As the famous Albert Einstein quote states “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got” This can be related to business, especially manufacturing, where in these hard economic times, doing what you have always done is easy. It is also a dangerous formula to work to, especially when similar businesses around you may well be thinking on their feet and adapting themselves to move with the times.
Investment in innovation is something that may have stalled for many companies over the last 5 years as budgets were slashed and purse strings were firmly tightened. It was and possibly still is seen, as a less risky approach to focus investment in other areas of business that reaps a much speedier return on investment (ROI) over a shorter space of time. It’s a perfectly understandable situation; which business would want to spend a significant amount of money on innovation when it may be many months before any form of return is obtained? Here lies the problem.
A business conforming to this way of thinking sees the route of ‘doing what you’ve always done’ as the easy, less risky option. Nothing is stronger than habit. This is a trap many fall into and as time moves on, they are the ones that are left behind wondering how others have stepped ahead. They have not been responsive enough to change and to the investment in innovation to stimulate this change. Blockbuster and HMV are recent prime examples of this sad story.
Silicone Engineering can speak from experience. The decision to invest in innovation and product development wasn’t an easy one to make, especially in 2008 when the recession was at its peak, or trough, whichever way you want to look at it.
However it was one decision that in hindsight has been the right one. It has seen the business continually grow year on year. We invested heavily in our laboratory with the purchase of new equipment and at the same time investment in marketing allowed quality market research to be conducted to drive product development. Becoming market focused and working closely with the supply chain has allowed the business to develop new materials with great confidence that the demand is there in the market place.
As the consumer has more and more options to choose from in the market place, businesses have to continually strive to separate themselves from the pack in order to gain growth. Without innovation your consumer will continue to ‘get what they’ve always got’ but rest assured there will be other companies waiting in the wings who will give them just that, as well as ‘something they’ve never been offered before.’
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