The centre for product development
At Zest, we have recently made a new £400,000-plus investment in product development facilities and personnel.
We’ve built a specialist ‘Innovation Centre’ at our headquarters in Wales. It’s a state-of-the-art product design and development suite including research and concept development, the latest CAD design technology, a prototyping build area, a production studio, and a marketing zone.
Top-class product designer Neil Sholes has also joined the team in a new role as Head of Product Design and Innovation.
Neil’s job is to spearhead a dedicated team researching and designing new products, in line with consumer trends and requirements.
We’re committed to innovation, from designing new products, to improving systems, to ensuring we are environmentally-friendly
Product design – for style, beauty, comfort, convenience, sustainability and longevity – is at the heart of what we do. But we are also innovators when it comes to ensuring that our supply systems meet the needs of our customers. This includes great communications, consistency and quality of supply and making sure we are meeting our environmental responsibilities.
Focussing on the changing needs and aspirations of today's consumers
At Zest, we focus on the needs of the consumer and our philosophy, when it comes to product development, is to spend time listening to today’s garden enthusiasts through market research and focus groups. This is ‘User Centred Design’ at its best and customers love the results.
To this end, we have built a dedicated new product development centre and recruited a Head of New Product Development, Neil Sholes, to tailor our product designs to the changing needs and aspirations of how people in the UK use their gardens and outdoor spaces.
We have also recruited across operations and logistics and brought in digital expertise both in the UK and Eastern Europe to ensure a continued robust supply chain going forward.
Like everyone in the industry, we have seen the potential challenges of the pandemic and Brexit on worldwide logistics and we are strengthening accordingly to ensure supply sustainability.
A new warehouse management system is also being integrated as part of a digital implementation programme across the board. Further developments are ongoing as we are experiencing significantly increased demand for products such as the Chepstow Arbour and the Burghley Arbour, consistent with consumer trends towards spending more time in the garden.
Managing Director Steve Morgan commented, “All suppliers and manufacturers have faced a unique situation over recent times with massively increased demand – especially for garden
favourites such as the Miami Swing and the Lily Relax seat - creating practical supply challenges never witnessed before. Zest has taken the opportunity to review its supply methodology with a view to making it both robust and future-proof.”
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