Problem - Solution - Impact: Consultancy in Action
The benefits of a small city like Waterford is that there are no divides between the Institute of Technology and the City, and regular local media coverage meant that when Allsop felt they needed some help, they knew that the RIKON Group at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) was the place to go.
The RIKON Group conducts research into small business innovation and knowledge management. It provides consultancy to businesses with the aim of helping them to achieve a competitive advantage through enhancing their managerial capabilities in innovation and facilitating the development of collaborative business networks.
The limited human, financial and technological resources available to Allsop Europe and the current economic climate created difficulties in the development of new product concepts. Indeed, these problems in the management of the innovation process in Allsop Europe were proving detrimental to the overall product success and were resulting in an unacceptable time to market.
Allsop Europe approached the RIKON Group for help to reintroduce innovative thinking and practices into the company and to improve the management of New Product Development.
“It has been very interesting for our organisation to get an objective input from outside the company in assessing our New Product Development process.” Ciarán Duffy, Sales and Marketing Manager, Allsop Europe.
The RIKON Group spent time with Allsop and designed and implemented a structured New Product Development process and a shared information system that supports and manages people, time and expertise across all departments of the organisation. This enabled the company to update, track, monitor and manage the status and timely flow of new product concepts/projects. It has also led to a more effective collaborative environment and improved New Product Development process within the company.
The process to enable this work was an easy and affordable one. A straightforward consultancy agreement was provided by WIT and the work was supported through two Enterprise Ireland innovation vouchers in 2007 and 2009.
But that was 2009, what of now?
“Our internal processes .... changed, and we have not gone back to the old processes (since 2009), they have become everyday practices. We had a problem, they had a solution.” Ciarán Duffy, Sales and Marketing Manager, Allsop Europe.
Publish date: 2014