An idea becomes an innovation when it creates value.
According to Forrester, 53% of global services are investing in disruptive innovations and idea management technologies to drive business innovation.
Many top-level executives across the world believe that both innovation and idea management acts as a growth driver for the long-term success of any business entity. Recent studies also reveal that 70-80% of products fail because of ineffective idea management systems.
How Innovation Helps in Customer Engagement?
The simplest way to engage customers in the innovation process is by using personalization and listening to the voice of the customer.
For example, Netflix is one of those companies that focused on personalization as potential profit-making. Such type of innovation allows CIOs to engage with the customers they are trying to sell to based upon their most-watched content.
Organizations are engaging customers frequently in the virtual world, this, in turn, leads to business growth and expansion.
The two tactics that may business enterprises using to create value and thrive in the competitive world are:
1) Push Innovation: It starts with a product or service that you have developed. Traditional organizations that have built big product development and R&D centers are the biggest examples of push innovation.
The innovation process focuses on experimentation with different technologies and trends. It emphasizes on exploring business models to deliver the innovation.
2) Pull Innovation: It starts with a customer need. Companies successful with pull-based innovation are close to customers. Business strategies are led by customer insights and market research.
The innovation process begins with ideation and customer insight generation. It adopts creative design thinking to combine technologies to deliver maximum value.
It won’t be wrong if we say that Accept Mission’s idea management software is the by-product of our innovation processes.
To yield above-average ROI and get the best out of idea management software, it requires some planning, knowledge and an analytical approach. But first, let’s find out…
What Exactly is Idea Management?
As per Gartner, idea management is a structured process of collecting outstanding ideas, identifying the best, sorting invaluable insights and executing them within the business processes of the organization.
Ideas come in many forms such as customer feedback, feature requests, problems and product suggestions. Managing these ideas requires maintaining a backlog of ideas where you can find unique ideas, product reviews and make strategic decisions around the ones you want to move ahead with.
Effective idea management is the outcome of simplifying for the entire team to contribute to the future of the product.
What is Idea Management Software and when is it important?
Idea management software is a tool that helps organizations to collect ideas from their employees, evaluate them and deploy them to the market quickly and increase productivity levels.
Idea management platforms come in various shapes and forms. Companies of various sizes, across all market sectors, can benefit a lot from these platforms because innovation and improvements matter to everyone.
A simple little box that we see in organizations labeled as a ‘suggestion box’ where employees could leave their ideas and thoughts is originally the idea management tool. This is a suitable tool for any small organization with a hundred employees. However, what about if you have a thousand employees or maybe more? What if the company has multiple offices?
Eventually, a suggestion box will become a burden for leaders and managers. Soon, it will lose its value and usability in the organization.
Adopting a modern solution will be the key. There are so many idea management platforms available like Access Mission that can do much more than analog methods, providing tremendous benefits to the organization.
Techniques to use Idea Management Software
To help you realize the full potential of what idea management can do to empower your business. We have got some very interesting ways that our clients used to fuel their innovative ideas and enhance business functioning in a 360 degree way.
1) Process and Product Improvement
Every company has a lot of processes running. Customer service, sales and operations, finance and HR, to name a few are some functions that companies have standardized.
There must be a lot of opportunities where minor adjustments and improvements could cause cost and time-saving. So, it is always a wonderful idea to ask your employees about how to improve the work processes in a way that drives brilliant results.
Also, no product looks perfect. There is always a scope of making meaningful product changes that welcome new customers and provide increased benefits to existing customers.
Additional features are a little risky. So, you need to be confident to introduce them to the market. Treat them like your own children; give them the love and support they need.
Collect ideas from your employees and customers as they are the best to identify the best sources for improvements. Also, the right software will be useful in evaluating and implementing ideas to make sure the fully finished product comes out.
2) Entering New Geographic Markets
It is one of the most important stepping-stones for business expansion. So, it is vital to design a comprehensive plan if you have superior products or services.
Exposing your business to new geographic markets will not be a walk in the park. It is very capital intensive and there is a tremendous risk in failing to acclimatize to the local business culture.
This is where your employees’ ideas will come handy as they might have experiences and connections with diverse markets. All this will help you determine and select the most applicable market.
3) Conserving Materials and Resources
Knowingly or unknowingly, most companies in the process of product development end up wasting so much resources and materials than they realize. For instance, ⅓ of the food produced globally goes to waste, according to the FAO.
Not just it affects sustainability, but it also has a massive impact on the bottom-line of several organizations. Each dollar saved in reducing the waste is a dollar that contributes to the organization’s profitability.
