agile planning industry

Agile planning in a shifting industry – forging the path to innovation

Jamie Pears, Jamie Drew, 23/03/2020

Romax is a future-facing company. We’re always looking three to five years ahead in order to bring you the next in revolutionary technology. But how does Romax harness that future and manifest it into our portfolio of software offerings? It begins as a long-term vision, a destination envisaged through company strategy, knowledge of the industry, and collaboration with key customers. From that point, we establish a timeline of milestones, of what needs to be accomplished and when, in order to put that innovation at your fingertips. In this blog post, we show you how we turn our vision for simulation into reality.

Romax have always been market leaders in innovation, ever since Dr Peter Poon founded the company on the back of his groundbreaking work in the field of bearings. There are two main ways we’ve stayed, and continue to stay, at the forefront: our pioneering work in the field of research, and our close collaboration with customers and the wider industry.

At Romax, we have our own dedicated Innovation and Research team. Our experts, many of whom have PhDs in various fields of engineering, aim to investigate and cultivate new technologies and simulation tools. With over 75 patents in their portfolio, our I&R team is often ahead of industry trends, and their creations help drive the market and the direction our future projects take. They work either on in-house projects, or, more frequently, in collaboration with partners in the field: from industrial organisations to governmental bodies and commercial companies. The outputs of these projects often drive the forward visions of our software products. That’s one way that we make our pioneering work available to end users of our software.

A vision informed by collaboration

Additionally to work done by our I&R team, our ideas for future software development are largely informed by the strong relationships which we forge with our customers and partners. At Romax, our customers are our number one priority. Our business model is built on finding solutions to their problems and, as such, their feedback is phenomenally important. Keeping up with evolving customer demands is challenging, and it is our desire to do so that keep us asking: what can we offer that no other company can? What critical industry problems can we solve for our users? What new features could we add that would be the most beneficial? We are inquisitive about these questions, and we relish the challenge they present: the need to stay ahead of the curve.

We believe in building strong business relationships with a variety of companies, many of whom are market leaders in automotive, aerospace and wind industries, so we work closely with them to make sure our software meets their high demands. A few years ago, we even invited select customers to join our Customer Advisory Board, a group consisting of several high-ranking executives in major firms, with whom we openly discuss our future plans. These conversations help us align our vision with the needs of the industry, and the extensive feedback we receive helps us refine our product strategies. Consulting our Customer Advisory Board has so far been very advantageous to both parties, and we hope to expand this initiative and invite more customers to play a part in the future.

Beyond our customers, the hundreds of partners who make up our eco-system also continue both to challenge us and to expand our knowledge. Through working with our partners in the software sector, we can extend the value of our technology by working together with those offering complementary solutions, to make our cutting-edge innovations available to a much wider range of users. By partnering with academic institutions, we can make sure our visions for the software products are on the right trajectory to meet the needs of a new generation of engineers and keep up to date with the astonishing strides being made in their research.

Forging the path to innovation

As a result of our in-house research and our close links with customers and partners across the industry, we outline a vision for each product. From this vision, we define our software strategy and roadmap, delineating the steps required to get us, and our customers, closer towards achieving that vision.

By surrounding ourselves with industry giants, academic powerhouses, insightful customers and genius engineers, we’re well positioned to map out future trends in engineering and forge a path towards something new. No roadmap is perfect, of course, which is why we adopt agile practices and remain open to feedback and changes in direction throughout the process. But when you start from a place of expertise and research, and the whole team is communicative and well-informed, the path to success is much clearer.

Read more about our company profile here.

As Head of Product Management, Jamie Pears is involved in setting the direction of the Romax Technology software products, communicating with customers and directing the software development team. Jamie joined Romax in 2000 as a software developer following completion of his Ph.D. in Physics at Nottingham University. Since he began with Romax, Jamie has held numerous roles throughout the software organization, including the engineering consultancy realm, where he has served as the NVH Team Leader.