Page 5: Providing a rapid paybacK
It is usual for the payback from an investment such as that in corporate design to take a considerable amount of time to materialise. Waterra is a Solihull-based company that manufacturers and distributes environmental monitoring equipment. Its main business is the manufacture and distribution of groundwater monitoring equipment for use around sites that either are known to be contaminated or are regarded as having potential for future contamination eg abandoned coal mines.
Although the company had a specialist sampling pump which it imported, it needed to improve the product’s performance in order to broaden its appeal and lift the company’s image for the European market. The new product had to perform at least as well as the existing model, but it also needed to be light enough for one person to carry and operate as well as meet European CE standards.
Over an 18-month period a design company took the product through a series of stages that culminated in its production. The designers were able to:
- make the product look more attractive
- reduce the engine size and weight
- make it outperform the original model.
The result was that Waterra acquired a product that it manufactured for itself rather than imported and which was so well received by the market that the payback time on the investment was short.