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Manufacture Digital Technologies, Technology and Equipment

A Smart Approach to Product Demos

Credit: Author supplied

Product demos are a necessary evil in the pharma industry. Some companies are fortunate enough to have the resources to host a demo lab, but otherwise equipment may need to be sent out for demonstrations to potential customers or to trade shows – which involves high costs (and a high carbon footprint). In 2023, Envoke raised £1 million (around $1.3 million) to further develop its virtual demo platform. Virtual demos can be used as a training platform (for customers, sales reps, users, compliance and maintenance teams), for sales pitches, and for events. They can also be embedded on websites, making it even easier for customers to understand systems.

“Envoke was born to solve a specific problem that our client had. We needed to create a bespoke platform that recreated their instrument in a 3D virtual world, so their sales teams could continue to connect with customers throughout COVID-19. From this starting point, we have developed the platform to become even more supportive,” explains Stuart Warrington, CEO of Envoke. “A demo is built on storyblocks. A storyblock is a piece of information that relates to certain instrument features that are based on science, function, training, and other key items; you can build storylines from storyblocks to create a sequence that helps you build a narrative around your instrument to meet the needs of your audience.”

So far, the company has created product demos for both tabletop PCR instruments and large floor-standing products. When it comes to creating a demo, size isn’t a limit. “A virtual demo can also demonstrate an entire cycle or process within minutes, even when it could take several hours in real time,” adds Warrington. “The demo can be designed to be interactive to fully showcase a given instrument’s capability. A lot of labs can be concerned about internet access when it comes to demonstrations, but this isn’t a problem. Virtual demos can be easily downloaded onto devices so that they are ready to use even if you are in a communication black hole.”

The company is also looking to further expand the use of digital technologies in the future. Virtual reality, for example, could potentially be helpful for maintenance and real-time troubleshooting. According to the company, demand for demos connected to training and maintenance programs has been particularly high recently. 

“It’s also worth noting that by 2025 around 80 percent of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will likely occur by digital channels. Despite this, it is surprising how many companies still use analogue processes, particularly for training and maintenance,” says Warrington. “Analogue processes are expensive, take a long time to complete, and are hard to track, which means there are risks when it comes to proving compliance. 

“The future is about being faster and even more robust.”

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About the Author
Stephanie Vine

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent fourteen years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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