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Turn Bright Ideas Into Profits for the Holidays

Kerrie Jordan
PLM and Innovation Product Marketing Director

If you’ve ever hung a string of lights during the holiday season, you know how frustrating it is when one bad bulb blows the entire strand. What if you could tell which bulbs were bad — and which were the best — before your holiday cheer fizzles into utter frustration?

If your company commercializes the wrong innovations this holiday season, it could be just as disappointing. So how do you get that insight into which ideas will shine the brightest as new products or services?

I can’t help you with your string of lights, but I can share some advice for your organization’s innovation practices. Timing is everything during the holidays, which means you can’t exhaust resources sifting through hundreds or even thousands of ideas. It’s key to focus on the best ideas, so you can speed up time to market for the products that your company can put in place. If an idea has a low probability of technical and commercial success, is it really a good idea? An idea might look good, but if you don’t have the supply chain readiness, the idea is not a good one for your business. To bring to market new products that are targeted to holiday shoppers — and do so on time — you have to focus on the most promising projects.

We’re seeing many companies improve their idea-vetting process by adopting cloud-based innovation management. It’s an application that’s integrated with project management to accelerate idea evaluation, selection and execution. It allows you to model what-if scenarios and solicit contributions from stakeholders over secure social networks. It also includes embedded analytics that help you evaluate risks and potential rewards based on calculated costs, resource availability and other factors.

Let’s take a look at how companies can use cloud-based innovation management to get the right products to market at the right times.

Finding Bright Ideas With Cloud PLM

We all know how quickly kids move from one fad to the next. When you’re in “the business of making children happy,” as Moose Toys says, you’d better have a fast and efficient way to vet ideas and make decisions.

The company, which introduces a new product range every four to six months, invites designers from around the world to submit ideas. But as the company grew, the spreadsheets and paper-based workflows that team members used to collect ideas were no longer manageable.

As Ben Dart, chief operating officer at Moose Toys, explains for Which-50.com:

“We needed a new way to support our creative processes. Fresh ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time, and we had to be sure we could capture the very best and evaluate their potential. Lost ideas represent missed opportunities.”

In 2015, the company decided to pursue a new IT platform that includes Oracle PLM Cloud and Innovation Management Cloud solutions. The analytics features in the platform help Moose Toys understand trends, letting the company stay ahead of the innovation curve and grow in its target markets, Dart says.

Cloud Visibility Brings Holiday Cheer

A common issue we read about during the holiday season is delayed product launches or inventory shortages. A lack of visibility during the ideation phase can lead to design flaws or poor insight into capacity. For example, you might find that you’re repeatedly reworking designs, or that you don’t have the resources to meet sales goals in a particular region. 

One of the keys to Innovation Management is the ability to ensure your resources are aligned with your strategic direction. Oracle Innovation Management Cloud allows you to capture ideas from many channels and prioritize them based on business goals.

It ensures ideas meet customer expectations for quality, function and price, as well as compliance requirements for particular regions. For example, design teams can construct new product concepts re-using existing known good items and product structures, and detect if there are issues that fail to meet the targeted metrics. Innovation Management Cloud also allows you to model alternative approaches to meet product requirements and analyze them to determine the best concept structure for commercialization.

Successful holiday product launches must be well-timed with few hiccups. The use of Innovation Management tools, such as internal social networks and analytics, can bring the best ideas to the forefront quickly without uncertainties that can lead to holiday disasters. 

Ideas Are Not Enough

Speed is critical in the innovation race. You need an efficient way to process, analyze and execute ideas to accelerate them into successful products and services.

If you haven’t thought about it already, consider adding Innovation Management to your PLM strategy — and to your holiday wish list.

Learn how to get started at www.oracle.com/innovationmanagement 

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