Atlas is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paintbrushes and tools with two manufacturing plants in Brazil employing the most modern manufacturing technology. It also has its own design department developing and revising its entire product range.

Demand: Atlas approached DUCO to help it understand whether the efforts and investments made in design were sufficient, efficient and effective for the company. It also wanted to know what more they could do to improve how they work and reduce losses in time and productivity.

Approach: DUCO adopted a two-stage approach; a quantitative design management benchmark, and a qualitative design practice exercise.  The quantitative benchmark enables a detailed and objective assessment of the company’s design and management practices. In addition it compares Atlas against samples of other companies of similar size, products and markets.

Delivery: The findings of the first stage were presented to senior executives and the design team at Atlas. From this meeting the topics raised that were of greatest interest to Atlas were researched further. In the second step DUCO prepared an interactive exercise for the Atlas team. A number of different practical solutions to the topics raised were presented to the team, they decided what would work or not for Atlas. At the end of the exercise they had a ready reference of case-study cards to work with. From this an action plan was written.

Conclusion: The work undertaken by DUCO help to convince Atlas to progress with their plans to invest further in design and the design team. Currently Atlas is establishing its own user research lab based on the findings of the exercise.