MANAGING INNOVATION IN THE FACTORY
This is a synopsis of an article that appeared in the May, 2000 issue of
"The Fabricator" (Croyden Group, Ltd.,
Many useful innovations come right off a factory floor. Even more come out
of an effort to solve a customer’s problem. Twenty years ago Eric von Hippel, a professor at
Step 1: Anticipate change and innovation
Step 2: Prepare for product development -- good planning can maximize the chance of securing intellectual property right when the opportunity arises.
Step 3: Look into protecting the product -- Having a monopoly on a product may be the ultimate in niche marketing. The value of such a monopoly is going to depend both on how big the market turns out to be, and well that potential can be tied up with a patent.
Successful innovation in the factory can come directly from responding
to customer requests. But success in this sort of activity usually requires
planning for the company’s acquisition of intellectual
property so that the opportunities can be capitalized on when they arise.
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