The Savvy Consortium's

New Product Development & Innovation Engineering Conference XXVIII

Fast & Flexible Performance Excellence

Thursday-Friday April 23-24, 2020

Cleveland, OH

The Savvy Consortium produces its 28th New Product Development and Innovation Engineering Conference for the product development & innovation engineering managers’ community.  This Conference is the knowledge-rich event of 2020. It is all about benchmarking the people, processes, tools and practical methods from the “fuzzy-front end” of innovation to the production and launch of customer-satisfying products.

The Savvy Conference Speakers are New Product Development and Engineering leaders who present their experiences with processes, tools, collaboration methods and operating principles to ‘get the work done’. They demonstrate how they improve their engineers’ talents, prioritize their projects and improve their work flow; at the development team, engineering support and management levels.  They emphasize the flow of innovation and the knowledge work that delivers value to their customers, without delays. 

The Savvy Consortium emphasizes the “strategic good work” of new product development and innovation engineering people: “by our work, we put bread on the table and continually advance science and technology for the betterment of mankind (customers, markets, and technical knowledge workers).”

Hear, see and interact with these product development engineering managers and re-energize your organization to build better work cultures, to adapt useful methods and to collaborate with customers.

Register now for the Savvy Conference.  

Thursday, April 23

Ambiguity in the Innovation Process: Strategies for Selecting Ambiguity Sources
  • Rick Nardo
  • Director, Innovation & Business Development
  • STERIS Corporation   |   Surgical Solutions
We know how to invent and commercialize on a new concept, but don’t really know if the idea hits the mark, what the features should be and if it ultimately will differentiate us in the marketplace. This presentation defines opportunities that exist in the product realization spectrum. It will define ambiguity and ambiguity sources and provide select strategies to manage this throughout the product development process from ideation to commercialization. Rick will include in his keynote address an interactive session on “Framing the Problem”, a critical step in the innovation process.
High Performance VOC Essentials in B2B Product Development Process
  • Margot Beesley
  • B2B Marketing and New Product Development
  • HC Companies

The primary unknown on the fuzzy front end of Product Development is clearly understanding and articulating what customers want: their desired outcomes, the problems they’re trying to solve and the work they’re trying to do. Effective customer interaction to learn their practices and their expectations is critical to a successful project start up and contributes massive value to Learning Cycles throughout the NPD Process. Margot Beesley will detail her experiences and show how to capture that information, how to engage true listening and probing skills, and how to let the customer identify what features/attributes are MOST critical. This knowledge can be used throughout the development process to keep projects on track (preventing scope creep) as well as throughout customer interaction touch points. Margot will engage the audience in an interactive that will improve engineering customer visits, enable highly productive engineering work and focus on value to the customer, in their own words.
User-Interface Design Study: Rapid Prototyping for Rapid Learning Cycles

  • Damon Jurkiewicz, Senior Industrial Designer
  • Dana Debelak, Industrial Designer
  • Nicole Hollopter, Director of Human Factors
  • Steris/US Endoscopy
Steris designs high performance mechanisms for the healthcare/surgical industry. Early adopters of set based design concurrent engineering practices, the Steris design team adapted set based design principles to allow for rapid prototyping in order to employ “fail fast, fail early” thinking as a way to reduce learning cycles. Damon, Dana and Nicole will show their methods and engage participants in a user study, thus modeling their thinking and practices. Their methods for engaging engineers to develop alternative and creative design solutions to customer problems will strike a chord with product engineering managers in a variety of industries who are attempting to pilot the ‘best versions’ of this thinking/practice in their design operations.
Engineers Adapt ‘Work Virtue Based’ Beliefs to Serve Customers
  • Paul LeMay
  • Division Engineering Manager
  • Quick Coupling Division
  • Parker Hannifin Corporation
Parker Quick Coupling Division engineering collaborators designed, developed and produced many new products over the past few years. During that time, Parker engineers and their managers learned ways to improve their work and build integrity in their collaboration with each other and with customers. Paul LeMay presents his experiences and the outcomes of this work culture adapting the work integrity virtues such as ‘trust, courage, and wise thinking’ (wisdom).

