You have a company that’s experienced some success, but you feel you need more. You want to excel in innovation, but lack the resources to do so or have trouble determining a starting point. We understand these challenges firsthand – and we can assist you in reaching your goals of gain and growth.
Before settling into the ideation process, a company must examine its potential in three categories: growth market, mature market, and declining market. These phases determine what can be done to enhance product leadership, customer relations, and existing products. Innovation in these core areas can maximize profits in both the top and bottom line, which is important for all manufacturers, regardless of size. At a recent MAGNET event, many companies voiced struggles in these areas, expressing challenges in increasing profits, improving client relationships, and modifying existing products.
If you have experienced such challenges, MAGNET is here to provide you with the strategic tools necessary for achieving newfound growth. One of these is ideation, a systematic approach to the creation and use of new concepts and ideas. As part of the lengthy process of innovation engineering, ideation serves as a structure for solving conflicts in the realms of design, mechanics, and market.
There is a substantial amount of time and effort that goes into this process, but we have condensed the ideation methodology into an easy equation:
In order to have an MU (Meaningful Unique idea), three elements are required. The first element, known as stimulus (S), refers to those participating in the ideation session. Do those involved know what’s going on? Do they know what obstacles must be overcome to solve pressing problems? Participants in the process play an integral role: not only do they analyze existing issues, but they work towards ultimate solutions.
Diversity (D), the second element, refers to tapping into a wide variety of perspectives, as a means to widening the field of possible solutions. Incorporating people from all walks of life – male and female, black and white, engineers and teachers – is key to bringing different experiences to the table. This provides knowledge valuable not only in the engineering process, but also to determining or reassessing a product market.
The final part of the equation is No Fear (F). Ideation sessions should be committed to learning, listening, and healthy debate. No one should be afraid of looking stupid or failing in some way – every idea has merit.
The ideation process is a long one and can take anywhere from one hour to several days. Regardless of length, a safe and strong ideation process is built on the following steps:
1. Find your problem
2. Charter to define your problem and objectives
3. Research to find stimulus
4. Utilize ideation methods
5. Objectively screen and score your ideas
In addition to these steps, there are four main methods that your company should use during their session:
1. Idea engineering
2. Concept engineering
3. Value engineering product
4. Value engineering process
These steps create a strong pool of possible ideas. At MAGNET, we generate approximately 60 new concepts and four design categories in an average ideation session.
Once concepts and ideas are determined, they must be rated. The following categories are examples that can be placed on your scorecard. Feel free to contact us for guidance if you are interested in covering more ground.
>> Time to Market
>> Capital Investment
>> IP potential
>> Development Cost (Engine and Prototype)
Since we received excellent feedback about our last two book suggestions, we’ve decided to offer a few more suggestions for further reading on the topic of innovation.
>> Dealing with Darwin by Geoffrey Moore
>> The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy
If you are interested in learning more, or have questions about incorporating innovation and ideation into your organization, please give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you, and especially hearing about your growth and profit success! Please call Linda Barita at (216) 391-7766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or email@example.com
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for