QR codes bring new life to the packaging at CRC – tnhxz @qrcodepress


Via qrcodepress.com

The manufacturer of the products has announced that its labels will now be smartphone friendly.

CRC Brakleen manufacturer,CRC Industries, has announced that it has launched a whole new look for the packaging of its DIY penetrants and lubricants which includes QR codes to allow smartphone users to gain more information about the products.

The new packaging has already been added to the products, which are now on the shelves and bays in repair shops.

The marketing manager for the company, Dori Ahart, explained the strategy for changing the product packaging and adding QR codes by saying that “The new look is more retail-friendly, yet still easily recognizable as CRC, a brand that professionals have trusted for more than half a century.” Ahart went on to say that the new product labeling provides a prominent display of the item while highlighting its primary features.

It was pointed out that the QR codes will be important for helping customers access additional information.

Ful article here 🙂

In 2013, check out these fast-growing industries | forbes.com


 

Mary Ellen BieryMary Ellen Biery, Contributor

Looking to start fresh in 2013 through a new career, new business relationships or a new company? Sageworks, a financial information company, conducted a financial statement analysis of privately held companies to identify the fastest growing industries of the last 12 months. These are industries that have seen dramatically higher growth than the average 9 percent sales growth all private companies generated, according to current data by Sageworks.

Financial statement analysis of industries with top sales growth

With manufacturing having played a pivotal role in the economic recovery, it’s no surprise that several manufacturing industries are among the strongest growing over the last 12 months, based on current estimates.

Machinery equipment wholesalers (NAICS 4238), machine shops (NAICS 3327), architectural and structural metals manufacturing (NAICS 3323) and industrial machinery manufacturing (NAICS 3332) are among the top 10 fastest growers.

Heavy Machinery

Heavy Machinery (Photo credit: Tim Patterson)

“It’s possible that those are tied together as businesses have started to use some of their cash to invest in needed equipment and upgrades,” said Sageworks analyst Brad Schaefer. “All of those took really big hits in 2009 because companies weren’t investing in a lot of equipment.”

Other industries showing up in the top 10 fastest-growing industries over the last 12 months are related to petroleum and other forms of energy. Schaefer noted that the oil boom in the Northwest Plains, increased shallow water drilling in the Gulf ofMexico and other operations are providing new opportunities for companies to expand their drilling operations. Leer más “In 2013, check out these fast-growing industries | forbes.com”

Best Way to Introduce Yourself | inc.com


If so, your introduction is all about you, not your audience.
Instead:


See less as more.

Brief introductions are always best. Provide the bare minimum the other person needs to know, not in an attempt to maintain distance, but because during a conversation more about you can be revealed in a natural, unforced, and therefore much more memorable way.

Stay in context…    Leer más “Best Way to Introduce Yourself | inc.com”

Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers


1stwebdesigner - Web Design Blog

Designers love analog tools. No wonder. These tools lets us physically interact with interfaces and speed up the design process, like paper prototyping. What takes hours in the digital world can be sketched out in a matter of minutes.

That’s why analog methods of prototyping are especially valuable right at the beginning of projects – when speed matters the most. Working with paper, or perhaps a whiteboard, can accelerate the speed of our learning loops. Sketch, feedback, sketch, feedback, sketch feedback – you can go through dozens of iterations in one day and you’ll set solid foundations for the rest of the work. Consider it kind of premium insurance. Getting rough feedback quickly can save you a lot of work.

No wonder, according to research by Todd Zaki Warfel, paper prototyping is still the most commonly used prototyping method! Yes, while we tend to disagree if we should code prototypes or just use prototyping software, the use of analogue tools in our design process is unquestionable! Honestly, I don’t know any designer who is not going through early stage paper prototyping sessions.

Of course in paper prototyping we pay the price of low-fidelity and while it might not be a problem for your team to discuss lo-fi deliverables, in my experience, it’s always a problem for stakeholders. To avoid misunderstandings and accusations that you’re playing with paper instead of working, just make paper prototyping an internal method for your team.

