ToyLabs proposes the development of a unique, unified methodology that will create a multi-stakeholder network and consequently a multi-sided platform where key players in the toy industry value network (i.e. toy manufacturers, FabLabs , Toy Safety experts, childhood professionals, end customers etc.) are brought together and collaborate closely in order to come up with new, innovative toys and games.
To meet the fundamental challenges of the SME toy manufacturing industry (high costs to address Toy Safety issues, competition with large firms, operation in fragmented markets, high failure rates of new products, late response to market trends and customisation needs), the ΤoyLabs consortium was created, covering in the most representative way the spectrum of stakeholders involved and of the necessary expertise needed, in order to develop an innovative approach aiming at “redefining the game” strengthening the position of SMEs in the toy manufacturing industry.
The aim is to help the SME toy industry to create toys and games that
- will be able to quickly enter the market,
- will respond to a clear market demand,
- will be cost effective and
- will be customised in order to be able to enter also other EU markets.
Thereafter, extraordinary impact may arise for toy manufacturing SMEs that, capitalising on their years of experience and expertise as a basis, will decide to make use of ToyLabs innovative methodology and applicable solution that exploits:
- the FabLabs expertise on rapid prototyping, use of new materials and ICT solutions, providing them with useful recommendations on toy designs and materials to be used as an opportunity to acquire early feedback on the prototypes by participating end customers, reduce time-to-market of new toys and games and enter new markets (exploiting FabLab’s location)
- the early integration of Toy Safety experts in the process, enabling them to avoid early mistakes in terms of compliance with toy safety directives when the product is ready to enter the market
- the “crowd wisdom” as reflected by specific involved stakeholder groups (i.e. childhood professionals, parent organisations etc.) that provide them with valuable feedback and social-media audience that provide them with insights on future trends.
Therefore, ToyLabs, through the above mentioned concept, that innovates on the value network of SMEs, and based on data analytics, AR technologies, co-creation approaches and feedback management mechanisms, decreases costs of the design and manufacturing process and time to market of new products and supports toy manufacturers reach new markets.
Login - Registration - Profile Creation
A new user can register using his name, email address and password or use his Facebook or Google account to login (in which case, the first time an account is created automatically). After the registration, the user is redirected to the dashboard, and is prompted to create his personal profile. This step is mandatory for users that plan to use the platform for more than liking and leaving comment on products.
When a user creates his personal profile (not available when editing), he can set his role in the platform (Toy Manufacturer, Fablab, Safety Expert, Security Expert, Retailer or, just End User). After creating his personal profile, and if the selected role is not End User, he is prompted to join or create an organi
sation. An organisation (for the platform) can be a company, a group of people that work together (not a legal entity), or even, just the user. In that case, organisation type should be set to Freelancer, and the organisation will act as user’s professional profile.
In case the user has forgotten his password, then by clicking on the relevant link he is being transferred to the password reset screen where he has to provide the email with which he has been registered and then to follow the instructions in the email he will receive.
During the first login the User is asked to generate a profile, to utilize ToyLabs. He has the option to skip this part, but without a profile he is not considered a professional of the toy domain so he can only view/ comment/ like the public products, designs and prototypes, but cannot participate in a toy development process.
In order to create his profile, the user has to fill-in basic personal and communication details and to declare if he belongs in one of the main professional categories which the platform supports.
The next step for the user is to identify if he belongs to a professional organisation (eg a company with activities in the toy manufacturing domain). If his organisation already has a profile in the platform then the user may request to join the organisation. If not, the user may create a new organisation profile in the system.
During registering an organisation, apart from providing the main profile information, more detailed data have to be provided regarding the facilities of the organisation.
In the next tab, the user is called to identify what kind of services the organisation may offer, in which markets has activities, as well as details about preferable terms of payment for providing services.
Finally, any certifications for the organisation as well as awards received are entered in the next screen. It is important here the information to be added accurately as in order the organisation to get certified, documentation verifying the data entered here must be provided to the platform administration team.
Each user that has his profile(s) set, has full access to the ToyLabs platform. In the dashboard page, he can:
- Create a new product
- View the state of all his products
- View his active collaborations
- View his archived collaborations
- See his messages
- See his notifications
Notifications – Messages – Collaborators Rating
Each user may access the messaging system of the platform at any time or after receiving a notification. Direct access to all the notifications received the user can have through the relevant option in the menu.
The same stands for the messages inbox of the user, where all the messages exchanged among the user and other platform members appear and can be managed.
In the same section that notifications and messages appear, another tab is available named “rate collaborators”. In this screen the user (representing an organisation) after having a complete collaboration with any other organisation can evaluate the collaborator.