Thinking “Outside-In”: A Market-Driven Approach To Product Development

One of the joys of working for a technology company that designs and manufactures all of its own products, is that the bounds for solving real market problems are almost limitless. That’s not a new experience for me personally, but in its market space, Tel-Tron is the only company that designs, manufactures, installs, and supports all of its own products. In my opinion, that’s very powerful. It’s powerful for many reasons, but in particular it gives us a unique ability to take an “outside-in” approach to product development (http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/secrets/the-difference-is-outside). It also gives us the ability to adapt and customize quickly ways that are unmatched in the industry.

One example of Tel-Tron taking this “outside-in” approach was the recent addition of our “Staff Rounds Check” feature (http://www.tel-tron.com/resident-staff-checkin.php). Within independent and low-acuity assisted living, Resident Check-In – whereby a resident presses a button in their room each day to indicate that they are up and okay – works because caregivers don’t necessarily need to eyeball each resident every day. However, customers of our emergency call system products were telling us that Resident Check-In wouldn’t work in higher-acuity senior living, such as memory care, because the residents either could not remember to press a button each day or were too immobile to reliably get to the check-in button. In addition, residents with these higher-acuity needs often need to be checked on by staff more than just once a day. And thus “Staff Rounds Check” was born.

Now, managers could rest assured that higher-acuity residents would be checked on by caregivers multiple times a day, with reportable accountability (http://www.tel-tron.com/auditrak.php). And because of our inherent flexibility, not only are the intervals configurable, but should a caregiver not check-in on a resident as scheduled, exception reporting can be enabled to trigger a reminder-style alert (http://www.tel-tron.com/cisco-phone-radio-paging-mobile.php). Put that in your marketing pitch and watch residents’ family members breathe a sigh of relief!

But our “outside-in” approach didn’t stop there. It takes one particular skill set to listen to your customers’ business problems and develop technologies to solve those problems, but it’s completely another skill set to have the forethought, flexibility, and ability to “tune-in” to your market  in order to solve future problems with that same technology. That happened while working with a campus-style community where we were able to evolve the “Staff Rounds Check” feature and place special check-in stations strategically around the community, in order for the roaming security officers to verify that they were making their appointed rounds. Now, managers could be assured the proper security rounds around the campus were being made and that residents were safe.

As the company product manager, I am the champion of market-driven product design and this “outside-in” thinking. I’ll be blogging on a number of product and market topics, but none are more important to me than the ones illustrating “outside-in” thinking. I’m looking forward to sharing and interacting with our readers on this and many others topics.

About Jason Rogers, Director of Marketing and Product Management
Jason manages Tel-Tron’s innovative product portfolio, go-to-market strategies, and marketing programs. He oversees the design, creation, and improvement of all of Tel-Tron’s products. He also directs the marketing, sales, and development teams with a special focus on delivering an exceptional user experience, continuous innovation, and highly relevant marketing.

One Response to Thinking “Outside-In”: A Market-Driven Approach To Product Development

  1. Pingback: All Senior Living Communities Are The Same! « Tel-Tron Technologies Corporation

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