Innovation is probably not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about the screening industry, but we’ve challenged ourselves to look at things differently. This month, we sat down with Liz McDonald, Product Manager at Wholesale Screening Solutions, to hear how she leads our efforts around product innovation and how this benefits our customers.
Q. How do you view your role as product manager for Wholesale Screening Solutions?
A. We look at products not as widgets, but as solution sets. So, I view my role in terms of delivering unique value to our customers and helping them solve their problems in ways that conform to their needs and workflow. We also look to deliver value in a scalable way knowing that our customers rely on us to affordably meet their demand at any level, every time.
Q. How do you evaluate Wholesale Screening Solutions’ opportunities when it comes to product innovation?
A. It’s true that there is no shortage of ideas and avenues we can explore when it comes to product innovation. To prioritize our efforts, we use a proprietary business model canvas for each new product development project, where we look at the value it will deliver to the customer, the problems it will solve, and the needs it will meet. We look at the cost side, the revenue stream, what the market is currently conditioned to pay compared to the incremental value of the solution we’re proposing, and how those compare. Then we look at the resources. For example: Is it something we will build or buy? Do we need a strategic partner? Finally, we look at the distribution channel or how we will deliver the solution to our customers.
Q. Where do new product ideas come from?
A. Sometimes product ideas come from our customers who have intractable problems, and we create solutions to solve them. For example, we recently developed a verification system for a property management company that required a complex maze of verification criteria for a network of thousands of vendors. Other times, we find things internally we can do differently to disrupt the market. FuseOS is an example of this.
Q. What’s next for Wholesale Screening Solutions?
A. This month we’re introducing a new product called i-Fed for federal records research. The solution we’ve come up with here has significant potential to disrupt a marketplace that has become accustomed to a laborious, time-intensive process.
At Wholesale Screening Solutions, we haven’t lost sight of the fact that at the end of the day, our customers need the best product at the best price. That’s why we’re heavily invested in product innovation. Stay tuned for more.