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Toothbrush with Unique Double-lock Mechanism - Case Study Example

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Peter Butler, along with his partner Brian Williams and Julie McBride, has acquired and established many business ventures in the past. In 1986, Butler discussed business with his friend of 20 years, a dentist who practiced in London and Ontario, Don Thomas…
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Toothbrush with Unique Double-lock Mechanism
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Download file to see previous pages Thomas also believed that by replacing toothbrushes regularly, patients could save more money in dental work and would then decrease their chances of needing dentures, and that improved oral hygiene could increase a person's life expectancy to four years, as his studies showed. Thus, Butler and Thomas then agreed that a market existed for a toothbrush that could attend to these issues and decided to follow through with their idea.
Butler and Thomas wanted to produce a toothbrush, which was similar to the safety razor, which was at the time, very widely used. They wanted it to have two separate sections: a re-usable handle, and a disposable head. The disposable heads would be in multi-unit packages to encourage customers to frequently change the toothbrush and to lower the costs of packaging as well, since they have discovered that the packaging costs were around 50 percent of the total toothbrush price.
Butler and Thomas also felt that the retainable handle would then elevate the concept of toothbrushing to something of a higher value personal possession instead of just the regular disposable one. Thus, they came up with the idea that the handles could be personalized using a variety of materials like plastic, brass, or stainless steel. It could also have floss holders, mirrors, interproximal brushes, or gum massagers. In addition to this, they thought of marketing bathrrom holders or travel cases.
However, Butler and Thomas then discovered that there were already a number of toothbrushes out in the market that catered to the needs they wanted to attack. But they found out that these toothbrushes had disadvantages when it comes to the locking of the head to the handle. As a result, they concentrated their efforts on developing a better locking mechanism.
Butler tried a lot of approaches but they all posed different disadvatages: they were either too weak, too difficult to attach, or too expensive. But in May 1987, while travelling with Julie McBride, Butler suddenly thought of the idea of the double-locking mechanism, which consisted of two locking mechanisms that would make the head stick to the handle safely. This design also enabled the consumers to constantly check if the lock was in place. Butler then took his rough sketch of the design to an engineering firm in London, which then produced a prototype for him.
Addressing Issues
Despite his success in coming up with the double-lock mechanism idea, he was confronted with several issues that he needed to address. With regards to the feasibility of manufacturing the product, they had to consider the following: product style, types of models required, engineering specifications, collapsibility, and tolerances in tool requirements, and aesthetic appeal of the product to the consumers. These were the aspects of the concept of the product that they have yet to resolve.
The Process
Butler knew that after the prototype has been made, that there were still a lot of steps for him to do, to ensure that the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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