Friday, April 24

The Innovation Journey: Evolutionary Trajectory of New Products to Understand Future Needs
  • Sam Landers
  • Senior Fellow R&D (ret.)
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Called by former Goodyear colleague and author Norbert Majerus “a true ‘serial innovator’”, Sam is the “best in the field of innovation…and how to make lean and innovation coexist” (Lean Driven Innovation, 2016, xviii). Sam’s presentation will focus on many years of experience and insight working with design teams and customers to bring new, “best-in-class” products to market with speed and success. Sam’s LEAN journey focuses on value creation and maximizing the flow of real, high potency value as opposed to waste reduction.   Sam’s insights will generate energy, motivate engineers and give you the confidence to adapt new thinking and tools to your people, processes, technologies, and customers.
Design and Operations Improvement Through a Vendor Crisis

  • Rick Bauer
  • Director, Media Qualification
  • Corporate Technology Services
  • Janelle Hampton
  • Engineering Manager
  • Donaldson Company, Inc.

Manufacturing firms depend on their vendors. What happens when a key vendor experiences production problems? The customer, a manufacturing operation, struggles to meet schedules. Such is the experience of Rick Bauer and Janelle Hampton at Donaldson. They describe a major problem: availability of materials from a single source supplier. They collaborated to redesign their processes. They involved their colleagues in multiple functions to successfully solve unknowns, risks and glitches created by the supply loss. Their practical experiences, especially regarding interactions with a variety of people who react and respond differently to crises, is a valuable lesson in the current climate of unforeseen operational disruptions.
Cross-Functional Team Integration: Adopting a Common Language for NPD Process
  • Terry O'Brien
  • Director of New Product Development
  • Bruno, Inc.

According to Ron Mascitelli, “new product development is the most intensely cross-functional and collaborative process in any business” (Mastering Lean Product Development, 2011, X). Culture problems in NPD cross-functional teams are often the result of poor planning, poor processes, poor communication, or all of the above. Recognizing that New Product Development is a “people endeavor”, Terry O’Brien shares Bruno’s training to establish a ‘common language’ amongst the various Knowledge Workers, who each play a role in the NPD process. Terry presents the tools, methods and visuals that Bruno uses to manage the flow of the NPD project in a way that engages the team in critical decision making at each stage in Bruno’s gated process. From Concept to Production: project flow and activities, marketing and engineering requirements, knowledge capture and reuse, and the final task of Lessons Learned all serve to engage the people in the process, rather than the other way around.
Refining a Strategy and Development Plan for New Technology Acquisition

  • Jude Currier
  • Business and Market Strategist
  • Boston Scientific, former

Jude Currier developed new tech acquisition plans for Boston Scientific for nearly 20 years and will share his process for preparing to deploy the new technology. Jude’s process puts structure around collecting and analyzing data to understand customer needs, current product lines that address the need, current modalities, “voice of” the stakeholders, as well as understanding future opportunities. He will outline his business outcomes approach, technology landscape assessment tool, stakeholder segmentation and mapping tool, as well as other critical steps in the process to allow for successful technology integration and deployment.


Design engineering managers, department heads, chief engineers, functional department engineers, product engineers/marketers, directors of product engineering, change management pilot leaders, product test engineering managers, process improvement managers, product engineering development team members and leaders, and all who are responsible for improving product innovation, product development and process improvement in their product engineering operations. The conference is not open to academics, consultants, authors or gurus.

Over 1000 people have participated in Savvy conferences and learning events. They are design engineers, systems engineers, technical and scientific people; product development teams leaders, knowledge specialists, engineering departments heads, engineering support group leaders, continuous improvement managers, process excellence managers, talent build managers, knowledge system managers, and others whose mission is people development, process improvement and productivity increase.

Partial List of Firms attending Savvy Sponsored Product Development Events:

Toro, Eaton, Timken, Dana, Sauder, Medtronic, McDonalds, General Mills, TSI, Goodyear, Cooper, Amano Pioneer, Diebold, John Deere, Pella, Genie, Pella, Schram, Cabot, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, Nexen, Masonite, Steris/US Endoscopy, Inovonics, UTAS Aerospace, Wil-burt, Cabot Electronics, Cooper, CNH, GE Medical, Crown, Keithley, Knowles, Parker, Actuant, Deluxe, Tennant, Henny Penny, 3M, Shram, Diamond, Emerson, Terex, Ditch Witch, Waterous, HGST, RT technologies, Altec, Toyota, Saris, Andersen, Wet Design, Sub Zero, Harley Davidson, Autobag, CA Companies, Beckman Coulter, Donaldson, Seagate and participants from many other manufacturers that are implementing continuous improvement in their product design engineering organizations.

SAVE THE DATE: April 23-24, 2020

Savvy Conference XXVIII
Host: Steris/US Endoscopy, Cleveland, OH

Plan for you / your colleagues to participate Savvy Conference XXVIII.