Innovation-as-a-Service

Innovation is a continual process that requires on-going monitoring, testing, and leadership to minimise risks and optimise outcomes.

The Innovolation Framework™ is an agile Research and Development outsourced innovation methodology designed by Innovolo to help organisations to leverage market gaps in their current product or service offering.  The process is an overall packaged innovation management offering, and you may wish to carry out some steps yourselves.

Innovation-as-a-Service

With Innovation-as-a-Service, you bring in an external innovation team that is exactly tailored to your needs.

In this different world, your organisation must make innovation your daily business to remain meaningful.  With your external innovation team, you always have a sounding board at your disposal, and you develop the necessary mindset and skills to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

In this way, you can really focus on projects that would otherwise drown in operations and involve your entire staff in innovation.  With Innovation-as-a-Service, you simply pay a fixed amount per month so you always know where you stand.

Who we can help

Our services are centered around getting a product from idea to market but at the end of the day, we know the concerns of you and your business may be different.

For example, if you are involved in quality control your interests will lie more firmly in the area of tools to help with production whereas if you are heavily involved in the finance side of the business then cost reduction techniques will be of particular interest to you.

To make life easier we’ve set out the core areas where you may want to look first if you’re involved in a certain area of the business.

You’ve put your heart and soul into building a business.  The longevity, reputation, and ongoing relevance of your company is vitally important.  You probably have far more ideas than it’s possible to deliver and might not be the expert on every area that they involve.  This can lead to chaos, busy work, and disappointment at missed opportunities.

Having a clear product roadmap for new products and incorporating new technology where relevant puts the control back in your hands.  Having a tangible plan to work from brings focus and momentum.  You will be able to see what is possible with your current resource and identify if additional skills or capacity is needed to achieve the plan.  Time is money after all.

The plan should also look at your current product portfolio.  Are there products that could be value-engineered to improve margins? Which products are beginning to be impacted by component obsolescence issues and need to be factored in to avoid interruptions in supply?  With this information clearly at hand, you can then make the key decisions on which projects are key for the next 12-24 months of your business.

Partnering with world-renowned business coaches, Innovolo can offer you solid experience in business model design and strategy to take your business to the next level.

You clearly understand your customers’ needs and have your finger firmly on the pulse of the USPs and benefits your products bring.  To increase sales and hit that ever-increasing target you will want all signed off projects to complete as soon as possible, to reinvigorate customers and keep serving them.  You might be frustrated about the length of time it takes to get that new product idea in your hand, extra highly focussed engineering resources can speed up delivery and allow you to bring multiple products to market rapidly.

Some of your best-selling products will, at some point, start to face obsolescence and supply chain problems.  This can cause fulfillment delays or worse stop further ability to supply that product.  We can help you here by identifying and testing alternate component sources.  Where alternates aren’t available partial redesigns are often possible to keep the product line alive.

Manufactured product cost may be high on your agenda. If you’re losing sales to a lower-priced competitor or the gross margin is lower than you would like then it could be time for a cost reduction or value engineering project.  Not all products have high enough volumes to justify and recoup the project spend, but on the right product, this can be gold.

You might be the only person (other than the business owner) with your eye on costs, profitability, and cash flow.

Costs and profitability – do you have a good handle on what the manufactured costs of the new product are likely to be?  When was the last time you reviewed the cost build-up of existing product lines?  Are there opportunities for margin improvement through a value engineering project?

Cash flow – New product development is heavily front-loaded with costs with no revenue generated until launch. There is the opportunity cost of internal development teams, that could be working on other products, outsource dev teams and technical experts, prototyping rounds, tooling, compliance, manufacturing setup, packaging, marketing, and initial stock.  Do you have a handle on all the likely costs and when they will be paid for?  How are you planning on managing a product launch with unknown sales volumes?

Product returns – do you have the confidence that the new product has been properly tested and production quality proven?  If you are trialing a low volume with a few customers there is lower financial exposure than if the product is being launched and sold in high volumes.  A problem that requires a product recall for high volumes can have huge implications on cash and reputation.  Design verification and validation can be viewed similarly to an insurance policy to minimise risk.

The chances are high that you are balancing multiple new product development projects and maybe even some production-related issues. You need to deliver these products on time and to specification so that product launches aren’t missed and competitors don’t gain an advantage.

If you can’t deliver with your available internal resource, we can help you stay on track, solve technical issues and quickly eat through the backlog to maintain your release dates and give you peace of mind.  We also offer a virtual Innovation Director service if you need an extra hand.

If quality is your focus then consistency, repeatability, and minimising opportunities for error and non-conformity are vital.  Process improvements and quantifiable measurements are likely to be high up on your radar.

You will expect that new products have been properly designed, tolerated, and tested before New Product Introduction (NPI) in production. Access to thorough product verification testing may be helpful to you, if so get in touch for verification testing.

