Innovation isn’t always about a Big New Idea, although it’s often spoken about in that way. It doesn’t require invention—the creation of something that didn’t exist before. Innovation is the introduction of change, and that change could be small but have a large impact. The point of innovation is to find and fill market gaps to increase customer value and drive up profitability. For businesses, those small changes with big impacts could be the introduction of a new business model or tweaks to production processes that lead to increased output, and therefore, sales. That’s innovation improving productivity. But, did you know it could go the other way, too?
Improved productivity creates the conditions for a business to innovate. Improved production processes create time to come up with new ideas, and the capital that can be reinvested into them. Innovative businesses are constantly looking for ways to make their end-to-end production processes more efficient, for exactly this reason. With greater time, comes the capacity to focus on identifying global trends and unmet needs in the marketplace. And that’s where the Big New Ideas are.
Unlock your capital
There are three areas you can focus on to release capital from your operations:
- Improve your margin through reduced costs
- Increase your output and sales by improving processing workflows
- Reduce waste by reviewing your end-to-end production process
Without attention, your margin erodes each year, through increasing labour costs, fixed costs, and the always-rising 4% year-on-year commodity costs. A routine review of your end-to-end process, supply chain options, and technology updates will provide insight into what needs attention and action, before it starts reducing your profits.
How to take action
- A deep understanding of ingredients in recipes can create better flavours, and expand your portfolio to include healthier options.
- Different packaging materials may extend shelf life and reduce waste.
- Knowledge of local food regulations may influence strategic and practical decisions.
- Applying Design of Experiments methods to new product development provides faster feedback for increased speed to market and great market penetration.
- Access to better analytical tools builds knowledge more quickly, so you can take the best actions available.
With a keen eye on your productivity, you are taking a more holistic view of how you design, develop and deliver new products, ensuring your Big New Ideas will be sustainable and profitable.