ORGANIZING A GROWING COMPANY
Hydro Flask began as a small startup, located right here in our back yard of Central Oregon. They have grown at a rapid pace and remain one of the largest employers in the area. They continually rank among the best outdoor companies to work for, and for good reason. They are a progressive company with a fun aura. We were called upon to help them with several different projects and to help organize their product development department, which at the time, was non-existent.
Once we determined what the issues were with the current cap, we created a 3D model that we used for minute iterations to the design. We made changes and 3D printed caps until the issues were resolved. Hydro Flask was looking for as quick of a fix as possible without having to completely re-tool the product in attempts to get the revisions to market rapidly. So, we were focussed on maintaining the overall look and feel of the existing design, while just modifying the areas of concern. This proved to be a tricky process, as there were some major flaws in the design that were preventing the cap from doing its' job. We eventually identified the issues and resolved them by tweaking tolerances slightly. This process made it evident to Hydro Flask that they needed to get started on a design for an all new Sport Cap, as the existing design just wasn't cutting it.
The most pressing issue Hydro Flask had at the time was a bottle cap, named the Sport Cap. It was continually leaking water and, when a user would suck water out of its' spout, it would squeak. This was due to the small silicone valve integrated into the cap not having enough pass-through for air travel. So, the cap would literally produce a squeaking sound every time you took a sip of water. You can imagine how annoying this would quickly become during a business meeting. It was the type of issue that actually prevented people from wanting to take a sip of water. Needless to say, this was at the top of their list for an immediate remedy. So, we got to work reverse engineering their existing cap.
We also worked with Hydro Flask to develop a few additonal items. One of those was to source a new material for the strap that held their Wide Mouth Caps to their bottles. The straps were consistently cracking and breaking due to the use of a material that was too rigid for that particular application. Another was to develop packaging for both their, yet-to-be-released ice cube trays and their Hydro Splash silicone bands, which are used for customizing their Wide Mouth Caps. We were able to successfully locate a new material for them rather quickly, so they could get the new strap to market and provide it as a warranty item. After working with Hydro Flask, it's easy to see why they continually rank among the best outdoor companies to work for.