but it’s effective and lets us know what’s going on in many different
parts of the world. And it gives us the ability to tap talent pools around
the world without forcing engineers to move to various places.
MEJ: Are end user focus groups part of the product development
Ottosson: We use focus groups in different phases. Before
products are on the map, we ask boaters what they’re looking for. We
did a day-in-the-life-of-a-boater study that identified 750 things that
a boater may need help with before, during and after a trip. We took
some of these and asked—what can we do to make his life a little easier, safer and more fun.
The second stage happens when we’re in development. We test and
compare certain features, even those on competitors’ products. The
third stage is marketing. How do we want to present this?
MEJ: What’s ahead for Navico?
Ottosson: We talked about development of the professional side
earlier. The clear mission on the leisure marine side is more growth. We
also have our Content Group—mapping. We’re moving ahead on all
three fronts with great speed. There are very distinct areas that will
broaden what we’re doing, and we’ll leverage many of those things to
provide a more complete offering to consumers.
Integration has been very big on boats for several years—merging
information from the electronics and electrical systems and engine data.
Plus there’s remote monitoring of boats for protection, safety and security. If a boat breaks down someone on shore can help by diagnosing
the systems remotely. This makes it safer and more secure to get the
whole family out on the boat—which is what we all want. ME
MEJ: With three brands, product development must be an interesting procedure. Do the brands compete with each other?
Ottosson: We have five R&D centers around the world. Our
product managers compete for resources—attention and dollars.
Our Product Board meets every two months to decide on which
products we are going to support. Product line directors—one per
brand—along with our executive committee and some technical people participate. Road maps [for product development] go out three
years. We decide which technology innovations are necessary before
launch. We develop technical platforms that can be shared by all
three brands. Then we decide which projects will be funded. We rank
them and decide which will be funded now and which in, say, two
[Having R&D centers spread out globally] is difficult to manage
“I love to meet customers and suppliers face to face,” says the CEO. He
encourages employees and customers alike to “come talk to me, tell me if
something’s not working well.”
3/5 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
3/6 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
3/7 New Advanced MEI
3/12 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
3/13 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
3/14 New Advanced MEI
Atlantic City, NJ
3/19 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
3/20 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
3/21 New Advanced MEI
4/9 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
4/10 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
4/11 New Advanced MEI
4/23 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
4/24 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
4/25 New Advanced MEI
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
6/4 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
6/5 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
6/6 New Advanced MEI
8/27 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
8/28 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
8/29 New Advanced MEI
Conference & Expo – Sanibel, FL
10/8 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
10/9 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
10/10 New Advanced MEI
11/5 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
11/6 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
11/7 New Advanced MEI
12/10 Basic Marine Electronics Installer
12/11 NMEA 2000® Networking Course
12/13 New Advanced MEI
For more information visit: www.nmea.org or call the NMEA office at (410) 975-9425
Note: Tentative schedule, subject to change.
2014 Education Program Schedule
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