4c Design have been adding value to businesses, by helping them grow through innovation since 2002. We have recognised that it is not enough to simply design new products, but to really consider how the business will support these products and thrive as a result.
What makes us unique is our rich background in various industries which allows us to apply ‘lateral thinking’ approach to problems. This can either be in a consultancy role or leading an innovation strategy from within your organisation.
The main beneficiaries of ‘outsourced innovation’ are large companies. They can engage with our design and engineering team and workshop facilities to crack tough problems that either the companies are ‘too close’ to (and need fresh eyes) or simply lack the resource. We call this service ‘Brainfarm’ and an example of this relationship is with Egger.
As a consultancy, we are frequently asked to lead a new product development programme, working up concepts, developing models, creating CAD and ultimately supplying manufacturing data. When a company knows what it wants and more importantly why, then this becomes quite a formulaic process. Both predicable and relatively low risk. An example of this is our work with RFD.
When it comes to converting lab based experiments or solutions to the real world, there’s often a gigantic leap to take. We have a lot of experience helping various organisations and institutions make that leap. Most recently, we’ve been working with Moredun Research Institute and Meat and Livestock Australia on a humane lamb castration and tail docking solution.
One of the key things we do for this group of people is provide them with an ‘investors ready pitch’. This is in its simplest form is a presentation that is highly likely to entice an investor through the visualisation of a technology to illustrate the commercial potential. Once successfully funded, we typically end up taking their products further such as the Freeflow e-bike.
To make ‘outsourced innovation’ work for you, we’ve refined our design process to make it as personal and effective as possible. We all know design is never ‘done’, but good business knows when it has done enough. At 4c we will find the best service to suit you.
It can be hard at times to be disruptive or agile enough to take on new markets or launch new products. In our profession, we have to be both of those things and that’s why we can help with the front end of innovation and not only solve a problem but spot opportunities along the way.
The majority of work done at 4c is design and engineering consultancy. We can help companies work up a solution to problems from creating ideas through to a manufactured outcome. More information on this can be found on both our design and engineering pages.
Brainfarm is a tool that has been developed and refined over the last 10 years. It’s our hands-on approach to exploring a problem with an intense research, brainstorm session and synthesis. There’s usually a focus on a single problem and the outcomes tend to be an exploration into solutions both in sketch and prototype form.
It’s important to know that innovative or design thinking can’t be learned in a day or two. We pride ourselves that we take clients on a journey where they often learn or build their own competences within their own organisation. Essentially designing ourselves out of a job.
We have created a guide, which is based on a great deal of our own experience, helping those who are designing or developing their own products for the first time. This guide covers many of the frequently asked questions and goes some way to demystifying the world of innovation.