i-2-m is a spinoff of the German company MANN+HUMMEL. i-2-m was created in January 2015, to accelerate new and unique filtration technologies developed by MANN+HUMMEL. i-2-m is currently building a new manufacturing facility in Raleigh, NC that will open in July 2016. The start-up is currently composed of 10 employees. i-2-m’s core values are simple, fast and effective. We believe that these 3 values are very important, not only for a start-up, but for all successful companies to respond to a rapidly changing landscape. As an example, I will tell you the story behind our new product, the PROTECT+ion Omniflow.
Our Head of Operations, Stu Miller, came up with the idea and developed the product, now known as PROTECT+ion Omniflow. Its development was spurred on by customer requests and demands. i-2-m prides itself on being customer focussed, by actively listening and responding quickly to their requirements.
What is the PROTECT+ion Omniflow?
The Omniflow can trace its lineage all the way back to 2011 when the first generation, MANN+HUMMEL ion exchange filter was developed. This original filter was intended to work in high flow rate applications but it soon became clear that our customers also needed a simpler, lower cost filter for low flow rate applications. Omniflow is the ion exchange filter for those bypass coolant applications. When Stu came up with the new product, Omniflow, we were excited about how the market would react. We knew it was a great product and we knew there was a customer need for a high performance, high quality ion exchange filter. Luckily, Stu, Mike Corbett, and Charles Vaillant (our President), were going to Asia during the first week of March 2016 to meet customers and to introduce and exhibit this exciting new product at the Tokyo Fuel Cell Expo in Japan. In less than a week, we finalized the design and made the prototypes. They were then introduced at the Fuel Cell Expo (see picture below). The PROTECT+ion Omniflow was initially called PROTECT+ion i6.
Potential customers were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the new filter, but they wanted different ion exchange capacities (sizes) for their applications. The name was then changed to PROTECT+ion Omniflow, which now includes 4 different sizes to match the various customer applications.
While Stu, Charles and Mike were away, I started working on the design of the new website given the feedback we were hearing at the show. Indeed, with a new product, we also needed to redesign the website very quickly. They came back from Asia on Friday, March 4th 2016, and the new website was launched on Monday, March 7th 2016. A quick turnaround that exemplifies the core value of fast and effective.
Companies in Asia were showing a strong interest to integrate this filter into their designs, but they needed more technical information. Product literature was also very critical and needed to be done rapidly. In less than a week, I designed the brochure, technical data sheet and sales presentation.
I am in charge of all the social media activity of the company. I am using LinkedIn, Twitter and a biweekly Newsletter to spread the word about our products, and in particular our new PROTECT+ion Omniflow. You will see below a part of the Newsletter I sent on March 29th 2016, less than 3 weeks after our team came back from Asia. You can sign up for our Newsletter by clicking here.
As you can see, we don’t just say fast-simple-effective, we live and breathe it every day.