Idea generation, or ideation as it is formally known, is an important part of the innovation process. MAGNET has a long history of helping manufacturers around the region ideate to solve specific challenges. Recently I sat down with Bob Schmidt, one of MAGNET’s Senior Growth and Innovation Advisors, to discuss the topic of ideation and to better understand MAGNET’s ideation process.
First thing I learned….Not all ideations are the same
MAGNET conducts TWO specific types of ideation sessions: 1. Technical – Technical Ideation Sessions are structured to solve specific “technical” problems…such as what manufacturing processes could be applied to develop a new product or developing design concepts for a new or enhanced product based on defined market criteria. 2. Growth – Growth Ideation Sessions are structured to solve business growth problems, specifically around market diversification. MAGNET and the client do a deep dive into the client’s core assets, current products/services, and market opportunities as a foundation for idea creation.
Second thing I learned….There is a structured process in place at MAGNET for conducting each type of ideation session
The MAGNET Ideation Process
Third thing I learned…..”The Commonalities”. Regardless of what whether the ideation session is technical or growth oriented, there are a few commonalities both sessions share in common:
Ground rules call for no criticism; meaning no “that will be too expensive”, “we have tried that before”, or “that will never work”
Group sharing of ideas: Whether the sharing is visual (technical session) or written (growth session)
Needs must be met; Voice of the Customer Needs, Enterprise Needs, and Industry Needs
Does your company ideate? Do you have a similar process in place? Please share, we love to hear other best practices and ways to approach the topic.
If there is an underlying problem that you think this process could help address give us a call….I bet we can help ideate some solutions! 216-391-7766
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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