THINKING DIFFERENTLY Who would have ever dreamt the vacuum would be so drastically changed in the twentieth century? James Dyson did when he created the award-winning Dual Cyclone™ cleaner in his garden studio and took it to become a “household name.” Here, Jon Walker, Marketing Manager at Yale Door and Window Solutions takes the opportunity to celebrate innovation and take a look at how Yale, as the world’s favourite lock company, continues to develop revolutionary products for the complete supply chain to benefit. To Dyson, it’s all about products being carefully designed to solve a specific problem and if you’re doing that wrong, your product (or idea) may fail. He said himself, “After the idea, there is plenty of time to learn the technology.” Dyson’s approach to engineering innovation is influenced by Thomas Edson, and takes a steady step by step strategy, that starts right at the beginning with the initial design concepts of any product. His modus operandi is to reinvent everyday products whose design has calcified into a standard that he believes to be flawed. ASSA ABLOY, Yale and InnovationThis year, Yale’s parent company ASSA ABLOY celebrates its 20th birthday as the largest global supplier of intelligent lock and security solutions. In fact, one in every 10 lock and security installations worldwide uses an ASSA ABLOY product. The aim of ASSA ABLOY is to continue to be the industry’s most innovative supplier of door opening solutions. The claim is ambitious and filters through each of its brands. Here at Yale Door and Window Solutions, we also share this strategy. Only by a commitment to working closely with fabricators and installers, and detailing the issues faced in preparing, installing and maintaining window hardware, can we develop a solution that will make a significant difference and still provide the peace of mind homeowners expect from a Yale product. Yale BladeLike Dyson, Yale Blade’s innovation came from thinking against the grain and questioning the norm. During our research it quickly became apparent that cam clash is an issue during installation and for the end user during the life of the window. Whilst it is a problem that can be resolved, it takes time, can be awkward to correct and is ultimately an unnecessary cost for all. With the brief to remove this familiar concern, the Yale Door and Window Solutions’ design engineers set about looking at different concepts to resolve the issue; and the Yale Blade was formed. Like any other research and development team, one idea ignites another and it became clear that by resolving this issue you could also remove another. Keep installation for window locks was also identified as a time consuming process with fabricators needing to carefully mark cam position to get alignment right. Through having window locking technology with no specific locking point you can have significant ranges for your keep position to fall within; and even allow vents and frames which are fabricated on separate production lines to have the hardware fitted at any time during this process. Although Yale Blade has been through many iterations before its launch, without the investment made to fully understand the needs of the market, Yale could never provide a product that ensures fabricators and installers, along with homeowners and end users, such revolutionary benefits. In summary, for Yale Door and Window Solutions, we believe, to be true innovators you have to properly understand the market and know that whilst aesthetic appeal is important, how it operates is essential. Moving from Dyson to another innovator, according to the former Chief Executive of Apple Inc Steve Jobs, ‘innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,’ and revolutionary products such as Yale Blade will continue to be launched, and the supply chain can continue to harness the power of the brand.