IMPROVING PRODUCT QUALITY THROUGH COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
While innovating to advance a specific business agenda has economic importance on both the micro and macro levels, innovating to advance product quality has an entirely different level of importance. Collaboration is a way to set the bar and ensure that consumers are consistently turning to a set of providers for solutions, which in turn raises the value of various intellectual properties and the profitability of the providers. In other words, higher quality standards will make organizations more money.
Let's dive into what businesses miss out on when collaboration is absent, then follow up with what collaboration provides organizations and the industry as a whole.
What Happens When Collaboration is Absent?
- If an an industry-wide challenge is not addressed in a collaborative setting, it takes longer to overcome it. Although set in different context, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology illustrates how groups of three or more are able to overcome tasks at a faster pace than individuals.
- Details and considerations can be missed. Just as research is peer-reviewed prior to being published, a problem must be examined by different minds and from different angles in order to be declared truly solved - especially if it is meant to address issues experienced by different organizations.
- The industry becomes unbalanced. Competition pushes businesses to deliver the highest quality products to their customers. Without it, there's a lag period of consumers using products that aren't meeting their full potential until other business teams are able to reverse engineer the initial product entry. Though being “first” will pad that respective company's wallet for a while, it has a high potential to generate mistrust further down the line.
- Lack of focus. Without effective communication across an industry, individuals may altogether miss out on identifying the largest underlying problems. As a result, chasing after individual development goals may be arduous for everyone, as they're consistently meeting resistance from the real problem at hand.
What Collaboration Provides For Organizations
- Ultimate realization of cost benefits. There is a time investment required in meeting and contributing to the collaboration team's drive toward resolution, but that investment eventually pays off. An innate benefit of collaboration is that the resulting products are almost always higher in quality. This allows organizations to release the product at a higher price, and due to the innovation's groundbreaking nature, pull in more revenue from the ensuing consumption of that product. Though not as explicit as revenue numbers, collaboration usually has a positive impact on resource savings, as well.
- Recognition of individual accomplishments. Despite collaborating as a team, the individuals of that team also benefit from participation. Contributing to collaboration helps engineers, researchers, and developers build their respective brands as innovators and ensure they're seen by peers as thought leaders in their given industry. Furthermore, being ranked on the team that launches an industry-driving effort is an attractive accolade to show off to higher-ups who may not necessarily have insight into the collaboration project.
For Industry as a Whole
- Customers are rewarded with quality products and hidden cost savings. Research and development time has significant influence on the market cost that consumers see since providers need to do what they can to recoup their own costs from that period. By collaborating, organizations reach an end result faster and can introduce products at a more competitive price point. As indicated earlier in this post, the mindshare present in a collaborative environment also provides new perspectives, more considerations and, ultimately, a higher quality product for customers.
- Keep the competitive playing field on an even keel. Though direct competitors will look for ways to put their own spin on final products, keeping organizations in the same competitive realm is important to overall economic health and consumer freedom. Collaboration ensures the survivability of industry leaders and continuous improvement into the future.
- Reduction in time spent innovating at scale. Organization-wide changes are typically slow to implement. When collaboration teams unite to address a problem, however, a lot of the process development challenges are mitigated as different organizations' legal and leadership teams work to smooth them over, since it's the first obstacle to actually beginning innovation work. The focused efforts save time and get progress underway.
iNEMI serves as a unifying consortium that brings leaders in the electronics manufacturing industry together to discuss and resolve the obstacles to progress. In addition to bringing like industries together, iNEMI also serves as a guide and central resource to connecting its members with the most relevant industry news and member breakthroughs. To start developing relationships and participating in a mindshare with other leaders in the space, please click here to contact us and find out how you can become a member.