Re-invent your business with minimum cost and maximum innovation.

One trick we have all learned during these strange times is how to make do with what we’ve already got. Most of us have discovered the art of improvising during “lockdown” – not least how to make something new from something old – clearing out cupboards, experimenting with meals, finding forgotten useful items in the loft or garage.  Some have taken time to create – drawing, painting, writing and playing musical instruments that we thought we no longer could! We have been re-inventing ourselves, often with surprising success.

As we emerge from the pandemic, business will very much reflect the actions and reactions of people from the boardroom down, who have had to adapt, think and think again. These human influences will be critical to the prospects for a company to thrive, survive or fail. Typical thoughts may include;

  1. Keep calm and carry on – the market, and your products still need each other.
  2. Let’s call the whole thing off – the market has collapsed and your offer is no longer viable.
  3. Let’s re-invent ourselves – There are new and emerging markets that your company can serve – with a little imagination and innovation.

1 and 2 are rarely clear-cut and can lead to unambitious decisions and poor to zero recovery.  In 3 we find the most exciting yet scariest ways forward. One of the main worries with “re-inventing” is the thought of having to spend large amounts of money, time and effort in getting there. The good news is that re-invention can often be effectively realised using existing capabilities, skills, equipment and minimum investment.

Interesting profitable applications of relatively low cost innovation can be seen in the trend toward “making it the old way” – but better. There are a host of “extinct” technologies which have gained new life through modest, but key, improvements. For example;

Vinyl Records – In the USA alone record manufacturers generated more than $1 billion in revenue in 2018. This revival has been enabled through some clever technical additions to record playing equipment, such as turntables with HD Laser. An excellent case of creating a new market from an old market through targeted innovation.

Instant Cameras – This product originally peaked in the 1980’s, but faded away shortly after digital cameras arrived in the early 2000s. The new products, such as “Snap” merge computing capability with the classic “instamatic” features. Images can be digitally managed or printed it out on an innovative composite paper. This is another great example of retrofitting an old product into a new global market, which is now large enough to accommodate several major manufacturers.

Friction Stir Welding – For a more engineering perspective, look at the innovative conversion of milling machines to carry out “Friction Stir Welding” (FSW). This is a solid state joining process which imparts superior mechanical properties, due to no melting of metal. Industrial use of FSW has been limited due to high investment costs in the process and equipment. New technology, including digital process monitoring, can convert an existing milling machine into a friction stir welder. This makes the process viable in previously cost prohibitive applications.

Existing skills and equipment should often be the first point of call when considering new ideas and markets for your business.  Even seemingly small innovations can have huge positive impacts, on competitive edge, new products and alternative market development.

RNDO provides better visibility and reach of innovation choices, enabling accurate decision making when choosing routes to new markets and growth. We are committed to supporting our customers, in road-mapping, and adopting, disruptive ideas for existing skills and capabilities in their business. 

Our unique range of services can be tailored to your needs, both technically and commercially. We look forward to an opportunity to be of service!

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