Innovation: not so very hard to do
March 11, 2020
Craig Brown
1 minute

It’s one of the buzz words in business today: innovation. It’s a vital ingredient of success and every company must embrace the concept. Without bringing in new, disruptive thinking, a company will fall behind and wither.

Like Kodak, who invented the digital camera but kept it under wraps because they were worried about its impact on their highly successful business producing film. Kodak, who led the world in photographic film throughout the twentieth century, filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

Or Nokia, undisputed leader in the mobile phone market at the turn of the century, who failed to respond to the arrival of the touch-screen iPhone in 2007 and quickly lost its dominant position to the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Failure on this scale is replicated every day in companies of all sizes. Why? One of the main reasons is they fail to respond to the changing needs of the marketplace, because they are already successful and don’t see the need to change. So they lag behind in providing what the customer wants – and competitors step in to take their place.

The paradox is clear: those companies that need to innovate most – who are successful and often have the most to lose – are those that find it most difficult to do so.

They need to understand that vital market information can come from many sources and must be sought at every opportunity. An agile, innovative company will actively seek the views of its own staff, its customers and industry leaders. Customers will have views on what can be improved to make a product more effective. Seasoned innovators are keen to spread the word and help those wanting to expand and prosper.

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One of the most important providers of new ideas is the supply chain. At Vizibl we believe working with suppliers is one of the richest sources of innovation.

Companies in your supply chain typically work with several buying organisations and are constantly on the lookout for new customers. They quickly pick up on industry developments and the changing needs of the market place.

A collaborative relationship with suppliers can harness new thinking and put it into practice, bringing positive results for your organisation – and your suppliers.

Craig is Head of Product Marketing at Vizibl.
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