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Blog - Author Archives: Brian Terhune
Brian Terhune

Outsourcing product development can make any OEM nervous. All of us with experience in the field have seen first-hand what happens when outsourcing goes wrong—higher costs and time-to-market delays reduce sales volume, lower profitability, and shorten product life cycle. In a perfect world, OEM project managers communicate their general product requirements to the development partner and establish a collaborative relationship with them. Both parties work together to define the exact requirements for the new product, and the development partner demonstrates the capability to execute. But this thirty-thousand-foot view makes outsourcing product development sound easier than it really is. In the real world, projects stall due to a myriad of problems such as: Vague or conflicting product requirements Design solutions that fail to perform as expected Processes that don’t include validation … Read More +

Brian Terhune

While the term M2M (Machine 2 Machine) may be new to some people, it is becoming a larger part of our lives every day. Given that Stilwell Baker receives many inquiries related to electronic product development, it is interesting that M2M is no longer an option; it has morphed into a requirement. Because of this, it’s the perfect time for a three part blog series on the background of M2M evolution, where it exists today, and potentially where it will be in the near term. An early example of M2M communication would be the technology that allows wired systems to communicate with various devices. For example, a SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system that monitors pressure in an industrial facility and alerts a central computer if the pressure is … Read More +

Brian Terhune

While the term M2M may be new to some, the technology has been an integral though obscure factor in industry for decades. Enabled by the development of smart phones, and the component miniaturization and wireless capabilities that made them possible and affordable, M2M technology has rapidly evolved to generate a far reaching electronic product market. M2M is no longer merely an option in product development; it has morphed into a requirement for a significant percentage of the projects Stilwell Baker undertakes. An early example (circa 1960) of M2M communication allowed wired systems to communicate with various devices. For example; a SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system that monitored pressure in industrial facility and alerted a central computer if the pressure was out of limits. With the advent of wireless … Read More +

Brian Terhune

How do you keep a project out of the weeds? Project Management—it’s a part of electronic product development most people would rather not think about, but effective project management can make the difference between a project that goes off the rails and one that smoothly navigates the challenges that come along with innovative design. The key is to practice adaptive project management. Adaptive project management means recognizing issues as they arise, evaluating and communicating how they may affect the success of the project, and implementing changes as necessary.  This dynamic approach to project management ensures that unforeseen challenges don’t endanger the project schedule and that everyone involved—the design team and the customer—is kept informed of changing realities on the ground. Successful Project Management is primarily based on 4 key aspects: … Read More +

Brian Terhune

As some may have heard, I recently joined Stilwell Baker as Operations Director.  Most of us know that when one transitions to a new company, the challenges that await are to some extent…unknown. I usually refer to this time as “drinking from the fire-hose” or “baptism by fire.” The takeaway from my first week focuses on the following:  Customer Satisfaction – Going above and beyond customer requirements. Stilwell Baker believes in making the customer successful, not only from a product standpoint, but from a solution standpoint. Time and time again, they have offered support to help address a system issue that was beyond the scope of their contractual agreement. This is what differentiates vendors from partners. Teamwork – We recently completed a product for a customer and executed what is typically called a “Lessons … Read More +