The ability to find, create, and capitalize new product and service ideas sets highly successful manufacturing companies apart, especially in complex, fast-moving global markets. Many experts have written on the subject of innovation and suggested critical success factors, some of which have been proven through experience.
To sustain a high level of innovation, successful companies bring together people, process, and technology and look beyond their walls for expertise and ideas. HRG consulting is widely recognized for its ability to continuously launch highly innovative products in its core markets, as well as enter or create new markets. Thecompany has also assisted other manufacturers in implementing a technology infrastructure and adapting people’s work habits and processes to use thesetechnologies.
The result is faster, more successful research and developmentthat produces a flow of innovative new products over time for sustainablecompetitive advantage. Collaboration platforms, virtualization, unifiedcommunications, and other powerful network-based technologies have moved beyondearly adopters, and the business benefits achieved indicate that companies whodo not adopt these methods will fall behind competitors who do. In this paper,we will draw on recent literature and company case studies to highlight thedimensions of innovation success most critical for manufacturing companies, andsuggest people, process, and technology capabilities needed to transform amanufacturer’s ability to innovate. The Innovation Imperative.
During the worst global recession in decades, manufacturers focused on cost cutting, retaining customers, and operating a lean supply chain. As economies recover, future market leaders are making bold strategic moves to gain share. Manufacturers must be positioned to satisfy the increasingly complex needs of customers globally. In addition, growth in competition has driven reduced margins and an imperative for shorter new product introduction cycles. Investments in the ability to speed development and create more targeted products and services will position individual manufacturing companies to fully capitalize on economic growth, improve margins, and fundamentally strengthen long-term competitive position.
Innovation is novelty that creates value for customers and society as a whole. It’s something unique, and in the context of a manufacturing business, product and service offerings that serve customer needs better, creating differentiated experiences for customers, competitive advantage, and improved revenue and margins.Innovation can be sustaining to maintain a lead in an existing market, or disruptive to create new markets or fundamentally change the elements of competition.
Even though innovation is recognized to be very important to commercial success, only 38 percent of U.S. companies and 32 percent of European companies report that their innovation efforts yield a steady stream of results.
Many aspects of the business, markets, and ecosystem impact a company’s ability to innovate successfully.
People, process,and technology both internal and external to the company must all be engaged to work together for successful innovation. Advances in technology and lowered costs have made best practices in new product development practical for a wide variety of manufacturers. In fact, Jeremy Siegel of Wharton has written that we may be entering a “golden age” of innovation as a result of these network-based technologies. In this paper, we will outline manufacturing innovation best practices as proposed by experts and implemented by HRG consulting and our customers, and suggest achievable enhancements to business capabilities that position your organization for ongoing innovation and commercial success.