Innovation Lab Helps Small Manufacturers Grow
Beginning as a start-up Smart Gladiator found an ecosystem in Georgia that helped these companies expand.
Sometimes having an idea isn’t enough. Sometimes a small company needs a boost to bring its product to those that need it most.
That’s what happened to Smart Gladiator LLC, a manufacturer of wearable scanning technology, based in Atlanta. Puga Sankara founded the company after he saw the need to improve the process of how companies were tracking their inventory.
“Workers need a user-friendly, comfortable way, to track products in the distribution centers,” says Sankara. “With the volume coming through these centers and workers having to lug around heavy components that disrupted their workflow, wearables offer a great solution.”
So, in 2013, he created a company and set up shop at Technology Square which is located in Atlanta. According to Georgia Tech, this area has the “highest density of startups, corporate innovators, and academic researchers in the entire southeastern United States. “ By locating there, the company had access to many useful resources much needed by a start-up company.
Further help came from the Georgia Centers of Innovation, which is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This program has five different centers, including one focused on manufacturing and another on logistics. It was the logistics one that offered assistance to Smart Gladiator by featuring the company in its early days at the Technology Showcases that were part of the Georgia Logistics Summit. In fact, Puga was a speaker at one of those sessions.
“When we were rolling out our product the Center was very helpful in allowing us opportunities to present our technology,” says Puga. “Without their help, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Today the company has expanded its capabilities. In addition to the wearables, the company now manufactures tablets, truck mounts and handheld devices. And they have a software division as well.
This growth has attracted well-known companies such as Bosch, Kohler, Komatsu and Stryker who are customers.
Growth is continuing for the company that has transferred the lesson of collaboration it learned in its early years to collaborating with customers who are often the source of new product ideas.
Read the full article here – https://www.industryweek.com/the-economy/article/21148817/innovation-lab-helps-small-manufacturers-grow