What challenge(s) do our clients face?
Innovation is a core path to maintaining competitive advantage. It affords the opportunity to create the next disruptive alternative in order to address a market need; and yet, is a never-ending battle that can become a challenging day-to-day struggle, particularly for organizations with a global scope.
Working within a complex ecosystem can present several difficulties. From our experience across industries, there are common barriers to designing and implementing an effective innovation strategy and model:
- Lost in translation: Markets with different maturities and needs can each have their own interpretation of the role innovation should play. For less mature markets, innovation might become an opportunity for disruptive changes in the market generating a first movers’ advantage. For more mature markets, innovation becomes the lever that protects your brand portfolio against competitors.
- Friendly fire: Innovation requires involvement from all areas of the business. While marketing and sales can take center stage in the push to address portfolio opportunities, supply chain and procurement are critical for enabling this strategy. Managing multifunctional inputs and clarifying roles and responsibilities are as core to success as the quality of the strategy.
- Knowing your consumer: Developing a consumer-focused strategy and using segmentation to meet specific needs rather relying on inward-looking perception
- Being bold: Learning from your past successes and mistakes to take informed risks whilst not being afraid to innovate
- Defining the strategy that works for your context: Using a deep understanding of your products and market to set a clear role for innovation with a strategic intent aligned with your capabilities as opposed to copying and pasting from competitors
- Translating strategy into reality: Ensuring alignment across the organization with enabling factors available to support implementation
- Prioritization of initiatives: Building a feasible implementation timeline with resource and investment decisions based on strategic objectives
- Roles and responsibilities: Setting clear roles and responsibilities and decision boundaries for the ongoing execution, tracking and adjustment of innovation projects whilst incorporating market feedback
An innovation strategy and/or execution gone wrong can also cause hurt across the business:
- Lack of differentiation with competitors can damage brand image, offering, value proposition and premium pricing, causing a decreasing in profitability
- Slow time to market can generate delayed launches, lack of impact and wrong seasonality
- Collapsing categories and offerings can be caused by inactivity and lack of disruption
- unsatisfactory new sales ratio can be due to disconnection with sales teams, channels, clients and consumers.
- Oscillating employee moral and low talent retention can be caused by inability to truly innovate vs competition and startups
How do we help?
We support clients to develop a bespoke strategy and model based on a balance between outside-in and inside-out perspectives
Our methodology supports organizations by following a simple and structured approach that enables:
- In depth diagnosis of your current innovation reality and processes
- Definition of the strategic intent for innovation and how that definition translates into guidelines for building an innovation model
- Perspective (benchmarks) on best in class innovation organizations aligned with the archetype that you require
- Design of an innovation model with concrete measurable targets, an end to end process, clear roles and responsibilities, robust information flows and a clear governance to identify roadblocks and maintain a state of continuous improvement.
We also see and commit to helping you build sustained innovation capabilities:
- In non-technical aspects we will engage, empower and challenge your teams and individuals to step-up their capabilities, speak their minds and increase cooperation and empathy
- In technical aspects we will create and implement the concept of consumer and client centricity with centering models, targets and a mindset to deliver true value differentiation with the right timing, impact and profitability
What are the benefits?
Several benefits can be reached by having a functional innovation model within the organization:
- Impactful innovation: well-connected launches both in timing, but mainly addressing consumer needs and differentiating from competition
- Increased profitability: Right Pricing, Financial Gate Oriented Approach and Smart Portfolio Management to increase profitability driven by innovation
- Ability to react fast to trends and movements: Empower the teams and capabilities to quickly see, spot, learn, prototype and rollout products, services and features.
- Reduced time to market: less time spent planning and executing innovation projects, enabling a fast response to market needs through efficient product launches.
- Reduced timing waiting for approvals: channel main definitions through a clear approval process to capture the right feedback without losing speed
- Increased visibility and analytics: capture execution information and results in a structured way, to quickly identify and act on issues and opportunities
- Increased clarity of roles and responsibilities: avoid misunderstandings between different areas of the business and optimize resource time
- More effective leveraging of knowledge: centralize knowledge with a model built to inform future decisions
How does it work?
