Use your market scan to gain a competitive edge
While there is a well-defined process at work here, scouting around for new ideas in completely different industries is as much an art as a science. It takes a special kind of understanding and imagination to see a successful technology or process in one kind of organization and be able to imagine its potential to work in your own company. To get traction with a cross-industry assessment, some organizations may have to undertake staff training to overcome resistance to adopting and adapting innovation from the outside—or perhaps even to see it in the first place. You won’t derive the value you seek from a thorough market scan if the internal mindset is strictly “homemade.”
Organizations that lack the capacity to conduct a comprehensive cross-industry assessment on their own should consider a partner to manage both the outside-in analysis and the development of external sources and ideas. Understanding how to identify these potential companies may be one of the biggest barriers to engaging in cross-industry innovation. In the long run, having a partner can help reduce investment costs and ensure that opportunities are not lost.
Competition often comes down to who has the most effective and efficient supply chain. That makes innovation essential—a drive for growth and differentiation in the marketplace that's not limited by the experiences and knowledge of your own organization and industry.
A market scan that includes the cross-industry innovation component is both a process and a mindset. It's a way of systematically expanding your pool of ideas to access the best supply chain practices across industries and organizations. Businesses today can't be held back by the insular supply chain solutions that worked in the past. Look deeper for effective ideas and make them your own.
About the Authors: Brian Nolf is Partner & Supply Chain Management Practice Head, Europe, for Wipro Consulting Services. Ramanan Sambukumar is Senior Manager, Lead Distributed Supply Chain Centre, for Wipro Consulting Services. Panagiotis Tsiakis is Manager, Supply Chain Management Practice, Europe, for Wipro Consulting Services.