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Modern Manufacturing

A 3-Step Approach to Successful Product Innovation

John Klinke
Director, Oracle Industry Strategy Group

Guest Author: Surya Kommareddy, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle.

Innovation is the lifeblood of any corporation. With fast-changing technology, growing global competition, and ever-increasing customer demands, manufacturers today must adapt and innovate faster or they will eventually perish. The digital transformation trend is further accelerating this pace of change, and you need to ensure you have the tools and processes in place to foster continuous innovation.

Innovation is hard, and many product innovation projects fail. Failure can occur in many ways and at various stages. Some of the common reasons for failures include not capturing product-market fit well, poor design, poor product quality, misalignment among business units, and not learning from past mistakes. For organizations to succeed at product innovation, they need to bring people together, establish objective criteria for investment decisions, follow a good process, and produce products of high quality. 

Properly implementing and managing the end-to-end innovation process is a key part of bringing winning products to market. You need to have the right tools and processes in place to streamline product innovation management, execute the manufacturing process while improving quality, and deliver higher customer satisfaction to customers. As a best practice, you should execute a closed-loop innovation cycle that spans 3 phases: Manage, Mitigate, and Monitor.

Manage: Better manage the fuzzy front-end of innovation

  • Centralize innovation management and rationalize ideas into viable products
  • Collect ideas and collate them into proposals and investment portfolios
  • Objectively vet portfolios to pick winning projects
  • Collaborate with manufacturing, partners, and suppliers to come up with the best designs

Mitigate: Communicate effectively and improve product manufacturing

  • Capture quality issues early, identify root causes and eliminate bottlenecks
  • Model-based communication of information to avoid delays and misunderstandings
  • Accurate dissemination of information to manufacturing, suppliers, sales, and service
  • Effective management of engineering change orders

Monitor: Measure product performance, customer satisfaction, and market needs

  • Know in real-time how the product is performing through IoT data
  • Social channel monitoring to understand customer sentiments around the product
  • Social channels and other macro-economic trends monitoring to understand evolving markets
  • Monitor competitive landscape information on the internet

This closed-loop innovation cycle of manage, mitigate, and monitor enables you to avoid many of the missteps associated with product innovation and gets you on a path towards bringing more successful products to market. It’s a balanced approach that helps you establish strong processes for vetting new product development, optimizing manufacturing, and better understanding your customers’ needs.

Oracle has invested heavily in developing modern enterprise-grade applications for manufacturers. For more information about our approach to successful product innovation, visit Oracle Connected Digital Innovation.