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Working With Product Development Houses
to Bring Audio Products to Market

April 21, 2021
9:00 AM Pacific (12:00 PM Eastern)


In another Audio Product Education Institute webinar in the Supply Chain & Sourcing series, our two supply chain and sourcing experts, David Lindberg (DB Enterprises) and Mike Klasco (Menlo Scientific) again invited two established design houses to discuss their role and contributions as a critical option supporting brands to bring new products to market. Hiring an experienced product development and design team can be critical to ensure that a concept turns into a robust project, ready for production. For many companies, working with an experienced company to optimize product design, engineering and manufacturing, managing quality, cost and time-to-market challenges, is an essential component to market success. The design consultants and industry experts in this session will address the specificities of their business, and how to bring products to market in 2021.
The two companies presenting this webinar are located right at the heart of Silicon Valley, and both work with some of the largest consumer electronics and technology corporations, while also helping to support some of the most exciting and innovative startups. Both firms have worked in some of the most cutting-edge high-volume audio products recently launched in the market, and fully understand the requirements of today’s product definition and architecture development. 
The presentations will allow us to understand better how these companies are able to offer a complete suite of engineering services to facilitate a smooth and successful product launch. We will learn how they use modeling and simulation tools to advance product design, and how they support those projects from prototypes to manufacturing. Both companies also provide worldwide supply chain management and manufacturing operations consulting, and will share their experiences to launch new products at scale. 
This event will be presented by David Lindberg (DB Enterprises) and Mike Klasco (Menlo Scientific), APEI’s Supply Chain and Sourcing Pillar Chairs. Following opening remarks, the event will feature presentations from Tom Keegan (Program Manager, Tact Product Development), Chris Fruhauf (Partner, Alloy Product Development), and Kaethe Henning (Director of Business Development, Alloy Product Development).
Session 1: Tom Keegan (Tact Product Development)
A Product Development, Engineering and Manufacturing Firm With a Devotion to Design
Tact is a product development, engineering, and manufacturing consulting firm based in Palo Alto, CA, at the heart of Silicon Valley. For the past two decades, the company has worked with the finest industrial design firms, creative start-ups, and leading corporations to develop a broad range of innovative products from consumer electronics to baby strollers to highly stylized commercial products. The products Tact worked on have won over a hundred design and innovation awards for their clients and have been the flagships for many successful companies.
Tact Product Development works with some of the biggest brands and technology corporations and they have extensive experience in bringing complex projects to market, including some very innovative consumer audio designs. In this presentation we will learn more about the projects and clients that Tact looks for, and hear some interesting background stories. We will learn how a company that works with large companies such as Amazon, Microsoft of HP, is able to support start-ups arriving with a sketch, while large firms normally are more interested to offload a project that needs a fast go-to-market. Know what to expect from a company that is able to offer a large suite of engineering services to support teams and projects of all sizes – from Feasibility Studies and Product Definition Development, all the way to Supply Chain Definition and Manufacturing Consulting.
Session 2: 
Chris Fruhauf and Kaethe Henning (Alloy Product Development)
From Concept to Product – Engineering Great Experiences
Alloy Product Development, Inc. is an engineering consultancy specializing in developing consumer products, professional equipment, medical devices and electric transportation. Project scopes range from one-off brainstorm sessions to complete ME/EE/FW development of an entire product line through production ramp. Alloy crafts exceptionally engineered products that inspire delight and loyalty in the people who use them. Since its foundation in 2008, the company brought the vision of numerous clients to life by applying creativity, experience, and sound engineering principles to solve difficult problems. Focusing on product engineering, Alloy offers mechanical concepts, electrical engineering, firmware development, detailed design for manufacturing, industrial design integration, mathematical analysis and computer simulations, prototyping, 
testing and vendor liaison.
Kaethe Henning

Director of Business Development at Alloy Product Development, California, United States

Kaethe Henning is a consummate program management professional, with experience working with startups, small businesses, and new product initiatives within larger organizations. Formerly Director of Business Development at Dragon Innovation, Kaethe joined Alloy in 2021, and brings extensive knowledge of new product introductions and high-volume manufacturing to support the development efforts of Alloy’s clients in the consumer electronic and related industries. During her tenure as Program Director for Highway1, PCH’s hardware startup accelerator, she supported over 85 venture-funded early- and mid-stage startup companies developing hardware products in the electrical and electronic manufacturing industry. A consummate networker, Kaethe is a mentor for 5G Innovation Lab, AWIS’s STEM2Market Accelerator and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) Accelerator. Today Kaethe supports Alloy’s customer development with a particular focus at the VP and C-level.

Chris Fruhauf

Partner at Alloy Product Development, California, United States

Chris Fruhauf co-founded Alloy Product Development in 2008 with long-time collaborator Arturo Meuniot. The two met as musicians and engineering students at Stanford and worked together at Function Engineering for several years before Chris took on leadership roles at Motorola and Master Replicas. The two came back together as independent consultants and decided to officially join forces to form Alloy and build a team dedicated to craftsmanship, learning, and deep collaboration with their clients.

Tom Keegan

Program Manager at Tact Product Development, San Francisco, California, United States

For the past 20 years, Tom Keegan gained extensive experience working from an industrial designer in the consumer electronics industry, to business development for design and engineering services firms, building an extensive expertise in product development. Since 2017, Tom is now a program manager at Tact, helping high-performing creative teams build great products.

Dave Lindberg

DB Enterprises, Hong Kong

Dave Lindberg is the CEO of DB Enterprises in Hong Kong, and an experienced professional in business and project management, working with brands and technology suppliers in Asia. 

Mike Klasco

CEO, Menlo Scientific, Richmond, California

Mike Klasco is the president of Menlo Scientific, a consulting firm for the loudspeaker industry, located in Richmond, CA. He is a graduate from New York University, with post graduate work in signal processing, and he holds multiple patents licensed or assigned. For the past 35 years, Mike has worked on countless R&D projects for large and small companies. Mike specializes in materials and fabrication techniques to enhance audio performance.