Project Description

Client:   Qwizdom
Location: Puyallup, WA
Industry: Educational Electronics

During the initial phases of the relationship, E-BI’s differentiator to Qwizdom was price. However, over time E-BI displayed competence across a broad range of services and began expanding its role by working with QRS Products’s design engineering team, streamlining procurement.

The Challenges

Qwizdom is a market leading provider of Audience Response Systems, sometimes referred to as Electronic Voting Systems or Audience Clickers. Qwizdom is a small company that competes with companies 10 to 20 times its size. As a software and hard-ware development and production company founded in 1984, Qwizdom must maintain its competitive position in an innovative field by careful management of manufacturing costs and supply chain efficiency.

E-BI helps Qwizdom to manufacturer overseas, adopt new tech-nology and reduce productions cost while meeting goals to strengthen quality and provide supply chain management.

Initially we selected E-BI based on price, but over time we have found value in their ability to expand the scope of their involvement to save time and staff resource. They are continuously finding ways to help us be successful. They seek joint success, offering more a partner model than a vendor model. That is a superior value proposition.

Darin Beamish, CEO, Qwizdom
Darin Beamish, CEO, Qwizdom

The Story

Qwizdom provides on-demand, instantaneous response systems that use Radio Frequency technology to poll business or educational audiences during meetings, trainings, or presentations. Qwizdom audience response systems combine both hardware and software components into integrated systems that poll and tabulate results, then produce graphic summaries for immediate projection. Qwizdom’s innovative tools promote interactive learning and heighten the quality of audience engagement.

Qwizdom Audience Response Systems

Early on, Qwizdom established a leading position in the emerging field of Electronic Voting Systems and Audience Clickers using advanced Radio Frequency technology. Qwizdom had been working with a number of contract overseas manufacturers and partners to remain competitive in both price and production throughput. In the early stages, E-Bi was one of many companies Qwizdom had under contract.

In the initial stages of E-BIs service to Qwizdom, E-BI’s differentiator was price. However, over time E-BI displayed competence across a broad range of services and began expanding its role by working with Qwizdom’s design engineering team, streamlining procurement processes, and contributing to strategic, go-to-market planning.

Qwizdom is a small company competing with companies with substantially higher resources and revenues. The company relies on competent outsourced expertise in production and supply chain management so Qwizdom product managers can remain focused on product development, marketing, and sales. Before engaging E-BI, Qwizdom safe-guarded the continuity of production and its ability to increase production as demand required by spreading manufacturing across multiple factories. This system solved one problem but created another: the challenge of managing and monitoring a complex international net-work when the company’s strategic need was to keep its focus on growing and sustaining its position in a niche market.

Increasingly, E-BI established itself as the reliable, trustworthy, and competent resource that Qwizdom needed to manage the behind-the-scenes policies and processes. E-BI provided stability and accountability, as well as the ability to communicate with Qwizdom’s engineers to lower cost and accelerate new product roll outs. Over time, E-BI took on increased involvement in sourcing components and participating in the factory selection process, in addition to handling all aspects of the manufacturing process. “The process seems to move faster with them driving it than it would otherwise,” said CEO, Darin Beamish.

Recently, E-BI began providing industrial and mechanical design modifications for an existing Qwizdom line. E-BI’s contribution and competence in this expanded role prompted Qwizdom to invite E-BI to assist with product management, encompassing industrial design through go-to-market planning, manufacturing, distribution – even including handling the FCC testing. “They are providing a lot more service on this product than they have in the past,” Beamish said, “including market research, which is not a standard part of their service. This means less investment of our own staff time, which lowers overall cost and de-creases time-to-market. We are pleasantly surprised and have asked them to help us investigate new development projects.”

The Benefits

Cost Savings – Qwizdom’s initial attraction to E-BI was based on price and cost considerations, a value and expectation that E-BI has delivered. “As a result of E-BI’s input into our design process, we have been able to put out a new device with improved features at a reduced cost. “We are getting a 5% cost savings and producing a device that has a better feature set. That is a pleasant surprise,” said Darin Beamish, CEO.

Capacity to Take an Expanded Role in Related Requirements – In addition to continuously monitoring E-BI’s performance based on price, Qwizdom now takes an expanded view of E-BI’s contribution. “They have managed the timeline well, despite introduction of unexpected elements, such as additional design complexities and revisions in the production process,” Beamish continued, “demonstrating their overall ability to flex and expand to our requirements.” Mr. Beamish added that E-BI has helped ensure reliable product delivery, managing the pull in and push out of delivery schedules , all of which affect cash flow. With the core requirements in control, Qwizdom’s confidence has prompted them to begin involving E-BI in evaluation and expansion of new products and new markets.

Promotes Strategic Focus – Like all small companies competing in a rapidly growing market, Qwizdom management needs to remain strategically focused, which requires allocating its re-sources to where there will be most business benefit. Delegating the operational “pieces and parts” to companies with demonstrated ability to achieve high efficiency enables Qwizdom to focus on product innovations, quality, price, and market timing. “I think it’s a very compelling way to manufacture products,” Mr. Beamish concluded. “If you have companies like E-BI who is responsive and responsible, you are definitely money ahead.”