Project Examples: E Ink Corporation

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Team PracticumE Ink, Secondary Display Product Line

Project Client:
E Ink Corporation, the world’s largest supplier of displays to the eBook industry

Project Assignment:
Evaluate the market potential for a new feature on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets

Team members, MSEM Class of 2013
Jeff Branstrom, Quality Systems Manager, E Ink Corporation
Kyle Hoffecker, Senior Test Engineer, Raytheon
Dan Keating, Technical Director for Systems Engineering and Fleet Coordination, Draper Laboratory
Hammad Khalid, Sr. RF Engineer, MetroPCS
Andrew Sutherland, Global Strategy Project Manager, Bose Corporation

Dan Keating, MSEM ’13
“The Team Practicum gave me a great opportunity to expand my industry experience. I work in defense; the consumer product industry seemed like it would present a new and interesting set of challenges. Additionally, we did a few E Ink case studies as part of our class work, so I was excited about working with this company.

Early on, the direction from our corporate sponsor was pretty open-ended—evaluate the market potential for a new proprietary feature on mobile devices. We were tasked with refining the project definition so that we could confidently provide meaningful and measurable results within the desired timeframe. Our team came together quickly. We communicated continually via email, with weekly teleconferences to coordinate important matters. We had weekly check-ins with our corporate sponsor to review project status and plans, and those meetings helped to keep us all on the same page. In the end, our team created a comprehensive, written market analysis for this potential new product and presented it to corporate management for their consideration.

The Team Practicum was the chance to apply some of what we’d been studying—strategic planning, new product development and marketing, and even some supply chain analysis—to a real-world opportunity. It was an invaluable experience.”

Giovanni Mancini, Director of Product Management, E Ink, and Team Practicum sponsor:
“The work we do at E Ink is technology driven. It’s difficult for someone to do market analysis for us without understanding technology. We don’t need experts in our technology, but we need individuals who understand what’s possible and what’s not possible from a technology perspective. We could have had MBA students come in and do this, but it would have been difficult; the learning curve on the technology could have easily gone beyond six months, especially with this particular project, which would have made it impractical to get useful results in a timely manner.

This team did an excellent job taking a real project that is current and important to E Ink and delivering valid results that we can use internally as part of our planning discussions. The results were of the caliber I would pay a market research firm to deliver.”