyone in our audience is interested in connecting with you and they want to find out more about today's topic, they want to find out more about SGW design works, they want to just connect with you, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? The best place to find out more about us or to contact us is just a good to our website, which is sgw design Workscom, and from there you can email us directly or you can submit information about a project you may have coming up for us to review, and you can also link to all of our social media profiles and content from there as well. So website is the best place to start. Again, that's sgw design workscom. It's as sick Bryant thank you again so much. Was a pleasure going to interview you today. Pleasure. Thanks often. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the beadd growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB...

...growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's Bob Growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (1800)