Kimberly-Clark is on a multi-year journey to improve its results from innovation. Like many consumer goods companies, one of its biggest challenges was creating high-value ideas and concepts to grow new product revenue. The quantity of ideas was not the problem — it was the quality.

On May 3, 2012, during a CGT web event, Kimberly-Clark Portfolio Leader Cor Bosselaar revealed how the company is enhancing the front end of innovation (FEI) to enable bigger and better ideas that drive bigger and better business results. During this session, Bosselaar explored how Kimberly-Clark dramatically improved idea and concept development with a central, global collaboration process and tool.

Bosselaar also shared the results from a recent Sopheon/CGT survey wherein 62 percent of respondents identified the No. 1 challenge of front-end innovation as being “ideas are not broadly visible and therefore can’t be reused by others”. To overcome this common roadblock, Kimberly-Clark’s first step was to start with what had been done in the past.“We found over 700 viable ideas to explore,” exclaimed Bosselaar.

Joining Bosselaar were experts from Kalypso and Sopheon who shared a "Top 10" list of CG industry-leading practices for improving ideation and concept development processes. Gale Fogg, senior manager for Kalypso (formerly of Procter & Gamble), and Bryan Seyfarth, director of Product Strategy for Sopheon, revealed best practices such as:

  • Define a fair, transparent, repeatable process that everyone understands
  • Eliminate “Reinventing the Wheel”
  • Connect ideation to concept development and testing to provide context required for learning.
  • Systems need to be user-friendly, intuitive, fast to learn.
  • Establish a process and accountability for continuous improvement of the FEI process.
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