Mark Duffield, GM for leading wheelchair provider Karma Mobility, reveals to AMP its views and approach to its R&D strategy.
How important is R&D to you as a company and what sort of approach do you take towards managing R&D?
R&D is vital to Karma as there is so much competition, it is a key way of differentiating ourselves from the fierce competition and providing higher value added products to the market.
When it comes to recent R&D activities, what are you as a company most proud of?
The Flexx wheelchair is a great example of how Karma has grown as a company, in the past we made reliable lightweight wheelchairs but have now added great looking configurable models to our extensive product range.
How do you see your R&D strategy developing in future?
R&D is one of the most important departments in Karma, having identified market opportunities we create products for the market which are innovative and sometimes unique.
Why is it important for retailers and dealers to work with suppliers that are committed to R&D?
I think suppliers that are committed to R&D provide solutions to problems that would not otherwise exist. Without it suppliers would offer very similar products to retailers which would make it very hard to stand out from the crowd.
What are the main barriers and challenges to R&D in the mobility equipment industry?
The main challenge is that R&D like everything costs money and getting the right product for the market in terms of price and function is critical.