Outsourcing Innovation

Outsourcing Innovation – A Good Idea?

If we recognise there is something we are not great at doing, we might consider outsourcing it.

Take accountancy for example. It’s a skill which involves utilising a particular part of the brain that not all of us can easily tap into. Partnering with a professional accountancy firm can take care of that.

If we need something made, but don’t have the machinery or capability, then that problem is easily solved by finding someone that DOES have the machinery and the capability.

In this very exciting time of change and rapid development, when companies are being asked to innovate and satisfy a new audience of socially critical consumers, it can all be a little overwhelming. This is where a company such as 4c Design come in.

Product design engineering consultants are professional innovators, working in fertile surroundings, where new ideas can flourish – quickly. Many companies already use this service and can immediately see the benefits of outsourcing. Budgets, timescales and deliverables can be set and managed by the consultancy, leaving the company to concentrate on the core business.

It’s simply embracing the logic that if someone can do the job more efficiently, quicker and more cost effectively, then throw them the ball.

But How and More Importantly When?

Outsourcing Innovation

Innovation is quite possibly the most overused word in business today. But what does it actually mean? And why is it SO important for companies to be innovating?

I have been in the design industry for over 20 years and have heard this term used by nearly everyone from soft drink companies to bridge builders. Surely a single word cannot apply to such a broad range of industries? Well, I believe it can, because I have seen many, many of these industries do just that. They do it simply because they want to remain competitive and are constantly looking for opportunities to do so.

The most successful ones can usually see an opportunity in their market from the list below, by no means an exhaustive list:

  • Industry Knowledge
    • The client knows their industry inside-out and can predict new product or tech opportunities.
  • Consumer Insight
    • Understanding what the customer needs, wants or is unhappy with, can create a need for new thinking.
  • Market Disruption
    • A competitor comes along with a new solution and shakes up the industry.
  • A Change in Law
    • New legislation can create an opportunity to re-design, re-think and re-launch.
  • Technology Advancements
    • A step-change in manufacturing can create opportunities to make things faster, safer, cheaper, more efficient.
  • Brand Extension
    • A brand with valuable equity can use this platform to branch into other sectors.

Innovation absolutely relies on a reason to exist. So identifying your reason is the first step in a long journey to transforming your offering. After that it’s about finding the right partner to visualise and deliver it.

As always, comment and feedback are very welcome.

Will M.

4c Design