Designing what couldn't be designed to protect what couldn't be protected

Designing what couldnt be designed

Posted on 3 July 2017 by Jim Wilkes

Big companies have a huge inherent disadvantage: they’re big. This tends to make them bloated and bureaucratic. Many have personality disorders and come with all the panache and charm of the industrial era. Most rely on strong balance sheets to leverage concentrated, oligopolistic markets, not sharp, innovative, and inquisitive minds. Giants struggle to stay curious. It’s no longer found in their DNA. Executive recruiters and boards have bred this trait out by focusing on selecting conservative don’t-rock-the-boat corporate types over time. And when a company hits a certain scale it’s hard to bake ‘curious’ back in, even if management are aware of the flaw.

Even Apple, one of the most innovative and revolutionary companies ever is struggling to keep up the pace. They have been left behind on the artificial intelligence front by more agile and focused companies. They are stuck in a world of design and heavily reliant on their anti-establishment pedigree and iPhone sales, which are now declining as the smartphone market reaches saturation. Big companies the size of Apple are almost by default cumbersome and top heavy. The organizational dynamics created through their stellar success now work against them. They are no longer ideally designed or suited to rapidly respond to customers. Their evolved organizational state predisposes them to inertia. This, in turn, makes them slower to change and slower to respond to trends. They’re not that innovative either for many of the same reasons. Big is not beautiful. Effective? Sure sometimes, but beautiful…no.

It is well proven that small businesses thrive by taking on activities that big businesses aren’t good at and we’ve seen this played out time and time again. That said, size can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Size can have some advantages. Big firms have more financial resources, more marketing muscle, and way more leverage in the channel. Size allows big companies to dominate market segments where size matters. However, you can’t have it all. Being big makes doing the clever stuff much harder.

Savvy entrepreneurs like Will Lomax from Onguard have understood this key weakness. In doing so, Onguard has combined innovation, strategy, and niche marketing to drive a wedge into these big-business cracks. As a result, the Onguard business model is creating profitable new categories that didn’t exist before. They have accomplished their success by having strong relationships with customers. This has enabled them to listen carefully and assess the problem at ground level, which has allowed them to respond with innovative, highly credible, and proven engineering solutions.
Onguard’s arrival on the scene has been timely. Since the dawn of tank manufacturing, earthquakes have been a persistent and expensive problem for businesses requiring high levels of liquid storage capacity. Businesses like those found in the wine and craft brewing industry have to face their vulnerability to seismic risk every day. Over many decades, the wine industry has witnessed significant seismic events all over the world that have caused expensive damage to wine tanks, along with significant business interruption. The recent earthquakes in Marlborough, New Zealand were devastating for many wineries, and terminal wine tank damage was widespread.

For those looking deeper, what really stands out is the time it has taken for a solution to be developed. Clearly Einstein’s definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results – hasn’t penetrated liquid storage design. Tank manufacturers and engineering consultancies have simply maintained the status quo continuing to specify a design formula that has never worked. In fact, most traditional system specifiers have failed at a fundamental level to understand the problem they have been trying to solve.

In stark contrast, Onguard’s innovative new seismic system is a game changer. The new technology has rapidly gained acceptance and traction in New Zealand and California, and for good reason. The recent earthquakes in Marlborough were enormously powerful, shifting the whole South Island a few metres to the north. The 100% success rate of Onguard systems through this event has finally silenced the Flat-earth Society. Any contention from those wishing to champion the status quo has rapidly dissipated. Onguard designed and protected tanks are what winery owners want and need. It’s safe to say there is finally a technically sound and proven solution available and it’s a long, long way ahead of anything else on the market.

Contact Onguard to find out more.

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