Went to the Ingenuity KnowledgeXchange – Bringing New Products to Market hosted by University of Nottingham’s (UoN) local business network. This is the second part to the article having had an academic and industry presentations from Dr. Deborah L. Roberts, UoN and Matt Hague from Microlise.
The former explained best practices and the latter demonstrated how Microlise had put it into practice (not discussed in this article).
Deborah started with ‘what is innovation’ and cited the UK DTI (2004) definition as ‘successfully exploiting new ideas’. These ideas can be products, services, processes, business models, new markets and sales channels.
Kavia Moulded Products is adding innovation to its business in most of these areas by introducing new products for rowing and sculling, these new products required new business cost models and sell to new markets in the UK and abroad via new distributor and wholesale channels.
Why innovate? Because everything is constantly changing and standing still will leave your business behind, for this reason product and service life cycles are also getting shorter. With innovation you get first movement advantage, increased profit potential and reputation effects.
There are a number of key factors attributing to new product development success: Organisation/Marketing/Management/Strategic and Product Advantage. The latter is reputed to be the most influential, the innovation gives unique benefits and in the Kavia Rowing and Sculling products the BLMB Kit for mounting bicycle lights to rowing boat solves age old problems (too many to list) very effectively whilst taking advantage of the currently well developed bicycle light technology for easy mounting, battery life and great visibility.
The new 2K Bow Ball product offers a significant increase in safety, product durability and value for money with its new coloured core over-moulded design not used in the rowing product sector before but taking advantage of a common process in Kavia Moulded Products
The PENTATHLON MODEL by Goffin and Mitchell (2005) was presented as the take-away tool for businesses to structure their innovation management into the 5 elements of innovation strategy, ideas, people and organisation culture, prioritisation and implementation.
Commenting on these topics from Kavia’s perspective we have extended our innovation strategy to develop a new sector of products. Directors of the business have harboured the ideas from people internal and external to the business allowing a climate of risk and reward whilst managing costs and benefits that fit the business.
In this prioritisation stage there should be a process for ‘go’ or ‘killing’ projects and Kavia is facing these decisions too with a long list of new rowing products on the drawing board. The presented Cooper (1994) Stage Gate model is similar to the Kavia project database, which has stages and gateways for manager approval.
The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) have commissioned four surveys since 1990 and the last in 2011. The presenter summarised that key elements of the most successful businesses was focus on strategy, research into the market, NPD processes, CAD, measurable outcomes and closing down projects with lessons learnt.
With the Kavia Rowing and Sculling products we have over 13 years experience research and constant contact with the end users and the product environment. The components and injection mould tools are designed using computer aided design software and manufactured in-house at our West Yorkshire facilities. Products are already shipping all over the UK, mainland Europe and America. We are also very proud that some very high profile rowing teams and clubs are using our products.
Look out for the 2K Bow Ball on the Oxford Boat Race crews this March and the famous Leander Club Salmon Pink as they compete internationally and at Henley Royal Regatta.