Dan Silver is the VP of Product Development at New Pig. His role includes handling all matters related to product. This includes developing all the new products that the company releases, and managing the existing portfolio of products. New Pig is the premier source for workplace safety, specializing in spill control with products including absorbent socks, mats, containment pallets and more
Four questions with Dan Silver:
How does your team generate new ideas?
We used to have static platforms; we are an environmental company, and we create products that are specific to leaks, etc. So for example if a car company has leaks and overspray, our products basically soak up or contain those liquid problems. We define our work as "dirty wet jobs." We want to make sure workers are safe and that these harmful liquids are being contained properly. We have a bunch of talented people here working on several projects. We created something called 'flow to work,' so instead of having the containment group, the merchandising group, etc. all working together, we separated them out and now have a pool of people in the product and marketing areas who scan the world looking for interesting opportunities. We value our employee's ability and wanting to learn. If we have someone who can learn quickly and come up with ideas in a variety of areas, that is key. We are working with different things and experimenting: not just internally with our innovations team, but also with our customers, understanding compensating behavior, customer feedback, etc.
How do you identify trends? What resources does your team use to spot trends and consumer insights?
Looking to our customer's sales are key -- why did they buy it, growth trends, first time buyers, repeat buyers, etc. We also look for patterns, macro trends, purchase history, seasonal growths -- and this is all for the purpose of looking at a number of different areas to explore. By not doing this, you will have a very narrow understanding and insight of your data.
Have you identified any gaps in your innovation process that you're looking to improve on?
I wouldn't say it's a gap, but maybe more of an undeveloped process. One thing is the inventor community; getting a hold of that community to have them lend their intelligence to help us would be ideal. The problem is, it's difficult to find those connections. Trial and error work for us, but we need those backyard inventors and spill cleanup crews that might have a few ideas for us. The problem is getting in contact with them plus the legal hurdles.
Looking to the future, how is New Pig going to be a leader in innovation?
We have relentless execution of follow-up. We're on the phone, we make notes and look through trends. Listening to our customers and watching them and helping them allows us to come up with interesting new ideas. So far the well hasn't run dry and it has been working for us. That's how we've become leaders. The other place is in our brand. Our brand is uncompromising; a money-back guarantee -- we replace and refund any product anytime. We have brand leadership and intimate dialogue with our customers which keeps us on top.