A lack of innovation processes slows down German global market leaders – Study

March 20, 2018 | News Germany

Even global market leaders often complain that their innovations require too much time to attain market maturity: approximately 60 percent of companies took a critical stance when surveyed on the time to market for new products. As a rule, money is not the issue. Eight out of ten companies stated that they were well positioned financially with respect to research and development. On the contrary, structural problems are what delay innovation. These are the results of a current study carried out for Staufen consultancy; more than 200 German companies counting among the global market leaders in their field were surveyed.

As shown by the study, two thirds of the companies admitted that other on-going projects push new developments back on the agenda. But even within R&D divisions, 45 percent of companies state that they are overwhelmed by the complexity of too many projects running in parallel.

Based on these figures, it comes as no surprise that almost 50 percent of global market leaders assess their innovation process as not being very professional. There is a lack of distinct processes and clear-cut responsibilities. When describing the issue, Dr. Andreas Romberg, senior partner and manager of innovation and product development with Staufen, says, “This is based on an image that is typical of researchers and developers, according to which creativity cannot be expected to follow an unyielding trajectory”.

The result: Whereas tried and true lean principles have been guiding production and logistics, companies often forge ahead with new developments without putting in place very much structure or any regulated processes, and particularly without implementing clear and binding management. “Innovation projects therefore undergo no initial testing with respect to prospects and risks. After a lot of time and money has flowed into research, companies realize that their developments fail to meet market demands”, postulates innovation expert Romberg.

It is becoming increasingly important to maintain an overview of ongoing projects and their required resources. This is the foundation which makes it possible to monitor and manage today’s modern, multi-project landscape. “Technological developments, shorter product and technology life cycles, and more dynamic markets result in increasingly complex research and development, and at the same time, innovation and product cycles have accelerated exponentially. Without clear process orientation and agile structures, companies will find it difficult to keep up“, warns Staufen AG’s Andreas Romberg.

About Staufen 

Inside every company is an even better one. This is the conviction which Staufen has applied in consulting and training companies and employees around the world for over twenty years. Markets are in motion, and competitive pressure is massive. Staufen helps you implement the appropriate changes quickly, increase productivity, improve quality and optimize innovative strength.

International Lean Management Consulting provides the right strategies and methods to create rapid and measurable successes. To leverage the potential that exists in every company, Staufen’s consultants work with managers and employees to achieve a dynamic and sustainable culture of change. The Staufen subsidiary Staufen Digital Neonex assists mid-sized manufacturing companies along their path towards digital transformation. Staufen also offers certified hands-on training programs at its Academy.

Staufen has over 280 employees who serve clients all over the world. In 2017, Staufen won the “brand eins Wissen” award for Best Consultant for the fourth time in a row. According to the highly regarded industry study Hidden Champions 2018, the company was named Germany’s best Lean management consultant, and the economic magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” has awarded it the “Best of Consulting” prize numerous times.

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