Fifteen Cal Poly students hope to enhance people’s outdoor experience through the Quickstand — a portable and collapsible outdoor table designed, produced and sold by students.
In Applied Business Operations (ITP 467), 15 industrial technology and packaging seniors are running their own business. They are required to do everything themselves, from funding the materials to building the product. The Quickstand is also these students’ senior project.
Quickstand operations manager and industrial technology and packaging senior Evan Williams said this experience has allowed him to apply everything he learned in his major to real business.
“It’s been a great experience for all of us students to get in here and really learn how a business is run and really do it ourselves and create a product and actually sell it to people,” Williams said.
Developing the Quickstand
Before production began, the team of students had to formulate ideas as to what their product should be.
Assistant operations manager and industrial technology and packaging senior Sam Korff said settling on a product idea was the most difficult aspect of the process.
“It was tough, it was really tough,” Korff said. “A lot of people wanted to go into a lot of different directions.”
However, Korff said the creative process of coming up with Quickstand brought the team closer together.
“Coming up with all of these unique ideas, you get to see what other people are thinking creatively and it allows you to see into your group members’ minds,” Korff said. “That’s another cool part of this process: getting to know your team members.”
Once the team settled on the Quickstand, the ball kept rolling from there, Korff said. Soon after, each member chose the job in the production process that was most relevant to their particular skills.
Industrial technology and packing senior Taylor Conran utilized her interest in marketing and took on the role of Quickstand’s marketing director.
“I get into this course and I realized that everything in a business is intertwined,” Conran said. “I learned that I can pick one piece out of our project and make that my thing; so that was marketing and how to sell our unique product.”
Conran said others may be more interested in materials sourcing or the product and package design, but everyone has something within the project that they are passionate about.
Korff said the “made by students” aspect is what sets the Quickstand apart from similar products.
“We put a lot of time [into] both designing and manufacturing the product,” Korff said. “We want to make sure that it’s really quality, which will definitely set us apart from a manufacturer that would potentially just mass produce a product while we are hand-making 173 of these.”
The current prototype of the Quickstand features a bottle opener and cup holders. It also features an adjustable lower tier that allows the user to move it up in order to stake the table in either sand, grass or dirt. The lower tier can be moved all the way to the bottom to act as a base and stand on its own.
Williams said the Quickstand is more than a table for the team, it is a culmination of their industrial technology and packaging education.
“It’s not really about the Quickstand, it’s more about what it represents for us and our major,” Williams said. “It’s this coming together of everything that we have learned over the past four or five years.”