It is good to see companies making progress in creativity, despite the overall air of commercial trepidation still hanging around.
I would like to bring your attention to two fantastic “ideas” that are now being commercialized. The first is a new design by Tony Pike of Flat Technologies, who like the rest of us was rather annoyed at sitting in cafes with wobbly tables. He has put together a product that, once placed into position, will stay there. The really amazing part is that it is just hydraulics under the legs of a café table; there are four small interconnected cylinders with internal bladders. No seals, no locks, no electronics, no maintenance and it works. This product has a huge number of potential applications.
The second is a review of a current design then modifying this so it has nearly 30% reduction in parts costs and 50% reduction in labour costs. Sam Mikhail of IGT has used creativity and ingenuity along with the help of his team and use of DFMA software (taking the leg work out of standardising components and processes in manufacture) to re-design a gaming machine that is now versatile and customer friendly, with the “customer” in this case being everyone down-line from the engineer.
It is this type of creativity that needs to be found and encouraged in all aspects of business; real, live creativity. Improving the way things are done, how they are done and maybe even thinking about why they are done. It can be for a new or existing product, just as much, it can be for a new or existing process. As per my previous blog, use all the tools at your disposal – whether you have a huge tool box or a simple one – to help with your creativity.
Let’s celebrate real thought, real innovation, real action by acknowledging these people. We would love to hear of any great ideas for products or processes that you have heard of or even better come up with yourself.