Sometimes, the best way to know if a service is what you need is to hear about the experiences of others. Here are several case studies from actual Guided Innovation engagements.
Getting focused speeds development
A $300 million privately held manufacturer was concerned about the lack of progress with its product development programs. Every major program was either behind schedule or over budget – some critically. Product development cycle time had ballooned to nearly 36 months. After conducting our Guided Innovation Diagnostic Track, it became quite apparent that the organization had lost focus. With 25 people working in new product development, the workload of more than 50 projects had become a significant distraction that was dramatically reducing the morale and the ability of the development group to get anything done. There was no mechanism to screen out underperforming or unwarranted projects and no results based prioritization.
We worked with the client to identify the 5 most promising projects and stop all work on the others. We took each of these key projects through the Guided Planning & Execution Track workshop where the project teams mapped out plans for establishing feasibility and completing development. The added visibility quickly allowed them to see that 2 of the projects were not commercially feasible; this created more focus on the other 3 projects and saved resources for other more promising projects. Within one year, they had reduced project cycle time to 10 months and reduced total research and engineering costs by nearly 25%.
Considering alternative solutions slashes time to market
A long-term technology project was stalled and the project team was estimating 3 years before the technology could be fully commercialized with the reliability required for industrial applications. Our client was considering whether it still made sense to continue investing. Our Guided Innovation Rescue Track helped the project team identify that greater than 95% of the performance benefit could be achieved with a combination of already available technologies. Instead of having to wait three years to enter the market, the team decided to launch a short-term solution based on existing technology knowing that the higher performance solution could later be launched as a second-generation improvement. They were taking orders within 3 months and had delivered over $1 million in new product sales within 6 months.
Planning pays off big with simplicity and cost reduction
An industrial client called us in to work with their project team for the planning of a complex project involving a new equipment line for commercial market applications. During our Guided Planning & Execution Track, it became clear that part of the complexity was due to the client’s desire to offer multiple configurations. Upon further examination, it turned out this was not a customer requirement; it was driven simply by the fact that they had always offered multiple configurations for their core industrial market. By dropping the requirement for multiple configurations, the team dramatically simplified the project by choosing the one configuration that offered the best balance of cost and ease of installation.
Additionally, the team identified that the project was at risk because of high costs. As the team dove into the problem, they realized that the traditional design and construction approach used in their industrial products was overkill for the commercial market; they assembled a value engineering team and reduced the cost of the new system by over 30%. Eventually, they were able to apply some of these techniques to take costs out of their industrial product lines as well: this helped to drive a significant increase in EBIT.
What other executives are saying about working with Mike Dalton:
The Guided Innovation approach absolutely revolutionized our product development. Just a few weeks into the process and our team was pulling together like never before with a laser-like focus on growing the business.
— Earle Pfefferkorn, President – Cleaver-Brooks Package Boiler Systems
A rapidly growing start-up in the recyclable packaging market “ ….as both a former alliance partner and a customer, I’ve worked extensively with Mike Dalton in growing the Spectra-Kote business, and I would highly recommend him if you are looking for expert guidance, analysis, or strategic direction for your business in the areas of:
– New Product Development
– International Markets
– Business development”
— Colin Bailey – Chairman & CEO, Spectra-Kote Corporation
(Former President & CEO – Calgon Carbon)
“Mike’s skills are rare in business … he understands the intersection of technology, customer needs, and value creation. He brings practical tools and diagnostics that improve project success rates, can be readily incorporated into your management practices, and reduce wasted time and money in the critical early stages of projects.”
— Rich Chylla PhD, Director Strategic Development, BASF Corp.
“As a member of our executive leadership team, Mike not only identified the need for a stronger market focus, he was a key driving force behind making it happen. He helped us see that our innovation efforts must focus on value for the customer rather than simply innovation for innovation’s sake.”
— J. Gary Raley, VP US Sales – SC Johnson Wax
(Formerly President & COO – Johnson Polymer)
“During my time as President of Johnson Polymer, Mike was instrumental in getting the business pointed back in the right direction with a market-focused innovation culture, and that really strengthened our overall business performance. His efforts toward an organization-wide culture change were occasionally met with resistance, but he showed tremendous skill and perseverance in seeing the culture change through to fruition. Our employees benefited; our customers benefited; and so did our bottom line.”
— Kees Verhaar, President & CEO – Arizona Chemical
(Formerly President & COO – Johnson Polymer)
Interested in how your company can achieve these results?
Now that you’ve seen who we work with, how we work, the services we offer, and the kind of results we help clients achieve, you might want to learn how we can help with your specific issues. You can call me, Mike Dalton, directly at (262) 672-2700 for a no obligation discussion. Or if you prefer, just fill out the form below and we’ll call you.
In this discussion, we’ll find out a little bit about your objectives and the new product development issues that your business is facing; if there’s a fit, we offer a complimentary in-depth strategy session to understand your problems and opportunities and to explore how we can help you get more impact from your innovation.