Hardware Product Development and Digital Manufacturing in Nigeria - The Business Perspective.

Hardware Product Development and Digital Manufacturing in Nigeria - The Business Perspective.

Show Video

uh may the ought to be in your favor all right so to take us further ladies and gentlemen i'd like to call on a gentleman who will be talking about the business perspective to hardware production development and digital manufacturing in nigeria please join me make welcome mr chibukim felix and me fully as he introduced the panelists and also moderate the panel session as well good afternoon everyone so first i want to start by welcoming my colleagues my colleagues uh hugo cafo please and julian barkley thank you i'll be quite a little bit snappy to make sure that we have our discussion right at the same time have great move to the next thing we have first um i think the previous sections have done so much work and made our work quite very easy from the supply chain to the human resource and to the data protection we have and all that because all these communicate to product development because you can't talk about product development without talking about ibs speech data protection comes in you can talk about product development to commercialization without talking our supply chain which uh we had a previous and then the human resources talents which is at the heart of because product development involves knowledge and the knowledge is being embedded in people and not in the process so to see some points so it's people that has this knowledge even though it can be transferred through a process so and just to start the discussion right away i really want to have to kind of share your experience as to product development journey in nigeria from the from the point of developing products to the point of commercialization let me start with you okay um my name is hugo carfo [Music] i'm a consultant for nigerian foundries on the digital fabrication department prior to then i was with the ge garage now um what i like to say about product development in nigeria is that the a lot of challenges we currently face the [Music] a lot of people have um interesting ideas that they want to develop but some of the challenges we face is supply chain sourcing sourcing components to build their products other [Music] when people come with their product no they're not able to really validate it in the market in terms of okay i have a fantastic product i made a prototype i want to make 20 prototypes and send it out to people to evaluate it so those have been kind of like um where a lot of um innovators have problems but generally if you're working on like products that have i'm not very sophisticated let's say you you picked like a farming a um this guy that built a device that um helps farmers plant maize quickly in the farms so in his own case he was able to come to our facility when i was in j garage we could we 3d printed prototypes they could take it back they could run it in the farm and get feedback immediately a lot of people don't have those kind of um some people that are what i'm trying to say is that if it's a simple product it's easy to um come up with a solution test it and get an immediate feedback obviously if it's a more difficult pro um device you probably spend so much time trying to build it and you have to spend so much of your resources and time and by time you come back to it you could end up frustrated but generally um what i would say is that um if you're working on a particular product [Music] can you hear me okay so let me help here um my name is julian i'm backward i am the business development manager at autodex managing manufacturing business for nigeria and ghana and before then i was the engineering and manufacturing lead with tranos so one alongside what ugo has mentioned the issue with supply chain the issue with process one of the biggest issue bringing in hardware digital manufacturing and business is number one the competencies of developing products is always neglected by you know people in this geography you know assuming that i if if i have an idea of the problem i want to solve there is no magical one that i can just swing and you know override the process of developing a product so when we talk about hardware we're talking about ideation we're talking about conceptualization we're talking about design engineering prototyping like he was saying so that is something we've totally neglected and it's always very difficult when you are going for digital manufacturing and you do not consider what happens before then the second thing i want to mention is you know ignoring the idea that the industry has moved from mass production and is moving towards what is synapse mass customization now what i'm trying to say is this you know we all know that the dynamics of customer taste is too aggressive these days people just want something different you could be you could be making this share and somebody walks into your factory today and tell you oh i love this next tomorrow somebody walks in here and say oh i love this but can you give me with a different kind of leg a different kind of leather do you understand and they keep coming back so this is um something we are seeing the you know the global communities solve easily of course with adoption of technologies but looking at nigeria and hardware manufacturing is also a big problem um now i want to portray something about supply chain a little bit it's so complicated that you know like the speakers i can remember their names there was harrison and some guy uh some people who spoke about supply chain you know isolating the key components of a of a value chain if you're producing something you realize that the solution all right you find out that the solution you have for a supply chain problem might be solved by an engineer you know why do i have to continuously go to china why do i have i'm not saying china doesn't provide a solution but if you have a problem with the timeline all right can we backward integrate uh even if we're not backward integrating is there a way we can make our way with this so there are a couple of issues um the the rest count from government policies the volatility of our money market and so many factors that are really killing great products all right you know they're actually great products but they are really facing a whole a lot of short time but i i think a couple of other questions might buttress on um some of these things yeah so thank you adam i think i wanted to go through these points of perspective of uh probably the key highlights being mentioned here i think the one on the part is research and development yes uh which is one thing that a lot of uh startups a