I’m frequently asked how we create a new product or update an existing one. There’s no easy answer as the process involves virtually every Aiphone department as well as our valuable dealer, integrator, and end-user customers. But here’s a short look at what happens.
Many of the ideas we start with come from our sales, customer service, and tech support teams. They’re in daily contact with our customers. Most of them aren’t shy about what would make our products more effective and convenient for them.
But really almost anyone in the company can make a suggestion. We have a New Products Planning Committee (NPPC) including members of our engineering, purchasing, sales, technical support, production, and marketing teams. This group meets regularly to develop products and begin pursuing the most promising suggestions.
Typically, the engineering department is assigned to create a concept design for those ideas getting the NPPC‘s approval. That process also includes a look at budgets and production timetables. If the first phase looks good, the process moves on to the design of working prototypes.
Next up are final drawings and another prototype incorporating any input from the previous review. Changes may include software coding for our IX Series video intercoms or added welds to strengthen our modular emergency towers. There will be a lot more testing, reviews, and 3rd party certifications before the product is offered to our customers. The process from idea to finished product can take anywhere from 6 months or 2+ years.
This attention to detail is meant to get things done right the first time. With each new or redefined product, we continue to earn our reputation for providing the industry’s highest quality audio and video intercoms known for their freakish reliability.