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Design Story

Introduction

With over fourteen years of experience in manufacturing and distributing Dot Matrix Printers and huge market potential of 68% for DMPs in the retail transaction segment, TVS Electronics realized that it was time to develop a printer, which can serve billing applications and is also suitable for the Indian as well as Global conditions. Thus began the saga of TVS Proton.

Extensive Market Research

A crack team of young R&D professionals and marketing whiz kids, with an average age of just 23 years, was drawn up from within the organization in February 2001. This team was led by V. Sugosh, Head, Product Development, ably assisted by V. Babu, Senior Engineer of the team credited with the design of the Proton and K. K. Pramod, Industrial Designer, who came up with the futuristic design.

They identified 600 small businesses across different segments in different cities comprising of retail/wholesale, self-employed, STD booths, educational institutions, hospitals, hotels, banks and various government organizations. Seven dedicated team members fanned out in different directions of the country and armed with video cameras, visited the various locations to actually film the on-site interview of real users of DMPs and by April 2001 the customer research was done on 600 customers in 12 cities and in 6 retail segments - pharmacy, grocery, banking, watch showrooms and wholesale distribution.

With this data and feedback with them, TVSE came up with the path-breaking design and concept.

TVS Proton Innovation

The Proton is really the outcome of collaboration between 24 retailers who are the actual co-designers of the product. The final prototype was tested in 6 design labs, which are in fact real life (retail) outlets. The concept testing was done through five customer workshops comprising of 150 retailers. Says V. Sugosh, "We call these our customer boardrooms."

This printer is called Proton because in totality, it goes beyond the concept of atom. 200,000 man hours have been spent spread over a 15 month period, on market research.

Having found the requirements of the retail customers, the team concentrated on some vital issues - the printing speed, the back loading problem, the perennial problem of ribbon life, the carriage stuck, paper tear-off inaccuracy and additional space requirement for keeping stationery. The team worked on each of these problem areas systematically and came up with innovative solutions. To make the printer presentable to the retail customer, a new sleek styling was given without compromising on the rugged features that a transaction printer need to have.

Thus we have not just another DMP but a first "Transaction Printer", something which suits the exact specifications of a retail sales counter.
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