Adam Hailey - Director, Product Management
Dec 8, 2016, 03:00 AM
Innovation with Customer Input
By Adam Hailey, Director, Product Management, Terex AWP
For 50 years, customers’ needs have driven our company’s product innovations —and that process never ends. It is in every new product that we develop. For example, with the new Genie® Z™-60/37 FE (which stands for fuel-electric, noting that it’s a hybrid machine) articulating boom which we introduced earlier this year, I spent months developing the spec and understanding what the market needed, what our customers needed, what the operators needed, and making sure that we provided the right product for the market, as well as for our customers.
It can be a tricky balance, developing a spec that is both functional and appropriate for what the customer requires. For instance, with the Genie Z-60/37FE unit, there's a pretty small market need for extreme cold performance. Typically, electric machines perform poorly in cold applications. Even though that was a limited market for the machine, we took it into consideration because it really would be able to set us apart. This machine is designed to perform better than the competition in many extreme environments because of the feedback we received.
Also with the Genie Z-60/37FE model, our goal was to engineer it to meet current emissions requirements without sacrificing any of the power, performance or efficiency of the machine — our customers are passionate about the impact they were seeing to their business’ as engine technologies have become more and more complex. We've employed a lot of different technologies that make our machines more efficient and productive on a smaller, simpler engine platform, keeping maintenance costs down while adhering to these emissions requirements.
These features are all great in theory, and it’s another thing to go out and watch it being used. For instance, we were doing a demo on one of the Genie Z-60/37FE units, and after I did my walk around with the customer, explaining all the features of the machine, how it worked, we went to a jobsite and saw how the machine was actually going to be used. We take the feedback from these hands-on, real-world applications and make sure the machines are truly designed to work as we intended.
This is a testament to how we run our product development projects. We work with our customers to make sure we are delivering a successful product, ultimately leading to the success of not just our own business, but our customers’ business too.