A Culture of Innovation

Our Blog: Word on the Sidewalk

A Culture of Innovation

October 23, 2019
posted by Tom Schlegel

Innovation lies at the core of our work at Radio Flyer. For over 100 years, Radio Flyer has been spreading smiles and helping families create warm memories that last through our innovative products. Our culture of innovation is imbedded in every aspect of our company allowing our Flyers to work, grow and play. Our team of FUNomenal™ Flyers is committed to creating safe, high quality products that spark imagination and inspire active play. We proactively identify unmet consumer needs, explore a wide range of creative solutions, and work tirelessly to bring breakthrough products to market.

 

We create awesome kids’ products through collaboration.

We hire the best and brightest who are passionate about our brand and values and who are committed to working their hardest to help the company achieve its goals. We know that we become what we celebrate and that we are stronger as a team. Whether it’s our Customer Service team finding a creative solution to a customer’s problem or the Product Development team designing the next favorite kids’ toy, creative thinking and collaboration is at the forefront of everything we do. We take the time to brainstorm ideas regularly and work on challenges together to grow as a company.

One of our favorite groups to collaborate with is our consumers. Many product improvements stem from consumer insights and feedback. We are always interacting with our consumers and seeking feedback through consumer surveys, interviews, focus testing, ethnographic research, observation studies, and the Radio Flyer Test Families program. We regularly hold kid testing in our PlayLab where our designers and engineers can observe kids interacting with our products. Designing ride-on products requires a focus on function, ergonomics and aesthetics. Having an indoor Play Lab and an outdoor Test Track allows us to check the fit and function of our new product concepts with different ages and different sized riders early in the development process. 

 

We provide a creative work environment.

Our workspace allows Flyers to innovate and create awesome kids’ products. The Engine Room is the collaboration space where engineers, designers and researchers gather to brainstorm new ideas and review each product development stage from a rough sketch to a final product. The Prototype Shop (pictured below) allows our engineers and designers to bring their ideas to life. During development, our team makes anywhere from five to twenty prototypes - from rough mock-ups to fully designed Looks-like/Works-like prototypes. 

Marc, a Prototype Engineer, says no two days are the same for him. He uses a wide variety of equipment in our metal shop, wood shop, paint booth and assembly areas to create mock-ups and prototypes while continuing to learn new processes and techniques every day. Our rapid prototyping capabilities continue to expand every year with different technologies (CNC’s, 3D printers) to allow for quick turnaround times for parts of all sizes.

 

Our team innovates award-winning products.

In 2016, Radio Flyer collaborated with Tesla to create the Tesla Model S for Kids, the first battery powered ride-on for kids to use Lithium Ion batteries and the first customizable powered ride-on. It was created by the kids’ product experts at Radio Flyer in collaboration with the Tesla Design Studio to ensure the highest quality and performance. Radio Flyer designers added Tesla specific features like a “Frunk” (front trunk) and tail light charging port to deliver the Tesla experience to our youngest drivers.  Our engineers developed the Flightspeed Lithium Ion battery technology and the high speed gearbox to insure category leading performance in speed and run time. We were very excited to see our hard work recognized when we won the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for Collaboration. The Tesla Model S for Kids is part of over 100 award-winning products in our line.

 

If you are passionate about problem solving, love generating innovative new ideas and have a desire to work with a team of highly talented individuals, apply for one of our open positions today.

 

Open positions in Product Development:

  • Electrical Design Engineer 
  • Model Maker - Finisher 
  • Product Development Engineer 
  • Prototype Designer 
  • Prototype Shop Manager 
  • Senior Electrical Design Engineer 
  • Sr. Model Maker

 

See the full list of open positions on our Radio Flyer Careers page!