As an innovation or R&D professional in a chemical organization, you’ve likely experienced firsthand the challenges that come with striving for growth and competitive differentiation through innovation initiatives. With a rebounding economy and growing global demand, chemical executives are focusing on innovation as a key component of corporate strategy more than ever. This focus brings attention to the practices that support efficient execution of innovation initiatives – or for some companies, the lack of established and proven innovation practices.
A recent webinar series focusing on “Best Practices for Improving Innovation Performance in the Chemical Industry”, asked attendees a series of questions about their innovation processes and approaches to industry challenges. The responses are featured in the below infographic, and are a starting point for you to benchmark how your own practices measure against your peers. A few highlights from our respondents:
- Lack of Alignment – Objectives are often not aligned with overall business strategy, and only a small percent of respondents have formal processes to keep innovation objectives and strategy aligned.
- Regulations Impact Innovation – Regulations need to be taken into consideration when planning innovation, but they don’t have to inhibit innovation.
- Governance: The Missing Link? – Governance plays a key role in the ideal innovation management process architecture, yet very few respondents have formally defined rules.
A look at the ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing shows that five of the top eleven ranked chemical companies have partnered with Sopheon to implement technology-supported practices to improve innovation performance. Sinopec has grown astoundingly in the past decade, moving 27 spaces to second place in 2012. Sinopec sits right behind the leader, BASF, a Sopheon customer which has consistently held a top ten position. SABIC currently sits in the fifth position, up significantly over the last decade from fourteenth. How have these companies overcome the significant economic and business challenges in the chemical industry and continued to drive results through innovation efforts? A recent study of Bayer MaterialScience, a subsidiary of Bayer positioned in the eleventh slot, highlights how they have brought coordination to the innovation process to support growth in the increasingly global market. Bayer MaterialScience brought consistency to the innovation process across global business units, providing visibility across the enterprise to better support decision-making and prioritization of innovation investments. At the heart of this visibility and success lies the effort to establish a distinct path from idea to market, supported by technology and defined practices.
I invite you to review the below infographic, and see how you compare to other chemical organizations when it comes to challenges faced throughout some of the areas of innovation. The infographic highlights how some of your peers approach innovation process and where they struggle, and offers links to resources with additional insight on each topic. Additionally, recordings of the “Best Practices for Improving Innovation Performance in the Chemical Industry” series are available on demand and cover the topics of regulation, ideal innovation management architecture and how leading chemical companies excel.