We are currently experiencing a slow growth recovery from the Great Recession. The manufacturing side of the US economy has rebounded more robustly than the service side but continued overall growth for 2011 is forecast by most experts.
One of the best ways to take advantage of the current opportunities afforded by a recovery is by seeking and developing innovative products. The companies that comprise the fluid power industry have long been major contributors to engineered innovation in many areas of industry including improved productivity in manufacturing plants as well as creative usage of fluid power systems on mobile equipment. Since fluid power is one technology serving many markets, the breadth of innovation opportunities is immense.
In the book The Game Changer by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan, the authors make a very clear point that the best way to win in our current world of accelerated change is through innovation. While their focus includes many consumer based examples of companies adapting to the current challenges through innovation, the necessity for new products and services to drive revenue growth and profits is very clearly driven home. The theory applies directly to our the designers and manufacturers of machinery and equipment driven by fluid power systems.
In another recent book that focuses on the very current economic environment, authors David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter make the claim in their recent book Accelerating Out of the Great Recession that history has shown us that innovation is the engine that spurs new periods of growth. As we continue in our slow growth recovery, you who are involved with the design and manufacturing functions are challenged with the task of taking advantage of this period of time to increase your products’ brand awareness.
Your customers generally want a better product for the same price as your competitors or the same value for less cost. Innovation of your products, processes, and services will be the key to delivering results required by them. Those companies quick to arise to the challenges in the current market with innovative offerings will reap the benefits of increased market share.
In a more formalized setting, the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power has been actively pursuing such innovation for the past few years at several participating universities. I invite you to visit their website for more information at www.ccefp.org
for more details.