Founded in 2004 by Ray Minato, IE+D was created with the goal of filling a void within the product design and engineering industry. During his 15 years in the automotive design, manufacturing and motorsports industry, Ray noted that companies would invest heavily in tools and technology, while the design process, information management and client collaboration remained stagnant and unevolved.
The disconnect between WHAT companies could do for their clients and HOW they went about doing it, was the catalyst for launching Inertia. As a result, Inertia has focussed on developing a great process and culture that delivers outstanding customer experiences and products. This focus has become an integral part of Inertia’s business model and continues to be a critical factor in their success.
Here’s a look at the five pillars that guide how we approach our work at Inertia:
1. We create exceptional customer experiences.
Inertia was founded on the premise of providing our customers an outstanding product development journey. Sure we love to design, engineer, and manufacture physical products, but we understand that successful product development takes more than just jamming a bunch of designers and engineers in a room. We understand how projects can go horribly wrong when customers are not listened to or included in the product development process.
We strive to deliver an outstanding customer experience along the marathon journey (because it is a marathon!) of product development. We believe that if you enjoy the process and journey of working together, the chances of a successful outcome for your product increases significantly.
2. Openness and transparency mean everything to us.
Working with a product development team that is not in your direct control or outside of your organization can be a bit unnerving and even intimidating. We want to ensure that you are always kept fully aware of what is happening at every stage of your project and why.
What does openness really mean? How do we achieve it? If a customer ever has to call us and ask “What is happening?” then we’ve missed the mark entirely. To us, openness and transparency aren’t static. They’re achieved by maintaining a consistent, disciplined rhythm of client communication informed by impeccable documentation.
3. We keep impeccable documentation.
We document everything. We call it knowledge capture. Our motto is; if it hasn’t been written down, then the work hasn’t been done. Why do we do this? So we can share our thought process, our challenges, our successes and our failures.
Knowledge is valuable once it has been captured. It’s then shared between the team and our customers for more effective collaboration and to get us to solutions quicker. At Inertia you’re not just paying for a result. We believe you deserve to benefit from the knowledge that is generated throughout the product development process.
4. We follow a disciplined rhythm of client communication.
Our rhythm of weekly client meetings ensure you always know what is happening, why, and allows you to collaborate fully with our team. We will discuss;
What did we accomplish over the past week? Did we do what we said we’d do?
What are we planning to accomplish this coming week?
What are our current challenges?
What are the product design solutions currently being explored, what are their pros and cons, and what do we recommend as the path forward with your input?
These meetings provide a venue for decision making, where the entire team can determine the most appropriate path forward that meets your product and (equally important) business goals. We also use the time to review and discuss the project plan (timing and costs) to ensure we are on track and on budget – and if not, why not?
5. Choreography is how we get things done quickly.
Our agility and getting things done quickly is a big part of why our clients invest in us. Our management team has a diverse background ranging from competitive motorsports to the Japanese practice of just-in-time manufacturing – both of which rely on close choreography of events, and elimination of waste activities to deliver the quickest results. Think of a formula one pitstop where more than 10 people descend on a car and in less than 4 seconds the car screams out of the pits.
We achieve our speed through:
Daily Team Huddles to ensure our team is fully aligned towards the most appropriate project priorities.
Weekly Client Meetings to ensure we are aligned with our client’s needs so we are not going in the wrong direction.
Weekly Team Meetings.
Two Shift Operation: If the timelines and resources allow, we can structure 2 and 3 shift product development teams which can significantly reduce product development times on larger projects.