Enware's Design Transformation Journey

As you may know we recently received the prestigious Good Design Award® Gold Winner for the outstanding design and innovation of our ET1400 Emergency Tank Shower.

The award means something very special to us as it is recognition of the great evolution of our Design Thinking Journey. It also means a lot to our Research & Design team who were so integral to the process, especially as over the years Enware has consistently been recognised for ‘Good Design’ within the Design community.

We would like to share with you an article published via LinkedIn from our Research & Development Manager, Jason Hinds, as he reflects on the Enware design journey and what it means to have been a part of it. Please Read on if you are interested learn about our design process and how good design can influence business transformation.

The article reads:

So what does it mean for a company like Enware to win a Good Design Selection award?
An award typically valued in the consumer goods market where a focus of user centred design is engrained in the philosophy behind the judging criteria and it’s awarded recipients. For a business to business company like Enware, who very rarely gets to interact with our end users, does this award hold the same value and recognition?

A few years ago Enware went through, and continues to go through a design renaissance which is transforming a very product manufacturing business into something far more interesting, and hopefully valuable. 

Being 80 years young, we knew a lot about machining, fabricating and finishing brass into commercial plumbing fittings.

Our new products evolved to include more technical features and increased performance. But increased from who’s perspective? The manufacturer trying to better themselves at their game or better for the customer, who really does not care what’s under the hood as long as it gets them from A to B with an enjoyable experience. 

Our Design revolution started with Research.

Research about our customers and more importantly our end users, many of whom we had lost touch with in recent years. The research itself was user centric from a design perspective and qualitative focus utilising observations, empathetic reasoning and inquisitive dialogue to discover insights. The stories we heard inspired new thinking and many new opportunities. Opportunities that opened the door, to explore new business horizons and elevate our purpose.

Design found itself at board level strategy discussions and it influenced the business direction. Not old world design that only concentrates on an aesthetically pleasing object. Rather a design that was seeking to discover unmet needs, benefits and value as opposed to increased technical features above our current competitors. A cyclic process that explores wide, refines to ideate, tests early and fails so to evolve stronger with more value. 

Like any process it takes practice to perfect and we are in no way at that point. However the continual recognition suggests this practice is paying off.

So what has changed between this year and the last?

Simple: Design was owned by one or a select few and is now becoming embodied by the masses. 

It has become front of mind for more that just the industrial designers. Designs empathetic perspective for enhancing our customers or end users life has penetrated our engineering and product management teams, our production and supply chain as well as our sales and marketing approach. 

To be truly honest, design thinking and it’s philosophy still has a long road to travel for an incumbent manufacturer like Enware learning to think differently. It has allowed more people to embrace and empower to be truly embedded. The journey however has very much started and the proof is becoming aware.

For Enware, to win such an Award suggests the struggle this journey creates is worthwhile. Winning this award may highlight our progress down this pathway but also highlight how far we need to travel to keep progressing forward with Design. From the greatest pressures comes the greatest rewards. The value of design can only be appreciated by those who have experienced it and Enware are part way being fully consumed. Its creates the opportunity and the future, as design can......

Email Us