Behind the Scenes of Tumbl Trak Products Team
James Parent │ Sales Representative │ Tumbl Trak
Tumbl Trak seems to be known as the innovators of new gymnastics equipment. So here is a look at what we go through on a daily, monthly, yearly basis on taking a product to the market.
The first thing I think we should address is how we get new ideas. Ideas come to us from several sources. One is our Products Development Team, a group at Tumbl Trak, which might have some specific gymnastics problem to address. Sometimes coaches who have ideas, or who have a finished product , contact us. We get some ideas from other industries, and gymnastics specific issues. We are always looking for new ideas from people who can help solve a problem that many coaches are having during the training process. Tom Forster came to us with a device that helped teach kids to shift their wrists and it is now being sold as the Forster Bar (I never said we were great at names).
Ideas are presented at our Products meeting, and discussed to determine potential problems with development. If the product is deemed to have potential we quickly think of what type of materials we will use to make the idea work. We tried the Forster bars out in a number of different materials and sizes to see which would be optimal for training.
The next step to the process is making the first prototype. This is usually a very rough product to assess whether the idea’s primary goal may be achieved. We test this prototype inside our facility, making sure that it will not be a danger to field test the longevity of the materials. If it passes our initial test then we get it out into one of many test facilities that are friends of Tumbl Trak. This is a test to see if the kids can beat up the equipment and let us know about the weaknesses that they have seen and to test the durability of the piece. The feedback during this phase is extremely important to us, which is why we want the test facility to put it through a lot of use.
With the feedback that we have gathered we will work on a next version of the product. This one will include some corrections that need to be made to make it safer, last longer, and will include many additional features to make it work with a lot of our other products or products that gyms will normally have. Once again we will do the initial test inside of our facility and then will get them out to test facilities.
This process will continue until we are satisfied with all of the features that it has as well as the safety of the item. This could take one year (the least amount of time we let a product be tested before going to market) or multiple years. All of it depends on the complexity of the design or the product itself as well as how may ideas we are working on at that time. Sometimes we find out that a particular prototype will not work, or will be too expensive. However, the core idea is good, and eventually it may morph into another idea. Even though the Forster Bar is out in the market we are continuing to test out new materials to help battle the issue of a high retail price. We hope we can find the perfect answer of getting the product to work the way it does right now, but be able to sell it for less.
That is the basics of what we do in order to bring you the equipment that you love. If you have any questions or have ideas please let us know. Our goal is to help the gymnastics industry train easier while getting the job done
NOTE FROM TONY: Last Summer the great people from Tumble Trak sent me some equipment to review for them. Read the Review of the AIR PIT.