Printed circuit board assemblies are key components in your new electrical designs.  There are chances for faulty PCBs, incorrect parts, missing components, dry joints, solder bridges, and more to occur which could prevent the product from working properly.  Some of the issues may not be easily found with a simple functional test.

You’ll want to capture non-conforming products as early as possible to minimise the downstream impact, minimise rework and resolve manufacturing and components issues as early as possible.

With a culture of product development, you are constantly considering new ideas for products. You have Project Managers with portfolios of ideas they need to assess and bring to market when feasible. The problem is that the range of skills needed to assess, design, and develop the idea, whilst ensuring compliance with legislation and standards, is wide. That’s where Innovolo can help.

With years of experience assessing, developing, and bringing products to market, we have the skills you need. Just as importantly you only need to use us when you have a need. If you recruit the people you need to complete the skillset, you have cost and administrative burdens on the business that aren’t needed or wanted.

You’ve probably already read this on other pages, but we can support you throughout the process. Idea development and assessment are followed quickly by design. At this point, we always bring in compliance. After all, why design and build and then hope it meets the necessary standards? If compliance is built in from the beginning, you know it will meet the standards that will allow it to be sold in the markets you are targeting.

Our services are designed to fit around the skills you have internally, so you only use what you need and nothing more. A truly cost-effective solution!

Innovation-as-a-Service Options

TIP:  You can also check out our Pricing page to compare the options available.

Our retained services are a great option for companies that need to closely monitor and regulate their investment into New Product Development. Offering access to a huge range of competencies, you can be assured that the right expertise is at your fingertips.

  • You stay in control
  • Flexibility to use the services as much or as little as you need

All four retained service levels allow your company to select the relevant expertise and management required for your particular product development, for a contractually agreed period of time. (Minimum of 6 months).

The total minimum hours will be billed at the beginning of each month at the agreed rate, and any additional hours calculated and billed at the end of each month.

 

If you have multiple projects, a single large project, or would like to use us to supplement, or serve as, your engineering department over time, then investing in bulk retained hours is the most economical and efficient option. In this scenario, we will review the portfolio of projects you want us to handle for you and recommend a combined total number of hours. You can then purchase the hours in bulk, at a discounted rate.

In addition to the wholesale discount on the hourly rate, there are other benefits to using the bulk hour structure. For instance, the reduction in project management costs. The savings come from the simplification of project startup, scope changes, and accounting work. Also, since the block hours can be applied to any project at any time, clearly defining scope limits up front is not necessary. This reduces the quote sign off lead time and allows for broad changes in project direction on the fly, at any point in the process. In addition, the hassle of tracking and coordinating payments on multiple projects is eliminated by merging them into a single repeatable payment plan.

Any organization, in order to stay alive, needs to continually adapt itself to its environment and create new products and services in the process. Many of those changes are small, some changes and developments are really significant and sometimes radical. The Innovolo Innovation Culture Maturity Model describes what it takes for an organization to be truly innovative, to make those changes both big and small. It helps organizations get better at creating new and different services, products, and processes and thereby stay relevant.

It also helps organizations to innovate with sustainability principles. Saving time, cost, and effort, and saving the planet. Get smarter and better, improving innovation capability continually. Using the sustainability guideline, you can innovate while balancing people-planet-profit goals at the same time.

More info

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Missed a product launch date?  Get back on track fast with one or more of our engineers to bolster your team.  Our Bulk Hours option may be best for you if this is just a short-term problem.

Great ideas can only translate into a successful business if people are willing to pay for the product or service.

First, you need to identify who the target market is for your product. Are you planning to sell to young people or seniors? Is your product primarily for women, men or both? Are you going to sell to individuals, other businesses or to the government? What income level would people need to have to be able to afford your product or service?

Once you know who you are going to sell to, you should consider doing some market research to find out if your target market would be interested in buying your product or service, and how much they would be willing to pay for it.

If your product or service is something people would be interested in, but not willing to pay for, you can consider alternative business models. Some businesses, in particular in the service industries, offer their service for free or at a low price, but are able to make money through other avenues, such as advertising.

Innovolo can help you create a go-to-market plan right from the initial conception of the product right through to the product landing on the supermarket shelves.

Our technical term for this is “Value Engineering”, but our engineers can review your designs and components to see where savings can be made.  

No problem.  Why don’t you use one of our engineers as an independent sounding board before conducting a more thorough feasibility study?

Are you missing documentation? Our engineers can produce product specifications and update schematics.

Are you recruiting? If you are struggling to find the perfect addition to your team, use one of ours until you make that hire.

You never know – you may well like working with us so much you’ll not need to recruit those new staff…

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"As much as you can eat" Innovation
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