Put Down That Mop And Start Innovating!

New research from Dow Corning shows that, at a growing number of manufacturing companies, all employees – not just the technology and science geeks - are being counted on to advance innovation.

If you’re full of innovative ideas, chime in.

New research from Dow Corning shows that, at a growing number of manufacturing companies, all employees – not just the technology and science geeks - are being counted on to advance innovation.

“The results show a trend away from the traditional ‘inside-out’ approach to innovation, which involves creating a new product or solution and then looking for a way to sell it,” said Scott Fuson, Global Executive Director for marketing, sales and customer service at Dow Corning. “Respondents now are turning to an ‘outside-in;’ perspective of monitoring the external environment, market needs and customer expectations and then creating products, services and solutions to address those needs.”

In ranking the factors that make a supplier a successful innovator, the respondents singled out an “intimate understanding of what customers want and need,” “employees are creative,” and “apply the latest developments in science and technology.”

Asked to identify “the single biggest challenge facing your business today,” 36 percent of global respondents ranked lower-cost competitors” as No. 1. Next in line were new market development, innovation, and rising energy costs. Interestingly, the challenge of lower-cost competitors is seen as being more critical in Asia (36 percent) than in the Americas and Europe, both at 29 percent.

Thirty-two percent of those responding in Europe feel innovation is the single biggest challenge, while only 10 percent in the Americas and Asia named innovation as their toughest challenge.

The telephone survey was done by Harris Interactive and included executives from a wide range of industries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

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