Whether you're a multinational corporation, an SME, a non-profit, government, educational institution or a small business, Innovation Engineering can help you make innovation happen on a repeatable and reliable basis.
But how much we can say about it varies. Much of the work we do with corporations and high-security companies is confidential, but we can share with you some of the things that are said about us:
Below are a sampling of case studies that companies have written or had written about them. For more first hand stories direct from leaders, check out the video testimonials page.
Cintas shares 3 Lessons Learned on Innovating in Commodity Markets
Like every business, Cintas knows well that in commodity markets it’s important to innovate. And now it was time to turn the focus to a product line we walk all over, mats.
“You might be thinking, ‘What can you possibly do to innovate mats?’ Well, it turns out, you can do quite a bit.” says Innovation Engineering Blue Belt and Innovation Leader for the Mats Category, Rich Bing.
With a strong start already, the internal excitement for the products and the category is growing. “Mats has some real buzz.” says Rich. “ We’re innovating in a category that most would think is impossible. But with stimulus, fast rounds of experimentation and being flexible and adaptive with our idea as we learn - we’re winning in the marketplace. And that’s exciting.”
DR Power Takes Products to Market 4x Faster Thanks to Innovation Engineering
CEO of DR Power, Joe Perotto, shares how his company transformed. Their revenue fell almost 30% in one year and they new they had to come up with something to protect their ongoing viability and survival as a company.
Using Innovation Engineering the cut their product development cycle from 2 years to 6 months, with products contributing significant revenue growth.
Whitney Blake uses Innovation Engineering to deliver results fast for their customers - delivering solutions 6 times faster.
Polymet Applies Innovation Engineering to drive $5MM of Value
Polymet decided to engage with TechSolve (an Innovation Engineering Network Partner) to help them implement the Innovation Engineering Operating System. Initially they created alignment by identifying the Very Important Opportunities and the Very Important System Issues that existed within the company. Next, Create Sessions were conducted to develop meaningfully unique ideas to address the opportunities. A few ideas were picked to go through the Fail Fast, Fail Cheap Innovation Engineering Operating System. Each idea was supported by a Project Leader, Management Coach, and Process Coach. Innovation Engineering addresses the commodification challenge by applying the systems thinking of Dr. W. Edwards Deming to innovation, strategy, and how people work together in the organization.
The impacts of this initiative were outstanding:
- Polymet had Increased/retained sales of $2.9MM
- They had Cost Saving of $900,000.00
- They also added $2.8MM worth of new products in their product pipeline!
Hillman Group uses Systems Project to increase Employee Satisfaction
A corporate wide employee survey at the Hillman Group identified a problem, “Most projects lack proper definition. Management has no vision into requests coming in. Projects are worked without proper prioritization and budget, which results in frustration and lower employee satisfaction”.
A cross-function project team made up of marketing, sales and operations personnel was put together where we utilized Innovation Engineering techniques to identify possible solutions, make a recommendation on the path to take, document requirements and ultimately implement the final systems improvement solution. To date, 209 projects have been requested. 113 projects have been completed. Frustration is down. Satisfaction with project completion is up. Success!
Fast cycles of Learning help Graphtech Explore New Markets & Technologies
Deana, Craig, and Marty with GrafTech International are worked on the 2Degree Jacket project under the start-up name Prometheus Technologies, and identified three Innovation Engineering lessons that were key to their fast learning cycles:
- Get focused on 'Death Threats'. From the start, focusing on THE killer issue that can prevent the project from moving successfully into development is critical. There can be lot’s of unknowns - especially when going into a new market - so there’s no time to waste on more minor tasks that aren’t as significant.
- Have an engaged, innovation-educated executive providing frequent guidance. It’s always important to have the support of leadership, but when a team has a management coach who has in-depth knowledge of how to lead innovation as a system, he/she is more of a co-pilot for the project vs. a “sponsor.” By providing honest input and helpful advice to the project leader a couple of times a week, fear is reduced and progress is accelerated.
- Don’t hesitate to look outside for help. Engaging external experts to help address a killer unknown is often the right thing to do - and sooner rather than later.
CARDSource Predicts 1.3 million dollars in New Revenue
The quick commoditization of their product has resulted in more competitors for CARDSource and they realized that they needed to invest and focus on new product development. Yet recent efforts had produced no hits until Innovation Engineering (IE). CARDSource is now pursuing two ideas that will take the company beyond its card manufacturing base business and has plans to reload using the IE process each quarter to keep new ideas flowing through the pipeline.
Automated Dynamics fills innovation pipeline for Growth
Automated Dynamics was in need of assistance in improving processes and increasing manufacturing capacity in order to achieve growth goals. In addition, the company desired to identify other growth opportunities in order to further develop a long-term growth pipeline rooted in innovation.
Through a project and education, that produced 107 ideas for their growth pipeline. They continue to prioritize the benefits vs costs of potential new product ideas.
Illinois Manufacturer of Nuclear Power Components Could Triple Sales
With industry need decreasing and industry trends reversing the company was facing a drop in sales. The Transco team came up with 78 ideas, and decided to pursue 2. Both products built on current capabilities that Transco already had, but using them in a way they had never thought of before.
Windcreek Projects over $25 Million in Revenue over 10 Years
Windcreek had a decline in projects due to the reduction of work in their industry and the slowing economy. After attending Innovation Engineering education they introduced a new program in 4 months. The Asset Recovery System has increased projects and profits for Windcreek.
Classic Designs Commercializes two new Products
Business was declining due to a downturn in the housing market. By using the Innovation Engineering Management System Classic Designs was able to commercialize two new products using rapid cycles of learning. They now also, have an innovation pipeline that will allow then to continue to grow and turn their business around.
Avant Technologies Takes New Product to Market
Current market conditions and government administration changes affected Avant’s cash flow and threatened the business continuity. The company owners were seeking alternatives to improve their position and participated in a business growth initiative promoted by a regional development agency.
By using the Innovation Engineering ideation tools they were able to confirm the need for further development into other markets for their current line of products, and the development of a new innovative product. The new product would provide a stream of income to support the research activities of the organization to insure state-of-the-art offerings.
Innovation Engineering helps Can-Do National Tape Identify 90 New uses for Adhesive Tape
The economic downturn forced Can-Do to explore new ways to grow their business in an increasingly competitive market. They were looking to generate ground-breaking ideas to help increase their profitability and differentiate themselves form their competition.
SOLUTION: Can-Do did a project with a cross function team made up of people from sales, management, administration and production. IE took the company step by step through the process of generating new ideas and how to determine whether an idea had merit. As a result they generated over 90 new possible uses for adhesive tape.
QUOTE: It made us realize the potential for many of our products and helped us embark upon a path we would have never pursued on our own. We could never have done this without the staff from the Center and the Innovation Engineering program.