Here, frontline employees who deal with the waste would help the organization use and save the resources for something productive in the long run.
4) Effective Timesaving
Like materials and resources, companies waste a lot of their valuable time on all unimportant inefficiencies.
As per the Harvard Business Review, managers lost 20% of their working time yearly to poor practices in setting up meetings that do not even add to the time spent in meetings, which makes it 50%. It may seem like a tiny issue, but it’s a seven-figure loss to the company, the slightest mistake leads to an immense loss.
As similar to material waste, it is difficult to identify the time spent on unproductive activities.
Many employees in the organization would be happy to fix these time glitches and work on improving productivity levels. This will also lead to people’s engagement and team-spirit.
5) Increasing Sales and Revenue
It all boils down to sales results for how long the company will succeed. Even if the organization does everything right, but cannot reach the sales target, it stands hardly any chance to grow further. Whereas, even a mediocre product can be a massive success in the hands of a well-reputed organization.
The most interesting aspect of managing sales is that every minor change, which is affordable to implement, can cause significant improvements.
There are many organizations that have highly skilled managers who use an organized approach to leading sales by numbers, despite the tough challenges that they may face.
The challenge is to exploit the opportunities for small or big improvements and keeping track of business effectiveness. Having a system in place will definitely improve sales results.
6) Acceptance of New Technologies
Many big corporations have an innovation lab to test emerging technologies and understand ways to incorporate them in business. These labs know the latest trends very well, but often find difficulties in applying these technologies productively.
The best way to implement state-of-the-art technology is to ask employees around the company and learn the ins and outs of the latest technology and deliver excellent business results.
For instance, if you are looking for ways to use machine learning and artificial intelligence, you can contact customer service representatives for ideas on what their mundane tasks are all about and how automation can happen.
7) Strategy Formulation and Execution
Creation of strategy begins by gathering a wide variety of inputs, competitor benchmarking, industry evaluation and risk analysis are all standard parts of the process.
It is imperative to engage employees in this phase as they always have some useful insights to share. Also, you will also know how well your employees know the business and what their blind spots are.
For strategy implementation, company directors and employees have to put in a lot of hard work and systematic planning. Upon the strategy launch, you may create a fresh idea challenge asking your employees how they would change the business and alternative ways of working to implement the strategy well.
This will also help you identify the stalwarts in your organization that you can leverage to win the organization.
8) Enhancing Collaborative Ideation Between Teams
In many big companies, the most common challenge is to build collaboration between different teams. Conflicts happen between sales, and marketing teams, blaming each other for not delivering enough. Sales teams complain to marketing for not being able to generate quality leads, and a marketing team to sales for losing so many deals.
In functional organizations, these challenges are hard to ignore. Conflicts exist between divisions or product lines struggling for authority and resources, but the principal challenge remains the same, not understanding other perspectives.
Out of all the ways to combat this challenge, the most powerful one is to have the teams work together with each other to solve each of their problems. This may cause some fantastic out-of-the-box ideas that will help your team up the game. By having a constructive discussion related to your ideas that can’t be implemented, you will help team members understand your point-of-view which resolves conflict and work stress between the teams.
Idea management tool is the best way of arranging collaborative ideation as it does not conflict with working schedules of team members.
9) Identify Customer Struggles and Fix Them
Irrespective of how good your products or services are, customers will face concerns whether it did not meet customer’s requirements or the product’s design was not appropriate.
For sure, the problems that your customers have are a massive treasure of ideas that will act as a catalyst to grow your business. By making amendments to your existing products or services, you can improve customer satisfaction and retention.
If your customers find you reliable, they might share some challenges that they may want you to face and succeed. This a brilliant opportunity for business expansion as it is easy to sell to customers whose trust you have already won.
10) Managing Safety and Health in Workplace
Especially in industries where most of the work gets completed outside the premises, workplace safety comes as a responsibility. As an employer, it is morally the right thing to put safety on priority, above everything else.
According to the reports, investing in workplace safety leads to the organization’s revenue to 600%.
It definitely costs a little higher when the employee is away from the workplace. A lot of direct and indirect expenses come with it such as medical leave, legal insurance, overtime costs and opportunity costs.
Most of your innovation resources, time and untiring efforts should be spent on extracting the best out of what business goals you are pursuing. These ideas, challenges and a vast range of opportunities may not be as exciting but they provide actual business results.
Accept Mission’s ideal management tool acts as a great platform for a wide range of innovation activities that improve transparency, communication and collaboration between the teams which leads to positive work culture.
Your path towards a potential innovation success begins by signing up for ideal management software.
Book a demo and start free today.