David Peacock: How Innovation Affects Customers
According to a survey conducted by PwC regarding innovation, 92 percent of industrial manufacturing executives said innovation is important to future revenue growth. It makes sense—to meet consumer demand in this day and age, businesses must evaluate how to solve problems and generate new capabilities to increase throughput.
However, innovation efforts can’t take off without a shared vision or strategic plan. Throwing resources at research and development won’t solve the problem. It is important to foster an environment where innovation is viewed as everyone’s responsibility.
A commitment to innovation means a commitment to creating solutions that excite customers. By focusing on customer satisfaction, innovation improves Hytrol’s service, strengthens collaboration and enhances the overall customer experience.
Improves Customer Service
Customer service teams hold the key to some the best innovative ideas. They are often the first line of contact, and their interactions with end users in the field can shape innovation strategies. It is important to regularly solicit feedback from these employees who routinely interact with customers; this information can be vital to developing simple, yet effective solutions for a wide range of challenges.
At Hytrol, we continuously seek feedback from all levels, both inside and outside the organization. Internally, our teams are constantly evaluating our product line and service offering to determine what’s working and how we can improve. This means looking for opportunities to remove non-value added cost while focusing on integration of new technologies. By focusing on continuous improvement, our intent is to ensure our customers’ expectations are exceeded and will, therefore, return in the future.
Externally, collaboration is key. Our integration partners are a tremendous resource for valuable and innovative ideas. These companies are constantly working with end users to understand their challenges and find solutions to fit their unique needs. Because of this, Hytrol and our integration partners routinely work together developing the next idea. We hope they will be market changing but recognize that incremental improvements present themselves every day.
Additionally, we look at our industry associations, suppliers and academics to facilitate our innovation efforts. Whether it is organizations like MHI, the engineering department at our local university, or one of our outstanding suppliers, this approach enables us to leverage expertise in countless areas to give us a better tool box when facing the challenges seen by our customer base.
Enhances Customer Experience
Areas where innovation can increase customer satisfaction include new product development, system design and customer care. Improvements in these areas should be tailored with the customer’s needs in mind.
Focusing on what’s important: Many people focus only on their products. That may be proper in some situations, but you should always evaluate the application first. Fully understanding applications provides for more effective employment of innovation. It also facilitates the selection of the appropriate products for those specific applications.
Trust: It’s important to share with your audience the information they need. This not only enables the relationship to move forward, but propels it too. As your customers’ trust in your abilities and services grows, so will their loyalty to you and your business.
Employee engagement: An energized innovation culture electrifies your team. They want the opportunity to engage a challenging scenario and develop a solution that provides the customer with the best solution at a competitive cost.
Excitement: Innovation can spur excitement not only internally but externally as well. Customers take notice and will adopt your enthusiasm for your brand.
The same survey stated that more than 70 percent of industrial manufacturing executives said that giving employees the chance to lead or participate in high-profile innovation initiatives is important to developing a strong innovation culture, and nearly as many were convinced of the need to recognize and reward innovation initiatives.
Therefore, it’s important to recognize that creating an environment where innovative ideas can thrive enhances and influences customer service. Through these efforts, Hytrol intends to provide the customer with the kind of experience they will not likely forget.
David Peacock is President of Hytrol. As a strategic executive with progressive experience in the manufacturing industry, David is focused on driving performance and continuing the company’s longstanding heritage through lean practices and alignment of cross-functional talent. He continues to promote a culture of excellence by encouraging collaboration and communication. With a dynamic leadership style, David possesses the organizational and tactical knowledge to guide Hytrol’s people, processes, and initiatives.