A holistic approach to leverage your internal knowledge and our experience
Each organization has its own unique context, objectives and needs when it comes to innovation. We combine your knowledge of your business with Integration’s expertise on innovation to diagnose, design and implement an innovation model that is right for you.
Our methodology ensures a holistic view of main issues and how to tackle them, and is structured into four main steps:
For example, a tailored approach is used during the initial 2 stages of the methodology. In order to diagnose and design the innovation model, the following frame is commonly used to set a guideline for these discussions.
A global food and beverage company observed that in their operations in Central America, every time an innovation project was implemented, there were issues with misalignment in expectations, poor visibility of project progress and friction between teams. This caused disappointment with results (underperforming innovation products that had launched with significant internal effort).
Integration began the project by acquiring an in depth understanding of the company’s innovation reality, leveraging the frame displayed above. This helped us understand the context and prioritize main gaps, complemented by external benchmarks. In the next stage, a “war room” was launched for discussing and designing a new model with all relevant areas involved. Finally, using an iterative approach, the model was tested and adjusted in a controlled market before rolling it out to the region.
This project delivered many positive and lasting results, including:
- Roles and responsibilities clarified
- Ongoing governance model launched to allow the appropriate input from the relevant areas at the right moment, preventing delays and unnecessary investments
- Controls built to identify and address potential bottlenecks
- Harmonized end to end process implemented for the region, with targets to guarantee aligned incentives for all professionals involved.
One of the largest party supply retailers in Brazil, operating both in stores and online, requested support in designing their innovation funnel for new launches.
This was partly because the business had grown organically and the existing innovation activities needed to be formalized into a clear and efficient process; but also because their industry brings a high level of complexity as many launches are driven by seasonality (e.g. Christmas parties, Halloween parties) and require coordination with external events (e.g. Disney film releases for themed children’s parties).
Given the specific industry context and the fact that the company was already delivering innovations to market, but without a formalised process, the approach combined the company’s internal knowledge with Integration’s external experience of best practices.
We held interviews and workshops with all areas to “reverse engineer” their existing innovation activities into a clearly defined innovation funnel with consistent templates, interconnected timings, high visibility and an adjusted Go-to-Market sales organizational structure. This was followed by training for over 40 leaders to guarantee that the new funnel would be implemented as planned.
- Definition and implementation of a formalized end-to-end innovation funnel from ideation to post-launch stock management.
- Creation of a ‘war room’ for the ongoing management and coordination of all projects in the innovation funnel.
- Involvement and engagement with all stakeholders guaranteeing strong buy-in and implementation success.
- Significant increase in organizational agility, improving ideation to market deployment to 1-3 months depending on sourcing.
Our client, a leading manufacturer and marketer of diagnostic devices, was acquired in 2018 by a private equity firm. As part of an aggressive growth strategy, the company entered into a JV with a leading manufacturer in a new subcategory.
Within the agreement, the organization was responsible for A) the development of the digital ecosystem to support patients, HCPs and caregivers, and B) the marketing and commercialization of this product globally.
Integration was asked to support in the planning and execution of the development and launch program for primary target markets (USA and Germany).
Integration provided immediate and effective PMO support to manage the commercial launch of this new product:
1. Developing a detailed plan with all activities that needed to be carried out for the product development, regulatory submission and commercial launch in the USA – built together with workstream leaders through individual and cross-functional planning workshops.
2. Establishing and managing a governance model to bring a more effective cadence and rhythm to the project’s execution.
3. Detailing a budget plan for the commercial launch.
4. Planning Germany launch strategy for a direct to patient model, working with local experts.
- Optimized plan for USA regulatory submission, with multiple scenarios created based on risk levels, across 10 workstreams (+750 activities outlined).
- Implemented governance cadence, with weekly monitoring of workstreams and progress on strategic partnership. Handover and tools provided to internal PM resources.
- Launch plan including all global activities and local milestones for its initial USA launch, across 17 workstreams (+1350 activities mapped).
- Direct-to-patient Germany launch model planned.
OUR INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
Our approach to innovation within organizations has gained traction in recent years, driven by our understanding of innovation models and the capabilities that they require. We have had the pleasure to support clients in this area in many industries (Services, Food & Beverages, Healthcare, Personal Care etc.) and geographies (Americas, Europe and Asia).