Friday 12 April 2019

Excellence Club April 12th, 2019 “Plural Innovation as the key to success through several Innovation approaches”

The Excellence Club meeting which took place on April 12th was the opportunity for the Mt Blanc Industries Cluster to gather a dozen Company Managers to talk about “Plural Innovation as the key to success through several Innovation approaches”. The talk was led by Mathilde Juin, Innovation Project Manager at Thesame.

 Innovation strategy: a few reference points

A discerning and efficient innovation strategy should allow you to answer the following 3 questions:

  • ·         What innovations will let the company to generate value for its clients and customers?
  • ·         How to capture that value?
  • ·         What resources should each innovation benefit from?

The different types of innovations will allow to reinvent one’s business model, to understand where and how to capture value. The objective being to generate a unique offer to better distinguish the company from its competitors.

2 key ingredients will provide for the implementation of that mix: integrating outside skills and setting up a strong innovation culture internally.

The innovation strategy is different from the R&D strategy and it must be part of the global strategy of the Company.

Step by Step Process

Analysis of its main competitors and description of all common points to define the market rules and identify how to obliterate them and generate innovation.

Ask yourself: Why can’t I do differently in order to stand out? Why innovate? Who innovate for? What is my ambition?

Combination of the 4 types of innovation: routine, radical, breakthrough, architectural (technical skills and Business Model). Being a company is no longer enough. One should integrate the innovation combination as a differentiating factor as it is more complex to reproduce.


Different approaches

1st approach: 5 innovation families dealing with the capture of the value:

  • -          Change the setting of prices based on the value of the offer or of the product per customer/client (the price being set based on the demand).
  • -          Identify the attributes of the product (price, cost, quality, TAT and compare them to the clients’/customers’).
  • -          Change who pays.
  • -          Change the value factor.
  • -          Change the timing.
  • -          Change the segment.

2nd approach: Configurate the enterprise, the offer and the experience:


  • -          Business Model: How to make money beyond the offer (services).
  • -          Network: Be connected with one’s eco-system to reach out to one’s clients/customers and suppliers and locate innovation.
  • -          Organization: Use internal talents to innovate internally and deliver value to one’s employees.
  • -          Process: work on the value chain. What has no value in my company? (low AV tasks).


  • -          Through performance.
  • -          Go the extra mile with an additional service (billing).


  • -          Innovation through one’s brand (strong brand value through brand identity creation).
  • -          Client/customer commitment: encourage them to innovate and integrate them in our innovation approach as a supplier (co-working).


Key ingredients to innovate

Establish a real innovation culture throughout the company (capacity for each employee to define innovation in his/her company) beyond R&D and D.O.

Detect innovating ideas in all departments. Have all employees adopt one’s innovation strategy.

Organize Market Technology watch outside one’s activity (e.g. Textile) to spot good practices.

Have an Innovation Marketing strategy.


Case Study: Feedback: « How to go about innovating? » (CLUFIX – Eric Massebeuf)

Problem: How to develop metal fastening solutions beyond the traditional distributors network?

Solution: Go directly to the customers

How? Propose customers to participate in the building of solutions. The key point for positive results being that the customer must remain the architect who designs the product.

A new Business Model centered on service

  • -            Work upstream from the sale (value creation with the customer): how to meet each customer’s needs with the obligation to deliver?
  • -            Identify all signals after each product innovation to continue to innovate (e.g.: what impact on the fastening market for the automobiles of tomorrow? Electric Equipment Industry -> internal development of a new product to meet the needs of a connected vehicle.)
  • -           Development of tools internally: set up a weekly project committee with all departments (Project review and determination of success and failure factors)
  • -          Involvement of all departments: Have all departments brain storm. Generate the context and environment to encourage new ideas freely uninfluenced.


-          More than 50% of our T.O. with 2 Distribution Channels (Distributors: product catalogue sale with a full offer and Direct Sale for targeted markets with the development of dedicated solutions.

-          Added value of the sub-contractor that helps the customer succeed in its project but also that brings about a Tailor-Made support and its technical expertise in products and industrial process.

-          Commitment of all employees for innovative thoughts.