Analogue methods are supported by User Experience pioneers such as Bill Buxton, author of Sketching User Experience and Carolyn Snyder author of Paper Prototyping. They highly recommend breaking away from the computer once in a while and collaboratively work on the analog side of the design moon. According to them, paper prototyping:

  • keeps all team members motivated (as they can easily participate in paper prototyping sessions)
  • lets designers iterate quickly and gather feedback very soon in the process
  • gives designers freedom since paper has no boundaries

preview large goodprototypingbook design tools design tips design

And though many believe that the rise of tablets may end paper prototyping in the next couple of years, I’d disagree. The physical nature of paper prototyping, its speed and straight forward form (understandable by anyone), makes it unbeatable by any digital gadget. Tablet devices are just another medium of digital prototyping (perhaps better than computer, who knows…) than replacement of analog methods.

In recent years we can observe attempts to optimize paper prototyping by the creation of dedicated tools. I tried most of them and I’m addicted to some (UXPin, UI Stencils). They hugely improved my workflow. Dedicated paper prototyping tools gave me speed that exceeds everything that I tried before. I feel more professional with a well crafted notepad in hand than a crumpled piece of paper with messy sketches on it. This confidence helps me discuss my analog work both with teammates and stakeholders. Most of the tools that I present below have been around for couple of years and I guess they’re doing great.

My fingers are crossed for these brave entrepreneurs.

Have fun!

Note: At the end of article I listed some of my favourite printable templates – they are ready to use and FREE!

UXPin – Paper prototyping notepads



Popular paper prototyping notepads with an original idea. User Interface elements are printed on separate sticky notes, which let you quickly create prototypes and iterate by re-sticking parts of the interface. Additionally, notepads are equipped with a sketchbook (with printed browser/iPhone), project kick-off and personas forms, as well as diagramming, gridded, paper. Hard-covered, well-designed and beautifully crafted books are $29.99 with free DHL delivery to USA, Canada and EU, if you buy any 3 of them. Since people from Google, IBM, Microsoft use them – UXPin notepads has sort of become an industry classic.

Finished prototypes can be auto-converted into digital, HTML, wireframes by UXPin App and this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in the User Experience Design field.

Phone Doo – Magnetic boards  Leer más “Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers”

Gorgeous Packaging Designs and Concepts

By Callum Chapman

Packaging design is all around us. On a day-to-day basis we probably see hundreds of different packaging designs, a high percentage of them being food or drink products; especially when making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walking through the grocery store we’ll see thousands of different packaging designs, some good, some bad and some just generally average. If you want your product to stand out from the norm, you need to create something special.

This post features a handful of beautiful packaging designs, from music EP’s to snack food products and alcohol bottles to disposable “take out” coffee cups. Let us know what your favorites are, and why!


By Callum Chapman Packaging design is all around us. On a day-to-day basis we probably see hundreds of different packaging designs, a high percentage of them being food or drink products; especially when making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walking through the grocery store we’ll see thousands of different packaging designs, some good, some bad and some just generally average. If you want your product to stand out from the norm, you need to create something special.

This post features a handful of beautiful packaging designs, from music EP’s to snack food products and alcohol bottles to disposable “take out” coffee cups. Let us know what your favorites are, and why!

Brittany Bosco – Spectrum EP

This EP album is truly fantastic, combining several packaging options into one to produce an interesting design that is not only great to look at, but also gives a great opening experience.

Keen Fruit

Keen Fruit use some gorgeous minimalistic plastic bottles with super sleek typographic labels. The image of the fruit itself is actually printed on the other side of the bottle and therefore causes it to magnify when looking through the liquid at the front of the bottle – an interesting and fun approach. Leer más “Gorgeous Packaging Designs and Concepts”

Ideas and IP are the new product

As my final sally into the intellectual capital topics introduced by Mary Adams in her book Intangible Capital I wanted to respond to one other question that Mary posed. She asked – what’s the relationship between innovation and intangible capital. My answer to that is to paraphrase Keynes by saying we’re all innovators in the long run.

In today’s economy every business is an idea business. Think about it carefully. Is there a business you can think of that isn’t constantly trying to improve its operations, cut costs, increase market share? From the most automated manufacturer to the firms that make a living spitting out ideas for other firms, every firm is in the idea business. It’s simply a matter of how the ideas are used. In many firms that would scoff at the concept that they are idea businesses, the focus of idea generation is on improving productivity and efficiency.


