Next up on our ‘meet the team’ feature is New Product Development (NPD). Without question the most organised team at Denby, they manage the fine balance of taking Design’s hand made samples and making them both technically and production friendly.
Julian Bell, NPD Manager heads up a team of 10. Between them they have over 155 years experience! Sean is the longest serving member, he joined Denby in 1970 and his first full shape launch was the Chateau Collection (Savoy, Dauphine, Provence and Chantilly) in 1982 – do any of you still have these ranges in your cupboards?
The Storm before the Calm
The team is still relatively new and was formed to bring together the shape and glaze development processes. The first full range managed by the team was ‘Storm’, ironically, their second launch was ‘Calm’! At the time, it took nearly two years to develop this new range but with the team’s expertise and incredible efficiency they’ve whittled this process down to only 9 months.
Crafted by hand
Between them Sean (Shape Team Leader), Andy, Alan and Rich manage every new shape that we produce. Andy’s our CAD (computer aided design) expert, he uses the computer to create a steel template of a production friendly version of Design’s shape. Then, using traditional pottery techniques and tools, Sean creates a plaster model by hand, for Rich and Alan to then make a master mould that pots can be made from. These guys contribute 95 years service between them, so they know what they’re doing!
The finishing touches
The Glaze team, led by Adele, includes Kev, Kathryn, Jenny and until last week Zoe (who we’ve just stolen to join the Marketing team!). They produce the glaze recipes to make sure that the colour matches those of the Design samples. This may sound like an easy job but for one of our current ranges (which will remain anonymous), they had to produce nearly 1000 recipes!
They run a series of tests on all our pieces to make sure that they are safe for you to use in your home. They make sure that all our stoneware items can be used in the oven and microwave, that your cutlery isn’t going to cause too much damage and that your washing up liquid/tablets won’t ruin the design when you wash them up. They even do a ‘pendulum’ test to make sure yourcan take a few knocks and bangs!
We want you to enjoy your dinner set for years and years, so nothing will reach your dinner table unless the team have approved it. Reassuring, isn’t it!