Idea Management in the organization where I work now.February 14, 2019
I’m working in the head quarter of an international company who is the market leader in production of heavy duty machines and equipment for mining and construction industry base in Sweden. I’m a Technical Specialist in the global marketing department. The one of my main job responsibility is to search, find and create the Idea that can be help us to develop our equipment or process.
There are different sources that generate development idea in our job, some of them come from end user side where our machines and equipment are working. A big part of new ideas, create from inside of our department and sometime the ideas coming from competitors’ equipment! In an overall view, customer/end user demands or requirement is the main engine of new idea in our company.
Generally, the flow of idea within our company is mostly internal. We still follow some traditional way for new development. We are so depends on end users visit by ourselves. For some of projects we run limited survey to have better pictures of customer demand. It seems we still try to have Close cycle for idea flow as some of traditional minds, scare of information leakage, scare of pointless investment and other reasons.
We have a very basic internal system where we are loading the new idea on it. First of all, we as technical specialist who create or receive idea from the market evaluate them; what is new? What is the benefit of that? How this development help us to develop our business? How this new idea bring value for our customers? …, all of these filtering doing individual or by several meeting, is depend on the idea weight. The next step, is meeting with R&D. In this step we look at how we can create a product or a process by new idea? How small or big is the idea? If the idea is about the new product, what can be the drawing and design?
Then, according the size of idea, we participate in more meeting with R&D, Production, Purchase, Logistic and finance department to put more evaluation on the idea, for instance: product method, product cost, raw material supply, stock, customer price and more. These meeting can be 1-2 session if the new development is small or can be consider as a project and take 1-2 years continues meeting if we are going to have big development. Typically, the small improvement from the first idea spark to first prototype or process version is took 3-4 months and the final product or process come to market after 6 months. For big development as a project it can take 4-5 years.
In today business environment where we are compete with strong producers and every month or 6 month some newcomers challenging us, we need to always offer the best solution to our consumers if we want to be the first choice by them, this is push us to always have new idea and solution before others. Thus, 4-5 years for new innovation is not acceptable. We should run this process faster and one of our bottleneck is idea flow! We should find a better and faster way for it!
We live in rapidly changing times, in your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing society within the next five years?
Global society chaos because of changing on Global climate. I think the global warming phenomena and its consequences on different area of the earth, is caused many problems for all of people, resources and environment around the world. Unfortunately, we ways that government in most of countries facing this issue are not provide a sufficient solution, thus we are facing a lot of issue and chaos in different scale around the world