Innovation can be defined several ways. It’s the cornerstone of developing top and bottom lines; it’s the process of doing new and inventive things through market, workforce, and more. There’s room for innovation in every aspect of your organization – and it is your responsibility to use this vital tool for growth.
True innovation requires more than standard problem solving. It is inherently proactive, a habitual practice that should be incorporated into your company’s core value system. Leaders should urge their employees to set aside time for brainstorming and developing ideas, thereby harnessing creativity to enhance the workplace. Investing in innovation is investing in organizational growth.
For those who don’t know how to start the journey to innovation, begin with “why”. Why do you do what you do, and what purpose does your organization have? If you went out of business tomorrow, what would happen to your industry? The importance of these questions cannot be understated, as they provide employees with a common goal and inspire commitment to success in the workplace.
At a recent event, MAGNET asked manufacturers how well they thought their organization’s “why” was articulated, the driving force behind their actions and decisions.
The numbers blew us away.
More than half of manufacturers stated that their company proved below adequate in defining their purpose; in fact, many neglected to express one at all. This data implies that individuals are working day-to-day without understanding why their business exists or serves a particular market.
Customers, stakeholders, and employees want to know why you do what you do – so tell them! If you believe you’ve found yourself without a purpose or mission statement, you need to reevaluate the function of your business. The “why” is fundamental to your survival, and we believe a company that builds its messages and actions around this concept creates a culture where success is inevitable.
Start with the Why author Simon Sinek notes that consumers often buy the “why” principle of a company, rather than the “what” or “how”. To hear Sinek’s secret of success and the power of inside communication, watch the video below.
Once your “why” is established, stayed tuned for our upcoming post on an essential tool known as ideation. Ideation is a vital process that can be utilized in order to create new ideas and overcome obstacles in order to grow your manufacturing business.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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