There’s always been pressure on research and development (R&D) to deliver quickly. But in a post-pandemic world, accelerated demand leaves even the most innovative companies scrambling to keep up.
But how do you turn your operation into a flexible, fast-paced producing machine in the middle of one of the most disruptive times in modern history?
We’re glad you asked.
Companies that pivoted quickly during the pandemic were more conducive to short-term survival and long-term resilience and growth. For R&D, that meant embracing remote and finding ways to deliver products to market faster than ever before.
Benefits of Remote R&D
As McKinsey points out, traditional R&D came with its own set of limitations:
“R&D units are still following 20th-century models of organization—models not designed for today’s need for speed and the expanding web of interdependencies among all of the moving parts.”
The world of R&D has been craving a faster, leaner model of organization for a while now. Remote working means no commuting, no work travel, no trade shows, and…guess what? No trips offshore to check on manufacturing. The big benefits of less time spent on travel means projects that are leaner, faster and more productive than the pre-pandemic analog version, all resulting in quicker time to market.
Another significant benefit of remote R&D is cost savings, with funds typically spent on less productive activities within the traditional R&D process now being reinvested into R&D. While some companies chose to stay stagnant, or even retreat during the pandemic, those that invested are coming out on top. In fact, Harvard Business Review’s research shows that companies who invest in downturns versus retreating beat their competitors when things recover.
Remote R&D also allows for the building of a specialist team anywhere in the world. By outsourcing R&D, or supplementing R&D teams with remote talent, you minimize the time it takes to build a team from the ground up. Plus, you have increased access to specialists with extensive backgrounds.
IDEAZ + Remote R&D
At IDEAZ, we’ve been working remotely with clients for over 20 years. Before the pandemic, we worked in a hybrid model of in-person meetings and remote R&D. Post-pandemic, we expanded our remote team and project management with a majority of collaboration communications happening virtually. This approach gives our clients and our team the flexibility to work efficiently and seamlessly, regardless of location or time zones.
See how we helped our client, Foundational Devices, through our remote R&D process.
How Foundation Devices Leveraged Remote R&D
Foundation Devices is a startup focused on creating a safer, more decentralized future through cryptocurrency and other types of digital security, transparency, and ownership.
Foundation Devices aimed to bring a new product to market—a Bitcoin hardware wallet called “Passport” which offered best-in-class security, privacy, and a better user experience.
The pandemic hadn’t dulled the enthusiasm the Foundation team had for bringing their product to market. They radiated optimism and were excited to jump into the project, backed by their knowledgeable team and the support of a large and crypto-savvy online community.
However, while Foundation was ready to hit the start button, they needed funding—and an R&D team to get started.
Partnerships Go Beyond R&D
The IDEAZ team of industrial and graphic designers got right to work with the highest priority task—creating a beautiful investor pitch deck that conveyed the value proposition, differentiation, and quality of Foundation’s Bitcoin wallet. Together, we created a pitch deck that helped Foundation raise the needed capital in order to get the project off the gound.
The team quickly realized working with Foundation at such a high cadence would be a real-time test of their remote R&D teams and project management acumen. The collective team lived across seven locations, five states, and four time zones. But once up and running, they learned to align with one another, and quickly began to see the benefits that remote work was having on productivity.
While there is an undeniable synergy associated with working face-to-face with clients, the remote partnership allowed the entire team to work unhindered by time or distance.
The End Result
The pitch deck was effective in conveying the vision that Foundation saw for their future and they received the funding needed to launch the development efforts. Shortly after securing the angel round, Foundation came back to IDEAZ to define the company brand.
The brand guide created was regularly referenced for all of IDEAZ’ subsequent activities on the project, including industrial design, visual brand language, keypad design/UI, mechanical engineering, electronics layout, and PCB design collaboration, product renderings, and a fully developed, custom, mobile-responsive website built from the ground-up.
With 20+ years in business and a well-tested hybrid model of working, pivoting quickly to fully remote helped IDEAZ deliver outstanding results for Foundation in a very short timeframe.
At IDEAZ, remote R&D has enabled us to deliver faster and even more thoughtfully for our clients. We’re a dedicated team of technical designers and creative engineers blending breadth and depth of knowledge and unbridled creativity. The result? A proven process from ideation to manufacturing to create innovative, highly functional, and impactful products.
GREAT COLLABORATION = GREAT VALUE
We put our collaboration skills to the test by developing a product to predict and help alleviate discomfort for those suffering from hot flashes and other thermal-regulation issues. See how.