lot of companies don't really actually pay attention to and if you check the companies that actually move like the movers and out there in the in whether you look at apple or samsung and you check your budget every year and see how much it goes even hawaii how much goes into randy every year you understand what product development causing here in nigeria we have the mindset of publication cut and joined and sent to market and it is something that we have disconnected to getting the product that can be multiplied and can be scalable because at the end of the day you are building a fabricating product you are now also looking at availability of the raw material yeah whether you because it's available today you think it's something that you sell to more you wake up and the materials are not available because they don't even have an insight of what goes in into bringing that material at all to i think from what you're saying is adoption of technology a lot of people have quite you know skeptical adopted technology that would take their business from zero to one and also talent because that's so much of talent leaving this country and even the ones we have are not from what school is coming out with it's a whole whole bargain the whole different conversation i wanted to go so these are i think from what you say these are the three major things i think i pointed i i picked from the major issues around product development one arrow and dm funding second is the supply chain and you know understanding that and then the third is the talent because in as much as possible that i pointed out earlier that's what we want to create systems but it's how smart in like eyepiece like rnds i normally use this example for toyota so you got toyota highlander in siena uh the avalon or his same engine indian block why because it takes so much about a year to 18 months to actually develop a new engine so i'm not talking about the avalon the different series all the same series all different cities of avalon all different series of highlander and that of um what's it called as a half cnn all use the same engine but is it easy to just get designed the car body send it out because at the heart of rnd before you design an engine it takes a team of probably 30 to 50 of its 18 months to get something out and that's so expensive you're not paying these people a thousand dollars a month some have been paid 200 300 a year and it's so massive to not have a team of that so but this is something we're not thinking in-house about in nigeria and i think this also will have to drive the conversation we can have going forward as to some other things so i wanted to just point out one key thing goes to you jillian in uh as to building products of how how to work with raw materials and in your time at trainers you have how to lead and create new products from different plastics metals and all that so what's like the insights you had as to sourcing products like raw material okay so if you're developing a product all right you know we're talking about hardware products so if you're developing a product [Music] saucing is always an issue all right of course i can give tons of lectures about this i'm just thinking of how to break it down but one important thing is the technicalities of sourcing is very important you know the there is what we call co-creation in design thinking all right if you're if you're coming coming up with the products let's say you want to build a smart meter for instance all right from the moment that concept comes into the team and you're trying to come up with you know when we talk about design some people think it's always about you know the technicalities the conversations are part of design the the the idea is the mapping of problems to solutions are part of design so when sourcing it's very important to think about all the factors you know think all about design for manufacturing designed for manufacturing dfm is a concept all right which is basically considering everything from how this product would will be screwed how the customer will use the product it how would it be how would it be assembled together so the the time the moment you start sourcing it already you try as much as possible to work with the engineering team so it's more like my answer to your question you know is just as simple as the possibility of having a co-creation process whereby all through the time you're sourcing you're designing your um what do you which word do we use for this again specifying product whatever it is as simple as both or not glasses fabricated parts if you're getting it from nigerian foundries if you're getting it from wherever you are getting them all right we need to make sure that emits the purpose it mean you need to make sure that it's been engineered to work so it's not really like we want to build something and we know we are buying tons and tons of things all right the supply chain process need to be as patient as possible to make sure that engineering have tested and there are technologies and processes to do this all right if you are going to the local market to buy we already know the deficiencies we have in the local market the technicalities are there do you understand so yes for your product you might be technical but the moment you go down to um arena or a lab market all right communicating what you have is a problem so you need to make provision for you know closing all that so i mean it's a whole new world of engineering you know research and development and supply chain is a whole new world but i mean the solution it works better the moment the process is interwoven so the supply chain is part of development development is part of supply chain that's uh as simple as that add to that um like in nigerian foundries a customer will come and say i need this product and um i want like five pieces of it but sometimes don't really tell us what this product is really going to do so by engaging the customer find out that this is a product that is going to be in a very hard hard-wearing environment so the engineers will have to go back and look at okay we're going to melt metals that are going to give it more durability and as i said by adding more metals to your alloy that's affecting your supply chain i have to know whether okay and am i going to add more manganese to this steel i'm going to add more chromium to the steel and at the same time the engineers that are working on the pattern which now are using digital fabrication techniques like um cnc's to cut out the mold have to be kept in the know about all these things because a small it's a slight design slight feature in your design using the wrong material can produce a very detrimental effect on the product