Boosting competitiveness with an innovation program at Villares Metals in Brazil.
“Nothing is more important than an idea whose time has come.” (Victor Hugo)
The time has come – for a range of ideas to make Brazilian special steel producer Villares Metals in Brazil even more competitive in the future. A new innovation program called PIC (programa de inovação competitiva) is motivating the company’s 1,400 employees to actively contribute their creativity, knowledge and experience.
In contrast to other improvement programs such as CIP, the continual improvement process, PIC is focused on the market in order to develop new products and services for existing and potential customers. PIC is also intended to discover new methods of becoming established in the market, or measures for intensifying the customer relationship.
"PIC is a structured process, designed to open up the innovation funnel and allow every employee to take part. The ideas are evaluated, selected, and presented to the company innovation committee. The committee then decides which ideas should be realized through formal projects. You also have to be good at sorting the wheat from the chaff, in order to pick the right ones."
The PIC has been in place since last October, and the motivation and range of ideas proffered by employees exceeds all expectations. Already 114 ideas have been submitted, including:
- 56 ideas about new products
- 50 ideas for new ways of becoming established in the market
- 8 new business model ideas
Around 50 ideas have been presented to the company management.
The PIC example shows that today it is more important than ever to focus on the market. It is up to the employees who are in contact with the market to become the key drivers of the company’s future development. On the one hand this motivates the person who originates the idea, and on the other, it strengthens the commitment to act in accordance with the Villares Metals vision of operating with a greater customer and market-oriented focus every day.