As my final sally into the intellectual capital topics introduced by Mary Adams in her book Intangible Capital I wanted to respond to one other question that Mary posed.  She asked – what’s the relationship between innovation and intangible capital.  My answer to that is to paraphrase Keynes by saying we’re all innovators in the long run.

In today’s economy every business is an idea business.  Think about it carefully.  Is there a business you can think of that isn’t constantly trying to improve its operations, cut costs, increase market share?  From the most automated manufacturer to the firms that make a living spitting out ideas for other firms, every firm is in the idea business.  It’s simply a matter of how the ideas are used.  In many firms that would scoff at the concept that they are idea businesses, the focus of idea generation is on improving productivity and efficiency.  Leer más “Ideas and IP are the new product”

5-step Process for Business Transformation and Organizational Stability

During the past few weeks, I’ve spoken with many business leaders in the GCC. The topic on every one’s mind is, of course, the economy and how their business can weather the storm. Many of these executives had read my previous posts on restoring an organizational immune system, and on reducing complexity in key areas to increase business stability. Most of them had the same question: where do we start?

The answer is to start at the top – with those in charge of leading the business. The 5-step process below begins there and provides a roadmap for mobilizing the entire organization in support of transformation. It’s important to realize that business transformation isn’t a miracle cure for all business problems. It’s an ongoing journey and a continuous process. There’s no one end point, but every step you take will be a lifesaver for your company. Here’s how you can make sure you’re moving in the right direction, let’s see…


Blogging Innovation
by Kamal Hassan

5-Step Process for Business Transformation and Organizational StabilityDuring the past few weeks, I’ve spoken with many business leaders in the GCC. The topic on every one’s mind is, of course, the economy and how their business can weather the storm. Many of these executives had read my previous posts on restoring an organizational immune system, and on reducing complexity in key areas to increase business stability. Most of them had the same question: where do we start?

The answer is to start at the top – with those in charge of leading the business. The 5-step process below begins there and provides a roadmap for mobilizing the entire organization in support of transformation. It’s important to realize that business transformation isn’t a miracle cure for all business problems. It’s an ongoing journey and a continuous process. There’s no one end point, but every step you take will be a lifesaver for your company. Here’s how you can make sure you’re moving in the right direction, let’s see… Leer más “5-step Process for Business Transformation and Organizational Stability”

35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs

By: Ari Suardiyanti

Whenever we’re going to buy a product, especially the new ones we will inevitably pay more attention to the packaging of the product itself. Product packaging has tremendous power to grab our interest. It combines art and technology for protecting products for distribution, storage, until finally reaching the end user.

35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs

Over the years, graphic designers and product designers have been creatively inventing new forms of packaging to maximize the function of a product packaging. For the past decade, hundreds of award winning packaging designs have been showcased and displayed in public. New products are invented every single day, and it demands more creativity in developing a unique product packaging design that will have


Whenever we’re going to buy a product, especially the new ones we will inevitably pay more attention to the packaging of the product itself. Product packaging has tremendous power to grab our interest. It combines art and technology for protecting products for distribution, storage, until finally reaching the end user.

35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs

Over the years, graphic designers and product designers have been creatively inventing new forms of packaging to maximize the function of a product packaging. For the past decade, hundreds of award winning packaging designs have been showcased and displayed in public. New products are invented every single day, and it demands more creativity in developing a unique product packaging design that will have Leer más “35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs”

5 Futuristic Metals That Are More Metal Than Apple’s Fancy Metal

BY Ariel Schwartz

Apple grabbed the exclusive rights this week for amorphous, non-crystalline metal alloys owned by Liquidmetal Technologies as part of what is presumably a plan to make even stronger, lighter electronic devices. The alloys are impressive–harder than titanium or aluminum alloys, scratch and corrosion-resistant, and ultra-light, according to AppleInsider. But Apple hardly owns the futuristic metal market. Below, some of our favorite innovative metal objects and alloys.