itself so as you said it's all teams working together in the people sourcing the product people in engineering people in quality control or adding to make sure that what you produce is a very good product thank you thank you i think i have another question for you um they're looking at um i personally know you're bad product architect and we have worked with a lot of startups trying to build new products and newbie ideas so um one of the questions i wanted to ask now is what are the pitfalls you think that's you know new products from from startups to corporates what are the pitfalls that they should be aware while developing new products like what are the plans called pitfalls they should be aware of okay um i think the corporate force they should look at is are they designing a product for themselves or a product for public the market for the market sorry you know a lot of people have nice ideas and it looks cool but the market is not really looking for that the market is looking for something that is going to solve a very good problem for them for example um when we're in the garage a guy came up with a device that killed killed mosquitoes so you hang it in your your room and when mosquitoes go in like the electrical thing it will send out an electric um shock that will kill them it was a good product but during the hydration project process we told him that it'd be good to add more features to this product and what the future could be that if it kills the mosquitoes and it counts them at the same time that means that when you come in you hang that product in your room and you come back after 12 hours and you see 500 mosquitoes you know that you have a mosquito problem then before i said that you cannot just end it there maybe it should have a gps module that you can send that data to a a a cloud system so that not only killing the mosquitoes it's counting the info it's creating information and sending to a database so it was through feedback from people that was able to say okay i don't just design something that is in my head or something that does much more things so for one thing i would say most people's most people face is that you don't think holistically about what you're trying to secondly is sustainability this problem i'm trying to do is it's sustainable a lot of people come in and say oh i want to do this thing that um i want to recycle plastics into bricks or into one product i will tell them it's a good idea but is it really sustainable are you are you going to have enough raw materials to really are going to get enough plastic to make this honest into your business it might sound good for a small um area that you're trying to tackle but when you look at it in a bigger scale finally you start facing other problems that might drive up the cost or make the problem you're trying to solve very difficult so those are some of the pitfalls i can advise people that are trying to start new agreement products thank you thank you so much and i think last few last sections mentioned about policies and all that and i know julian you had the opportunity to have worked some regulators like sun and a few projects in different community projects and from your experience what do you think regulators and companies come from a partnership like that kind of partnership instead of the pre-predictable relationship we had at the point that you know the regulators are waiting for the company to start off the first for them to come and give them that stage hammer so how how do you think that can you know so that you can phone so whether you like it or not regulators standard organizations i mean yes i i was privileged to sit at a technical committee at the standard organization of nigeria for making one of the laws for hardware or electronics products but whether you like it or not you see the government the regulators the standard organizations your quality team they are key stakeholders in your design process so the earlier you get them in the process i don't mean getting them to come and sit down in the office and on your house but i mean getting them in any way all right to safer your business is because what what people do um in nigeria whether from developing it here or bringing it in we've seen so many big names i don't want to call any names but we've seen people invest millions of dollars in nigeria and a few months later you hear oh the government of lagos state have announced that you know this susan so and then before you know it thousands of dollars you know go down the grain you can use the bike healing business for an example everything about bike healing business sometimes three years ago it was the ish and then within a few days thousands of dollars went down now what i'm trying to say is this whether it's from the political point of view of the government point of view or the standard point of view you see a co-creation process allows you to have everybody in place if you're building a drone for instance you know you should be able to know every single stakeholders in the process of designing a drone and flying a drone you don't want to finish building a drone with the initial sunk cost of me some million dollars and then you hear that there is a regulation yeah there is a regulation about flying drones in nigeria yes and then you hear that there's a regulation like that and then you you know the business guy the guys with mba have already done some market review oh this is awesome this is a graph of our customer base and then you realize that you don't have a customer base now what i'm trying to say i used couple of examples what i'm trying to say is this there are laws and regulations in hardware industry and electronics they are the likes of isos the iec's the nigerian customized sons all right for the regulatory part there are government agencies regulating some aspect of product if you're in food there is navdark and co if it doesn't have to even be the product itself it could be something that goes into a product you could be building a machine that takes in a full and then you realize that there is a regulation about foil and you need standardization so you know for any business or hardware business for product development and for digital uh manufacturing it's very important and critical that from day one these people are part of the process you know whether you're collecting their data their standard and then secondly and the most important thing we had hr stock you know we had someone who from the hr team who clarified that we need to move away from the traditional way of hiring no when you hire when you're designing or developing a product you know as much as you want to be as cheap as possible be as realistic as possible to