Local Students Help Bell and Howell Validate New Market Opportunities

Local Students Help Bell and Howell Validate New Market Opportunities

One of the most valuable things about Bell and Howell’s headquarters location in Durham, NC is access to three Tier 1 research universities – North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Since 2015, a team of Bell and Howell’s executive and product leaders have been working closely with the Center for Innovation Management Studies at NC State’s Poole College of Management. The CIMS Business Colaboratories provides a unique opportunity for continuing executive education, while challenging companies to develop business solutions that follow the proven principles of innovation management.
Recently, NC State professors Paul Mugge and Steve Markham led participants through a workshop designed to create a deliberate map between invention and true market value. As a result, an opportunity to work with graduate students was identified.

Mark Paul, Bell and Howell's Director of Product Development, pictured left, explains JETVision technology to Chelsea Trant and Taylor Willard, NC State University graduate students, at the company's Durham, NC headquarters.

This semester, a group of five graduate students have been assigned to work on a project validating new market opportunities for Bell and Howell established vision hardware and data tracking solutions. The goals are to focus on our Enterprise Software solutions, articulate the strengths of our other business units and explore adjacent market segments.

Steve Robinson, Bell and Howell's Director of New Business Development, pictured right, discusses Bell and Howell's sorting technology with Camilla Abbati de Assis, a graduate student at NC State University, at the company's Durham, NC headquarters.

The student team, which includes traditional MBA students as well those with diverse areas of study such as Wood and Paper Science and Biomanufacturing, spent time during the first class session making introductions, getting a background on Bell and Howell and walking through the project expectations.
Recently, the students came to our offices for a tour where they got more detailed information on our company’s strengths, as well as hands-on experience with the technology. As they spent the afternoon together, they asked questions such as, which markets we had already explored, what differentiated us from our customers and where we traditionally succeed or struggle.

Bell and Howell CEO Dr. Ramesh Ratan, pictured right, gets to know more about NC State graduate students Taylor Willard and Steven Gray during their visit to the company's Durham, NC headquarters.
As a result, their understanding of the project objectives was further refined.
Bell and Howell managers are looking forward to working with these curious and driven students throughout the semester. There is great value in looking at an established company from a new perspective and this team is bound to present an imaginative but attainable project opportunity.

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