Innovation is a central component of the manufacturing industry. It can take many forms and address many functions. It can be a simple tactic for improving shop floor operations. It can be a concept for a new type of product or service. It can be a revolutionary approach that completely disrupts the way you do business.
The critical impact of innovation
In the “Rethinking innovation in industrial manufacturing: Are you up for the challenge?” report, PwC found that:
How do organisations embrace innovation?
How do manufacturing CEOs view disruptive innovation?
KPMG surveyed manufacturing CEOs to get their view of disruptive innovation in manufacturing.
- 75% worry about new entrants disrupting the business model
- 73% worry about keeping current with new technologies
- 70% worry about competitors’ ability to take business away
- 65% worry about product and service relevance three years from now
The role of CIOs in innovation
Mark White, principal, innovation office chief technologist at Deloitte, compared innovation in manufacturing to an iceberg. C-level executives, directors, and managers in non-IT roles are often involved in the portion of the disruptive project that is above the water, while the CIO focuses on the unseen 90%. That is where the hidden dangers and obstacles to successful execution await. “What many business leaders currently regard as ‘digital’ is predominantly the part of the iceberg that shows above the water,” says White. “Legacy systems, rigid organisational structure, and antiquated processes encumbering the shift to digital often lie below,” he adds. Because those outdated structures and obstacles are well-hidden, navigating through an innovation project can be treacherous.
What can you do?
What can you do to make sure your company encourages, nurtures, and adapts to the high rate of innovation? Here is a 10-step strategic approach:
- Set out to solve real problems
- Capture creative sparks
- Create a top-down, risk-tolerant culture
- Listen to and engage with customers
- Look for inspiration in unlikely places
- Hire visionaries and creators
- Seek team buy-in at multi-levels
- Plan incremental changes
- Measure results, not just revenue
- Celebrate early successes
Modern software solutions that support the innovative enterprise
- Document management solutions to attach specs, drawings, and revisions to orders
- Collaboration tools for sharing ideas with colleagues, customers and contractors
- Online portal for a convenient way to capture ideas and feedback from customers and partners
- Remote connectivity so personnel can reference and capture ideas 24/7, from anywhere
- Data Science to delve into the facts behind the demand, predict sales, and identify markets
- Product Lifecycle Performance solutions to manage the complete product cycle, cradle to grave
- Solutions to streamline small tasks so personnel have time to think big
- Highly ﬂexible, ERP solutions for end-to-end visibility throughout the organisation