employ the competencies that can go outside the box to protect your design felix has mentioned about research and development and hugo has mentioned about a whole lot that goes into you know capturing what the customer requires so yes do not be surprised at the end of the day do not you know have this wonderful idea that you're lost and you never thought about the stakeholders and after investing some good money into it you're realizing that you know there is a risk in it so just get them into the process as early as possible thank you thank you so much i think i while you are speaking i remember the start of a head start had fantastic idea huge products on onboarding staging remember that the most important part of his driver of the business is the data the medical data and there's a law in nigeria against even a doctor issuing that medical doctor to help a patient without the patient even at some point it has to have some level of verification before you can actually issue out and maybe another doctor with the with the signature of the of the patient will have to sign before a fight can be transferred and then this startup have a very amazing idea and once you solve the head problem it can be everywhere and then on getting to the market is that on however yeah right so this these things happen a whole lot like i see it a whole lot where people do these mistakes and it's really up like something for us to start having the the final conversation while we're having the first conversation exactly is it very very important for us to look at the laws look at the key players and all that but i one last question i wanted to ask and i wanted to get that to you our in industry and the community hardware space you are one of the people that oh if i need something around hardware i know like if i get to go call uh uh google and then you definitely get to have do wonders like point out and all that so the question i want to ask in this regard is what's with uh what's your advice as to how startups companies could actually build a striving and a sustainable business uh looking at supply chain like how do they how do you going to build striving and sustainable business sustainability thriving that's how to be innovative having the supply chain and sourcing of this product at the heart of that you know other strategic plan okay that's a tough one because in the manufacturing sector in nigeria a lot of things we uh a lot of companies use to make things here are important so the a lot of challenges we face here that anything you design you find out that locally you're not a lot of your supplies are imported and when most people try to uh source look um indigenous for that thing they come they face problems so one thing i would tell people is that if you are building a product in nigeria rather than using standards that you see in catalogues in america or the uk start with your local manufacturers so if you're building let's say you're building a stabilizer and the framework is um aluminium go down to tau aluminium go down to all the guys that extrude aluminium and oshody all the big companies get their catalogues go to the guys that make sheet metal in nigeria get their technical information you have to go to the guys that make produce paint get all their info on products and specifications and start as much as possible to start using nigerian-made products to make maybe say 50 or 60 of your device in that case you'll not have a lot of problems when uh when you're sourcing these things but a lot of people a lot of times a lot of times this is forced to death years and they'll say yes um he found his product in alabama it's uh it's very good the guy said he has a a good supply okay you buy his entire supply and you make this product and he's the market and people like it and when you go back to him he tell you i'm sorry i don't have it when you look when you go online and look for the supplier they'll tell you that the factory has closed in china or in italy so that puts in a very um difficult situation because you raised the bar so high and now people want the product and then now you're going back to a local supplier start sourcing and by time um series two of your product comes out you will not touch it because you have um support them with the first one so it's quite imperative but it's quite important that um companies starting try as much as possible if they can to use a lot of local content i mean that's one of the things we talk about in nigerian foundries we we try as much as possible to source a lot of things that we use locally when it can work locally that we start to go outside to source so um that's what one of the things i would like to say thank you yeah so thank you so much and i think i wanted to summarize with this uh because i can sit on the mechanization i had this whole hala problem we had a project we needed to deliver by january and by now we're still sourcing now i'm trying to develop because some a first holiday new year holiday in china we stopped lockdown in china products keep coming patches and batches this product comes with they told us it's everything we go there it's just twenty percent another and we keep giving the client expectation and each each time each inspiration keeps pushing every two weeks every two weeks and then we have three months something that's supposed to arrive january so it's really um uh crazy to actually look at what's happening in the ecosystem and i think one key area to just summarize that we have to start looking at is collaboration within the ecosystem because because there is lack of collaboration within the ecosystem a lot of people think that oh i just want to go to china i have a broader diversity but even in that china there's a lot of collaboration that company might receive it and observe a lot of other things and then have a place to assemble and it's done so if we have a lot of collaboration we can actually leverage 50 to 70 percent of local content here oh i have machine shop here i have somebody who is in cnc lesser cutting or have somebody who is in uh this part or this is my call and are able to manage those local content and have the kind of deep collaboration and i think in the next five years we'll probably be having very great products that i can compete with the likes of maybe uh apple and the rest of them because if we have access to technology which is accessible to everybody i think we can also have and we have the talent don't have the talent we wouldn't have been having the exports of talent i think get the process right and have more collaboration i think there's so much we can achieve together so thank you once more and i think thank you and

2022-05-07 10:41

Show Video

Other news