For the past couple months, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Zebulon Solutions, a product development and supply chain consultancy located here in Colorado. Full disclosure, they are a client of mine as I have been helping them with marketing the past few months. Yet, as a company that values transparency and honesty, Zebulon Solutions asked me to write an honest blog about my experience getting to know the company. Of the nearly 20 clients I’ve worked with, none have asked me to do this before and I think the fact that Zebulon Solutions did this is pretty cool.
If there’s one thing about Zebulon Solutions that has been clear to me from day one, it’s that they know how to execute – flat out. This was apparent when I first toured their office and manufacturing lab, where I had the opportunity to see numerous projects of the past and present, from industrial products to medical devices to clean-tech technologies. The breadth of products they work on was impressive to say the least.
What I found most interesting in touring their product lab were the stories about how Zebulon Solutions has been able to actually execute on product development and supply chain initiatives that their clients simply couldn’t in the past. Each product had its own unique narrative about some issue or challenge that the client couldn’t resolve, many of these revolving around the client not being able to make a product manufacturing ready. I learned this is a real problem for a lot of companies, as they often lack the knowhow or the resources internally to ensure new products are truly ready for manufacturing, without any problems. Or, many companies will turn to cheaper offshore resources that unfortunately can’t deliver the needed quality. It’s a real problem for sure.
Yet, after learning about all the products they’ve worked across multiple industries, I couldn’t help but wonder “How?” How have they been able to work on all these different products and do so effectively? And over the last few months, I’ve uncovered the answer to this question: experience and expertise. The experience of Zebulon Solutions’ staff is hard to match, with the average about 20 years. That’s impressive these days, especially when a lot of other consultancies are hiring cheaper, less experienced talent. With that experience comes a lot of solid expertise. The Zebulon Solutions team has put over 100 products into manufacturing but they’re not cocky about it. Rather, they’ll be the first to tell you they’ve made mistakes over the years and from those mistakes have come insights and lessons that they share with clients, so they too can avoid similar pitfalls. Don’t be fooled though – the Zebulon Solutions guys are pretty smart. Though he doesn’t like to share this (which I really respect) Zebulon Solutions’ CEO went to Stanford, and his insights and knowledge make a huge imprint on their business and their clients.
Speaking of clients, one of the other reasons that Zebulon Solutions can actually help their clients versus just advise their clients is that they take an integrated approach to projects. Whereas many consultancies create strategies, plans, and processes on paper for how to make products manufacturing ready, Zebulon Solutions actually does this. Their process covers everything from product design, product test, and supply chain optimization. One-stop-shop is how I like to think of it and it’s great approach for companies who really want to see work completed rather than continually play an endless game of ‘kick the can.’
If I had to pick one quality or trait that I appreciate the most about Zebulon Solutions, it’s their honesty. I value their honesty from a business standpoint, in that they’re not afraid to tell their clients what they don’t want to hear. In a business-to-client relationship, this is not easy and is actually quite rare, in my opinion. Yet, it’s this level of transparency that actually helps the client – they know what to realistically expect in-terms of deliverables, timing, and project scope. So rather than just overpromise and under deliver, it’s just promise and deliver with Zebulon Solutions. And isn’t that what all of us want business to do anyway?