Interview with Jean-Bernard Antoine
Trilingual (Cn中文, En, Fr), Lean 6Sigma Green Belt, PMP, Prince2 Agile, DMD Digital Design & Manufacturing
Jean-Bernard talks to Hubbers about his experience as a project manager in multicultural teams. His expertise covers areas such as business development, change management, new project management, waste reduction within an organization and operation optimization. Jean-Bernard has lived in China for over 10 years, and his invaluable experience ensures a deep understanding of the local market.
1. With an extensive portfolio of projects, what would you say if asked about your core expertise?
Although everything in the PLC chain is familiar to me such as technical requirements, mechanical, electrical, and design integration, I have the most experience in manufacturing products. The whole process from conception to actual manufacturing and delivery in the field of industrial components, B2B products. Within the manufacturing, I also have a clear understanding of the different processes such as assembly, and integration, management optimization (time, cost and quality), packaging and the expedition (supply chain).
What I am not very familiar with is the sales part, as I've only done B2B, which is easier than going out to customers and finding ways to persuade people. B2B focused on limited customers who are interested in the products I offer, and it is easier to develop relationships.
As I lived in China for a long time, I decided to learn the language. It proved invaluable in my field of work as I had to manage and interact with Chinese teams – reading and writing were useful to follow the details. I had to understand how to manage projects, how to coordinate with people.
2. What areas of project management can you help your potential customers?
Various markets are often similar in many ways, and I help to coordinate the differences. When you are a local expert, you most likely don’t have external relations. A project manager can help to establish standards and create a framework that works in a given market or culture. I can help:
• New organizations to develop globally, or advice existing ones on how to restructure when entering China or other countries.
• Develop the operation structure of a new or existing organization
• Find partners
• Lead the manufacturing processes abroad and start up a factory abroad
• Develop a business, establish networks, and create retail points.
3. As a Frenchman how did you end up living in China and then in the United States?
I graduated as an industrial processing engineer, and that is my passion up to today. When I was freshly out of school, leaving France was about discovery, adventure, traveling, and I was interested in learning foreign languages.
I like various equipments and production processes; living aboard offered many benefits and I took my chances. I came to China in the early days before the rest of the world discovered the obvious potential, and I had a lot of opportunities very quickly – due to my technical and intercultural experience.
4. You’ve completed various courses and certificates in the area of management, why?
One reason is that I like to learn and continuously improve my skills. The other reason is that the industry is changing, modern organizations all transferring into agile organizations – it is about adaptability and flexibility. You have to adapt even if it is not productive first, but you have to adjust to the new circumstances of the markets.
5. How do you see Hubbers’ role in the product development market?
Hubbers encapsulates a decentralized network of expertise. It offers flexible, adjustable and agile structures to people and organizations regardless of size or the field of work. Resources and equipment connected as needed without unnecessary procedures. Smart contracts and the blockchain enable reliability and security, while the power of the crowd and the feedback system supports quality control. These types of organizations are on the rise, and it is the future of product development.
MAAS: “Manufacturing As A Service” is a recent development. Co-creation and network of resources are put together to achieve a particular goal. Hardware development is complicated because there are a lot of details, but it is not that complicated if you see it from an industrial point of view. In our field, we develop, manufacture and send products to the market, and we do it every day.
At Hubbers it is exciting to see how ideas, experience, and expertise work together. It is a robust development process that is cheaper and faster than the old, traditional approach.
6. What are the challenges of product development?
There are many of course from design to manufacturing; many things can go wrong. However, I would like to highlight one area where positive changes can be achieved through using Blockchain technology: to protect your idea in a delocalized setting is challenging. When you give your idea too soon and too easily away, others can take it to the market faster, and they steal your idea. In the same time, how people could be interested in sharing thoughts if others may take them? With Hubbers you have the opportunity to share parts of your idea without sharing too much and without jeopardizing your business opportunity. While you share with time stamping and in blocks, you still get to receive expert help at various parts of your project, probably where you need it most.
A lot of people share ideas at Hubbers, those all need to be assessed and protected. Once an idea is considered developable, we need to create a design, rendering and adhere to functional and design expectations and regulations. Once the product is developed into a real product, it has value.
Today with Hubbers you can get crowd-based help, and that is super useful when you are starting off just with your ideas and nothing else. ****
Hubbers gives the opportunity to anyone to develop a product idea they love, and that is a fantastic chance in the world of product development.
7. What is your advice to our Hubbers creators?
There are two topics I’d like to highlight:
- Someone has an idea and maybe has the hope to develop something. The dream is to create a business out of this idea. The big thing is to understand that an idea doesn’t worth anything.
The main idea has to be assessed. Confirm the actual value of this idea and see if it can be transferred into something valuable. It is easy to generate ideas but do they worth it? To be able to evaluate how much money that product can generate when you don’t have previous experience is challenging. At many hardware startups, people are knowledgeable in specific areas of expertise such as market intelligence or technology, but they don’t know everything.
Hubbers provides a tool called “Product Launcher” to evaluate an idea. It helps to understand the details of the idea and going through the Product Launcher is a sure way to understand if your design can be made into a real and functioning concept. This opportunity is on the website, and it is for free, it is a money making tool.
- The second topic is a “Lean Startup.” It is a buzzword in today's entrepreneurial world, but also it is an important concept. Lean Startups get a lot of traction; it means that the company has as little structure as possible, without any hierarchy where people share the tasks according to their expertise. It is possible to create a lean-startup with co-creation, using crowd-based systems and processes. The concept is built around two benefits: the first and obvious one is the cost, and the second one is the speed of the various processes.
Any individual or organization wanting to create value and revenue can do that through the Hubbers platform without the need of establishing a company, or hiring full-time people on the payroll. You can hire all the people you need for your project. It can be done on the platform through a smart contract, and everyone receives the money according to their contribution to the project. Hubbers provides a solution to project-based concepts that get to move forward as the owner wants it without any additional commitments.
**Jean-Bernard is an expert in product development, project management, management of change, multicultural relations, and global business development. **