MVIS | A decade of driving innovation
As a company that clocked up a decade in business this year, MVIS has come a long way since inception in 2012.
One of the constants across the company’s journey is its attitude towards innovation; never resting on its laurels and continually investing in its research & development programme to continue to better itself for the benefit of its customers.
So, just what does ‘innovation’ mean to the business?
“It means we are constantly moving our products forward and fulfilling required gaps in the market with our bespoke products and R&D department,” says Graeme Lee, the company’s Sales Director.
MVIS exists in a world of technology, and as a result, innovation has to be a major part of the company’s remit, or its products and software runs the risk of stagnation.
“That’s just not something we’re willing to accept.” Graeme continued. “We place great pride and great emphasis on being at the forefront of technologies within our field, and it’s a stance that hasn’t wavered across the last 10 years.”
MVIS’ very own web studio system was the company’s first major innovation success and was the single biggest reason for the company being successful in its 2012 Olympic Games contract in its first year of operating. A standout innovative feature at the time, was MVIS’ grouping facility – the capability of programming multiple signs with the same message at the click of a button from a web-based system, whilst other software programming systems for VMS were still having to dial in remotely and could only program one sign at a time. The innovation won the day.
‘How crucial is R&D into innovation?’ we asked Graeme. He explained:
“It’s the cog that keeps innovation alive, without our R&D team we wouldn’t be able to look at new ideas or produce the bespoke items our customers often request. When it comes to being successful, we know it’s a combination of multiple things working efficiently and effectively, but it could be argued that R&D for innovation is the most important factor in what we do. Technology is ever evolving; the industry is always changing, and customers are always looking for something that saves them time or cost in the long run – so we see it as our duty to invest the time into servicing that constant customer need.”
And is there an internal standard procedure for getting a new idea off the ground at MVIS?
“Yes, each idea has to go through a strategic process where we collect lots of information before the new idea even goes into development, I suppose you could attribute this to being the ‘research’ from both the R&D team and other departments within the company. Before a product idea gets signed off for development, we will know what testing procedures are needed to make it compliant to present standards, how long a prototype will take, what sort of software is required, and a budget will be allocated to the project along with a timeline.”
Looking back on the last 10 years, we asked Graeme to give us his opinion on his top four most significant MVIS innovations within the decade the company has been in business. After a few moments of pondering, Graeme told us:
“Firstly, our Web studio. As already mentioned, it really helped put the company on the map in 2012 and showed that even in our infancy as a company, we were an innovative, well-prepared business with high capability.
“Next, the 5 Colour VMS. We were the first in the UK to bring it to market and had to educate the marketplace on the quality of having colour and the visual pictogram aspect the signs could give – rather than just amber text signs.
“The Solar IP platform is number 3. Again, we were the first to bring this product to market and the first company enabling a solar-powered platform to go out onto the network with multiple functions. This meant eradicating stopping schemes to lay cables to a power source for a short-term need of CCTV, ANPR and traffic data counting radars. Thus, saving money and also reducing the risk of injury to staff due to the short deployment time and bodies not required on the network for any longer than necessary.
“The fourth would have to be our HD Compact unit. It has a tiny footprint, ideal for compounds and is used as part of our works Egress system. Again, both products were the first to market. It is interesting when we look back to see how many products we were first to the market with. It’s something we’re really proud of and we have to credit our R&D team immensely for their consistency and innovative thinking.”
It’s clear to see that innovation is no fluke. Time, effort and investment go into becoming a company known for innovative thinking and as a result, innovative products. As MVIS enters its second decade of operations, one thing that will never change is its embedded ethos of innovation and a commitment to constant improvement for its customer base.