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Manufacturers have R&D departments developing new products and services.  Retail organizations have teams devoted to process improvement.  But these aren’t the only source of ideas.  Employees, suppliers, partners, and customers are key generators of valuable ideas in today’s interconnected digital economy.

Here’s a personal example:

  • While employed at Reynold’s Electrical & Engineering in Las Vegas, NV as a computer programmer in 1992, I noticed reams of pre-printed requisition forms on the floor and in the waste basket as the forms more often than not would either be misaligned in the printer and/or for each single page printed, a second page would kick out.  The misaligned data typically resulted in the job requiring a reprint.  So you get the picture.  Preprinted forms were double the cost of plain paper.  Back at my desk I began to look at the program (remember COBOL), and took a peek at PCL printer language.  I toyed around with embedding the printer language into the program that prints the data commanding the printer to print the form at the same time as the data.  Whoola.  Maybe not an earth shattering savings, but definitely worth the effort as I received some very surprised looks from our procurement folks when I told them they no longer needed to order the preprinted forms for several of their key processes.

Innovation – the process of successfully transforming ideas into new and optimized products, business processes, and services – is proven to drive  new revenues and superior growth performance.  The most valuable outcome is when companies deliberately implement a process to collect and harness the wealth of ideas internal and external key generators have and involve them in the innnovation process.

SAP’s Innovation Management solution is focused on delivering just that.

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