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“High impact” innovation, workshop scheduled for November in Milan

Sacmi to be a partner in an international workshop organised by Lenovys on the principles of “impact innovation”, the all-round innovation strategy that has been pivotal to Group strategy since 2008

The innovation that works? High-impact innovation! That is, an innovation capable of developing innovative products and services that generate value for the customer, doing so as quickly as possible at the lowest cost and – above all – ahead of the competition. It is this principle that lies at the core of impact innovation, the subject of a four-day workshop (Milan, 5-6 and 19-20 November 2015) to which top Italian managers have been invited to draw on the experience of leading Italian and foreign companies that have, over the years, successfully translated their development ideas into successful processes, products and services.

The partners of the event include the Sacmi Group which has, since 2008, made lean innovation principles central to its business strategy (the first such project was applied to ceramic presses to decisively reduce mould changeover times). Initially applied to the core businesses (ceramics, packaging, food), it was later extended as a more general methodology to revolutionize and enhance business process efficiency in keeping with the world’s best practices, the most renowned being those implemented by Toyota.

It’s no chance occurrence, then, that the protagonists of the 4-day event in Milan include Jeffrey Liker, leading international expert on the Toyota Way, and Luciano Attolico, one of Europe’s leading lean thinking experts and managing director of Lenovys, a research, consulting and specialised lean management training company that has already worked alongside Sacmi on individual projects for the implementation of this new methodology. That methodology has now been renewed as “high impact” innovation, broadening the field from product development to include the creation of a reference market, the mapping of the corporate processes, the honing of listening skills and the analysis of customer needs: "In today's markets”, explains Luciano Attolico, “ it’s no longer enough to offer stand-alone product and process innovation. These need to be included in an overall business strategy in which individual and corporate excellence must be nurtured, as must all those services that represent added value for the customer and are perceived as unique and distinct with respect to those offered by competitors.”

High impact innovation is the only innovation that lets you increase revenues, the quantity and quality of generated ideas, boost the conversion rate of the latter into successful products and, lastly, cut development costs and times. It is a concept understood well by the Milan event's business partners who, together with Sacmi, include high-calibre organizations such as Lavazza, Lamborghini, Eataly, Ethos Group, Flexform, Ruffinoì and Nautes. "The experiences of Toyota and, more generally, all successful companies”, continues Attolico, “demonstrate that customers care little about the company’s internal organization, as they’re aware that companies are generally good at cutting costs and reducing waste. Customers care very much, instead, about a few simple aspects of the proposed products or services: what impact they will have on their personal/professional lives; their value from their point of view; whether they are perceived as unique and distinctive by the market; what they mean; how much they cost and whether they are deemed good value for money."

"The Sacmi Group”, explains general director, Pietro Cassani, “has, over the years, invested considerable resources to ensure that R&D into individual technological solutions is supplemented by a policy that aims to create added value for the customer. For example, this has been done by opening offices and companies worldwide to operate as closely as possible to key markets and so boost our capacity to listen to customer needs, by making the most of human capital and training local technicians while continuing to channel resources into R&D at the Italian plants. In this respect one of the many challenges we face regards the important topic of warehouse logistics, where we’re working with leading figures in the industry to develop innovative, integrated solutions."

Indeed, according to lean thinking experts the scope for further developments is, in this regard, enormous. Suffice it to say that, according to estimates by Toyota, the implementation of what Professor Liker termed "Lean 2.0" (Toyota’s new product and process platform, or TNGA) will lead to a further 20% reduction in the resources needed to develop new models, while the reduction in new production plant construction costs could reach 40%, with launch times for new zero-emissions cars cut by 50%. Figures like that can make a huge difference in terms of competitiveness and potential, freeing up resources for the management and development of new high-impact products, processes and services with high added value, thus having a real impact on sales and margins.

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