Inflatable metal chair, anyone? Designed by architect Oskar Zieta and materials scientist Philipp Dohmen, the chair is built with thin sheet metal that has been inflated with tubes releasing high-pressure air. The pair have also built an inflatable metal stool. Zieta and Dohmen are also working on large-scale installations.


BY Ariel Schwartz

Apple grabbed the exclusive rights this week for amorphous, non-crystalline metal alloys owned by Liquidmetal Technologies as part of what is presumably a plan to make even stronger, lighter electronic devices. The alloys are impressive–harder than titanium or aluminum alloys, scratch and corrosion-resistant, and ultra-light, according to AppleInsider. But Apple hardly owns the futuristic metal market. Below, some of our favorite innovative metal objects and alloys.

Inflatable metal chair, anyone? Designed by architect Oskar Zieta and materials scientist Philipp Dohmen, the chair is built with thin sheet metal that has been inflated with tubes releasing high-pressure air. The pair have also built an inflatable metal stool. Zieta and Dohmen are also working on large-scale installations.

Leer más “5 Futuristic Metals That Are More Metal Than Apple’s Fancy Metal”

Design Thinking – Tools to talk with business

Think design and Tools

The world is turbulent and things seem unexpected. Hence we feel the need to sit around a campfire conceptual and exchange stories. This ancient technology of storytelling reappears again to help solve problems.

Tim Brown says that the two main tools of design thinking are the prototypes (which produce ideas fast enough to fail and learn) and storytelling (things to be deployed with the sale of compelling narratives).


Think design and Tools

The world is turbulent and things seem unexpected. Hence we feel the need to sit around a campfire conceptual and exchange stories. This ancient technology of storytelling reappears again to help solve problems.

Tim Brown says that the two main tools of design thinking are the prototypes (which produce ideas fast enough to fail and learn) and storytelling (things to be deployed with the sale of compelling narratives).

When we talk about prototyping we must think that it requires a change of mind because it makes you wonder:

Leer más “Design Thinking – Tools to talk with business”

Should the Era of Six Sigma End?


by Dr. Mike Shipulski

Should the Era of Six Sigma End?Five percent here, three percent there. I’m tired as hell of continuous improvement. Sure there’s a place for it, but it shouldn’t be the only type of work we do. But, unfortunately, that’s just what’s happened in manufacturing. To secure the balance sheet, the pendulum swung too far toward continuous improvement. Just look at what we’re writing about – the next low cost country, shorter lead times, how to be profitable where there’s no profit to be had. Those topics scream continuous improvement – take nickels and dimes out of processes to increase profits. But there’s a dark side to all this focus on continuous improvement. It has created a big problem: it has come at the expense of discontinuous improvement. Leer más “Should the Era of Six Sigma End?”

The Reason Behind the Success of Reverse Innovation

The road to reverse innovation

In his article What is Reverse Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan outlines the following historical phases:

1. Globalization: companies designing and manufacturing in developed markets products that are “de-featured” for export to emerging markets that can’t afford the fully featured original product.
2. Glocalization: companies still de-featuring products from developed markets but now localizing production in emerging markets to take advantage of lower labor costs.
3. Local innovation: companies now designing in emerging markets products that are directly suited to the local needs. (Manufacturing continues to take place locally for costs reasons.)
4. Reverse innovation: companies designing and manufacturing in emerging markets for local use AND export to the developed markets (with or without some level of scaling-up).


by Yann Cramer

The Rise of SimplicityThanks to a number of spectacular successes obtained by blue-chip companies in recent years, Reverse Innovation is becoming a popular trend. Examples include GE’s portable ultra-sound equipment designed in China and sold worldwide, LG’s low cost air conditioner designed in India and sold worldwide, Renault’s Logan low-cost model designed for Eastern European markets and now selling on Western Europe, etc.

In an enlightening article, Vijay Govindarajan outlines a historical perspective from globalisation to reverse innovation, and highlights the key driver behind this evolution: the revenue gap between developed and emerging markets. But there are other drivers that may be less visible but no less powerful.

