Blog Post 4:
I chose to utilize the resources of the company that I currently work for to complete this exercise. We have an onsite machine shop that contains a CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) machine that I used, with some expert help, to build my prototype. The design I chose to help create is a prototype chassis for an electrical assembly that we are currently working on for one of our customers. I worked closely with one of our mechanical designers to create the 3D model .stp files in Autodesk. He helped me learn the basics of the software, but I will say that I had some support in finalizing everything based on the shear level of effort that the project was going to take. With that said, I did work very closely with the designer to get a better feel for the model development process.
Once the .stp files were completed, I worked with our machine shop operator to learn how to program the CNC machine. The programming itself took about an hour and was relatively straight forward. The CNC software already imports the .stp files, so it really only requires some fine tuning to determine and verify the order of cuts that the CNC will follow. Once that programming effort was completed it was basically as simple as inserting the stock aluminum into the CNC, setting up the initial coordinates, and starting the program. The machining in total took about 2 hours, with human intervention needed only when we had to switch axises on the prototype.
Unfortunately I am not able to provide the raw files, due to the fact that this is a proprietary design.
Below is a sketch of the part:
Blog Post 1:
I chose to take a look at the various business models that my current company, Pole/Zero Corporation, utilizes. During this exercise I found that several of the models discussed are applicable in different ways. Without going into too much detail, I will attempt to describe the models we use, as well as how and/or why we use them in different aspects of the business.
Generally speaking, we follow a "Solutions Provider" model that allows us to work with our customers from initial concept all the way through recurring manufacturing of the end product(s). With that said, the business model that we utilize most to generate new business opportunities is the "Direct Selling" method of delivering products from manufacturer to the end customer. We leverage both internal sales associates and an extensive domestic and international rep network. Additionally, a large portion of our product designs were developed using significant input from our customers so that we could deliver products and/or services that were customized to their specifications. This is done using a combination of the "From Push to Pull" and "Mass Customization" business models. Our goal is to deliver products that meet, and often exceed, our customer's expectations.
Blog Post 5:
While I was not able to directly participate in the IQE event due to a work conflict, I was a part of a team pitch from one of my other classes. At a very high level, my thoughts on the process are generally positive, but I will admit that I do have some doubts as to the effectiveness.
At the start, it was difficult for us as a team to understand how this applies to our business since we are already a functioning organization. With that said though, it ultimately sparked some very good conversation as to what makes us appeal to customers differently than our competition, and how much we could use that appeal as a true differentiator. It also helped us narrow our message and improve our "grab" of the audience because of the strict time constraints.
Along those same lines though, I really felt that the time limits forced us to leave out some things that were, in my opinion, beneficial to the larger message. I can understand the need for the time limits and I'm not suggesting they be modified for the IQE event, but in a real life scenario an extra 20-30 seconds could be the difference if success or failure, not just a few points on the score sheet. As I mentioned previously though, the exercise was very thought provoking and I felt it helped our team as it pertained to the marketing message we are attempting to convey to our customers.
SEO Word: xopcycht
Blog Post 3:
For this assignment, I chose to invest in a company called OLO 3D Inc. On kickstarter.com they are currently funding a product called the OLO; it is the first ever smartphone 3D printer. The funding campaign has already amassed over $2.2 million dollars from over 15,000 backers, far outperforming their original goal of $80,000. The project is set to launch later in 2016, with the first hardware to begin shipping in late Q3 or early Q4.
This was honestly a no-brainer for me to become a part of. I strongly believe that this technology is the future and I felt that being on the ground floor of something like this will keep me informed as the science improves over the next couple years. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I'd like to keep abreast to these type of technological leaps so I can find my niche in the crowded space that is 21st century tech gadgets. Whether this particular project is successful or not, I'm not sure, but myself and 15,000 others sure hope so. It is very tough to be the first to market, buy my hope for OLO would be that they will be wildly successful, and continue to push the envelope on what's possible.
Here is a direct link to the campaign:
Blog Post 2:
How to advertise on Facebook:
Step 1 - You must first create a Facebook account for your business or organization at www.facebook.com/pages/create
- Choose the category in which you would like to be classified
- Next, follow the "Get Started" on-screen instructions
Make sure to complete as much on the detail as possible to ensure that the page will best represent your organization. Photos are also very important; this can often be the first thing that your customers/visitors will see when they visit your page.
Step 2 - After your page has been completed, the next step will be to go into the Facebook Ads Manager section in order to choose the core objective for your advertising campaign.
Step 3 - Once you've selected your main advertising objective(s) you will next need to select your target audience as well your advertising budget.
The customization allows the user to choose their target audience based on a wide variety of factors including location, age, gender, language, etc. as well as very specific interests and/or hobbies.
As part of the budget decisions, the use can select a maximum spending amount either per day or month, as well as a time frame for the ad to start and/or stop. (See Photo 4)
Step 4 - Creating the visual aspects of the ad is the most important part of this process. The ad creator features within Facebook allow you to customized titles/headlines, body text, images, and ad placement. There are some limits on image quantity (five), title length (25 characters) and body length (90 characters).
Step 5 - After you have finished defining the details and specifics of your ad, the last step will be to formally place your order using the button located in the bottom right corner. The ad will go through a review process and you will receive an email from Facebook once the ad had been approved.