Innovation & Development
In an ever more globalized and competitive economy, the emergence of a new generation of hyper-connected, hyper-demanding consumers eager for new experiences, combined with the proliferation of social and environmental standards, is pushing companies to renew regularly and diversify their portfolios of products and services.
The needs of these new consumers, their requirements, the availability of new technologies and regulations are evolving more and more rapidly. The ability of companies to capture these changes and respond to them with a high level of flexibility enables them to provide a competitive offer.
If large industrial groups find ingenious ways of competing in order to optimize their industrial performance, in terms of innovation, it is clear that they have not yet found the ideal solution: their ability to overcome internal resistance, cumbersome organizations and processes to “generate“ breakthrough remains to be demonstrated. Faced with this, attempts to integrate external innovations – venture capital, partnerships, open innovation – have not necessarily been more successful to date. So how to maintain one’s technological edge in the face of emerging start ups and low cost country players?
To succeed in this context – and sometimes simply survive – industrial companies question their organization, their processes and sometimes their culture, which have become too rigid, while putting user satisfaction at the heart of their strategy: who will be the customers of tomorrow? what will their uses be? how to provide them with an offer that is both differentiating and competitive? The stakes are high because today more than ever: winner takes all…
Here are some important points for us:
Put customer satisfaction and experience at the center:
Given the rapid pace of change in uses and needs of customers, knowing how to anticipate and integrate these evolutions is the only way to provide, at the end of the day, an economically viable product or service.
As Steve Job put it, “you have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology – not the other way around!”
Pilot projects through knowledge and not through resources:
In the vast majority of development projects, the allocation of resources increases over time to reach a peak at the end of the project, often justified by the need to meet deadlines. According to our experience, the knowledge of the company shall instead be mobilized upstream of the projects: this makes it possible to anticipate the risks and to take early the right decisions.
Overall, this approach is beneficial for time-to-market as well as for the profitability of projects: the cost of late challenge in development is exponential.
Break down “silos” and mobilize the entire company in innovation activities:
Contrary to popular practice, innovation activities can not be carried out by a single, small team, no matter how creative.
As the likelihood of successful innovation projects is relatively low, they shall involve and make all functions communicate in order to maximize the understanding of the need, the ability to generate new ideas and the anticipation of industrial and commercial risks.
Constantly adapt the context: flexibility and agility:
Customer needs, available technologies, regulations are always evolving faster.
The development cycle of complex industrial products is long – often several years, Marketing and Development teams shall communicate regularly to be able to integrate, at the right level of risk, the new constraints and opportunities that appear during development.
Regularly freeze the level of development:
Agility does not preclude decision-making. On the contrary, one of the Agile principles is to deliver value as regularly as possible during projects.
Likewise for complex industrial systems, convergence shall be favored at each stage of design. Sharing and freezing technical choices at each milestone helps to make the development process more robust.
Anticipate the risks: to do or not to do:
For the competitiveness of industrial players, innovation has become a major issue, a must. But by nature, the risk of not succeeding remains inherent to any innovation project.
It is therefore necessary to evaluate very early and to regularly update the benefit-risk ratio for all innovations in the portfolio, as to know how to stop a project when this ratio becomes unfavorable.
1 – PRODUCT PORTFOLIO BUILDING
2 – EMERGENCE OF INNOVATION
3 – PRODUCT/PROCESS DEVELOPMENT
Build a product portfolio adapted to the market needs and to the constraints of the ecosystem
- Product portfolio analysis
- Redefinition of performance criteria
- Construction of new offers with potential
- Establishment of the implementation plan
Capture, bring out and integrate technological innovations
- Construction of a technological roadmap
- Measuring the value associated with innovation Innovation & Due Diligence
- Emergence of innovation by stimulatingcreativity
- Dissemination of innovation by “breaking out silos”
Develop products and processes tailored to the needs
- From functional design to technical design
- Definition of development processes and project governance
- Mastering development milestones and complex systems
- Balancing project risks and technical risks
4 – FLEXIBILITY AND SPEED
5 – COST OPTIMIZATION
Adopt a level of flexibility and speed allowing to take leadership roles
- Reducing time-to-market
- Elimination of defects in design and in production
- Change management in development / in serial life
- Alignment of engineering capabilitiesaccording to the context
Optimize cost structure according to the level of service offered
- Cost breakdown structure analysis
- Design-to-cost / to-value
- Modular approach to design