The road to reverse innovation

In his article What is Reverse Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan outlines the following historical phases:

  1. Globalization: companies designing and manufacturing in developed markets products that are “de-featured” for export to emerging markets that can’t afford the fully featured original product.
  2. Glocalization: companies still de-featuring products from developed markets but now localizing production in emerging markets to take advantage of lower labor costs.
  3. Local innovation: companies now designing in emerging markets products that are directly suited to the local needs. (Manufacturing continues to take place locally for costs reasons.)
  4. Reverse innovation: companies designing and manufacturing in emerging markets for local use AND export to the developed markets (with or without some level of scaling-up). Leer más “The Reason Behind the Success of Reverse Innovation”

Innovation Through Prototyping and Experiments

You can prototype with anything. You want to get an answer to your big question using the bare minimum of energy and expense possibly, but not at the expense of the fidelity of the results. It’s not only about aluminum, foamcore, glue, and plywood. A video of the human experience of your proposed design is a prototype. Used correctly, an Excel spreadsheet is a wonderful prototyping tool. GMail started out as an in-market prototype. A temporary pop-up shop is a prototype. Believing that you can prototype with anything is a critical constraint in the design process, because it enables wise action, as opposed to the shots in the dark that arise from skipping to the end solution because zero imagination was applied to figuring out how to run a create a prototype to generate feedback from the world.


Microsoft Office Excel Icon
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve talked before about the importance of experiments in the innovation process. Experiments are essential for two reasons. First, they allow us to be more confident that our ideas will work. If we run a successful small experiment, that gives us some idea of how the innovation might work as we try to scale it up. Second, they allow us to sort our ideas more effectively. If we can devise a quick and dirty way to test out an idea, it will help us figure out which ones won’t work.

This seems fairly straightforward for testing product ideas, or really anything that is based on physical existence. But how can we experiment with intangible things, like services, or business models?

Diego Rodriguez provides some ideas in a great post that is part of his Innovation Principles series – Anything can by prototyped. You can prototype with anything:

You can prototype with anything. You want to get an answer to your big question using the bare minimum of energy and expense possibly, but not at the expense of the fidelity of the results. It’s not only about aluminum, foamcore, glue, and plywood. A video of the human experience of your proposed design is a prototype. Used correctly, an Excel spreadsheet is a wonderful prototyping tool. GMail started out as an in-market prototype. A temporary pop-up shop is a prototype. Believing that you can prototype with anything is a critical constraint in the design process, because it enables wise action, as opposed to the shots in the dark that arise from skipping to the end solution because zero imagination was applied to figuring out how to run a create a prototype to generate feedback from the world. Leer más “Innovation Through Prototyping and Experiments”

50 Beautiful and Effective Package Designs


When choosing one product over another, the design of the packaging probably influences your decision far more than you realize.

Effective packaging design breaks away from the standard rules and conventions that we are accustomed to, giving the product a unique edge to stand out from the rest.

The packaging should appeal to your target market. It’s also vital to ensure that you’re conveying the necessary information about the contents and quality of the product, while triggering the desired emotion in your customer.

Here are 50 beautifully designed packages that you can draw inspiration from.

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Leer más “50 Beautiful and Effective Package Designs”

Algunas pautas para hacer negocios en segmentos de bajos ingresos

“Consumidores de la base de la pirámide” es la elegante expresión que encontró el management para referirse a los pobres. Existen enormes oportunidades de negocios en este segmento que muchos ejecutivos desestiman cuando dicen: “Allí no hay mercado”

Actualmente, unas cuatro mil millones de personas viven con menos de dos dólares por día. Y cuando la mayoría de los ejecutivos piensan en ellas desde lo alto de sus rascacielos vidriados suelen decir: “¿Menos de dos dólares por día? Allí no hay mercado”.


“Consumidores de la base de la pirámide” es la elegante expresión que encontró el management para referirse a los pobres. Existen enormes oportunidades de negocios en este segmento que muchos ejecutivos desestiman cuando dicen: “Allí no hay mercado”
Actualmente, unas cuatro mil millones de personas viven con menos de dos dólares por día. Y cuando la mayoría de los ejecutivos piensan en ellas desde lo alto de sus rascacielos vidriados suelen decir: “¿Menos de dos dólares por día? Allí no hay mercado”. Leer más “Algunas pautas para hacer negocios en segmentos de bajos ingresos”