Jack Todaro manages business development, sales, and marketing for Oregon Aero, an aerospace company that designs and manufactures products primarily for aviation, law enforcement, and the military.
Todaro says that the success of a small company like his depends on fast, strategic thinking to succeed. He, in turn, depends on ConceptDraw MINDMAP to help him make sense of all the different data points that contribute to his strategic thinking.
Hobie: What kind of strategic thinking are you involved in?
Todaro: My job has a lot of different dimensions. I have to help conceptualize what products we want to develop, analyze what the marketplace is, help engineering develop the product, and then develop the strategies that will help us bring the right product to market and find the right buyers.
Hobie: What are some of the elements of these strategies?
Todaro: They include identifying how we’re going to approach the market—whether it's through trade shows, magazine ads, or direct mail, e-mail campaigns, sales calls, et cetera. I manage how the marketing program is put into effect, and I make sure that we capture and follow up on all of the leads we generate through marketing.
Hobie: You recently worked on a project to develop cushions for helicopters. What was that all about?
Todaro: All helicopters come with standard seats. But a U.S. government agency wanted cushions that would help pilots avoid the physical problems that come from sitting too long in one position.
Whenever we consider creating a new product, we have to think about how large the market will be. I used MINDMAP to assess our opportunities in law enforcement, medical evacuation, and the military. I started by looking at the U.S. market, where I learned that about 200 helicopters were being used by domestic law enforcement. So that’s the first market that we're going to go after.
But I also discovered that there were almost 4,000 of these helicopters throughout the world. So my next step was to map out who owns all of these helicopters, how they’re being used, and the best strategy to sell to these owners.
Hobie: How else do you use MINDMAP?
Todaro: I use it for all kinds of things. We just finished a show in Florida called Heli-Expo. All the major OEMs and customers attend it, so we wanted to have a big presence. I used MINDMAP to design a 20-foot booth, including seating and tables. Then I gave the mind map to the company that would create the booth, and we went back and forth until we landed on the right design.
Hobie: So you use mind mapping for a wide variety of projects. What's the common thread?
Todaro: If I had to choose the top two things I get from mind mapping, I’d say that it’s speed and quality. Mind mapping shortens my thinking time by about 80 percent—and that’s a huge benefit.
It also helps me get new ideas much faster. If I'm presented with a blank sheet of paper, I’ll just sit there thinking and thinking. But with MINDMAP, the ideas just flow. I can see how they all fit together—and that helps me sharpen my thinking. Mind mapping is just an extremely intuitive and fast way to work.
Find out how ConceptDraw MINDMAP can speed up your thinking and planning!