“We formed a small, nimble, and flexible core team, and empowered them with the decisions that needed to be made quickly to stay on schedule,” she says.
The overall team totaled nearly 700 years of technical experience, Outlaw says. “You don’t get that very often,” pointing out that several members had 50 years’ experience.
It was not only an experienced group, but a motivated one on a fast track.
“We did the design in October of 2005 and were testing bottles by early January,” says Outlaw. “We had 100,000 bottles made by March 20th and had product in stores April 1st. That kind of timeline is a stunning achievement, but then this team was unbelievable—it was truly an all-star team. At times, we lived at the plant because decisions had to be made so quickly.”
Another unusual aspect was that the core team involved two competitors, bottle molders Fortco and MGS Tech, cooperating because the two bottles need to interlock.
“It was interesting having them together,” recalls Outlaw. “I told them this was a short timeline and I expected them to work together as a team—and they did. They were very respectful of each other’s confidential information, yet worked together.” TricorBraun and the other key vendors were also on the team.
Outlaw describes the total experience as exhausting, but rewarding.
“This was a kick because after all these years, I got to implement all of my project management skills,” she says. “But afterwards we didn’t know if we ever want to put ourselves through that again.”