Background

Anest Iwata-Medea Inc (DBA as Iwata-Medea) was incorporated in the state of Oregon in the mid-1970s as the exclusive distributor for Iwata airbrushes and spray guns imported from Japan. The Iwata airbrushes have enjoyed a reputation for being among the finest brushes in the world. Many well-known artists, automobile detailers, and Hollywood special effects professionals use and endorse Iwata Medea products. In addition to airbrushes, air compressors and various other accessories, stencil templates, instruction books and videos, and cutting mats are offered in their line of products. The company also mixes its own custom paints to provide the end user with everything that is needed for an airbrush. Iwata recently became the global distributor for Iwata airbrushes and accessories, and currently employs 20 people at its Portland location.

$200,000
New Sales
$75,000
Investments in Plant, Training, Methods and Equipment

The Situation

Iwata worked with OMEP previously to improve batch time and create a more efficient layout. However, with new efficiency systems in place, Iwata realized that although they relied heavily on bringing new products to market, they lacked a system to select the best ideas from the various concepts, and then manage new product through the development process.

The Solution

OMEP formed a team within Iwata that was tasked with developing a product development management system. OMEP helped the team to define a sequence of action steps, outlined decision making and refined roles and responsibilities required for new product launches.

The Results

This exercise resulted in a complete management system for new product introduction and prototyping. Once that system was in place, OMEP worked with Iwata to create a system that determined which projects to take to market based on detailed analysis and roll-up of data.

With the help of OMEP and our New Product Launch (NPL) Management System, we have improved our accuracy throughout the NPL process and become a more cohesive New Product Team.

Laura Glass
Sales and Marketing

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