said they see greater collaboration leading directly to greater customer-centricity.
By comparison, 25% said the same in last
Going forward, manufacturers expect
that collaborative approaches to innovation will be focused much more than today on driving customer engagement and
creating product-related services (Chart
11). While 28% of manufacturers said
driving customer engagement is a major
focus of collaborative innovation today,
41% said it will be in five years. Similarly,
just 13% said product-related services are
a major focus of collaborative innovation
today, but that number jumps to 20% in
five years. Clearly manufacturers see a
connection between more collaborative
approaches to innovation and meeting escalating customer expectations.
That connection was reinforced when
manufacturers were asked with which external groups their companies will engage
in collaborative innovation over the next
two years (Chart 12). The largest group by
far, 78%, said key customers will be their
greatest focus for collaborative innovation, suggesting that manufacturers are
striving to understand and satisfy evolving customer demands.
Another 67% said they will have a greater focus on collaborating with technology
providers, suggesting again the important
role that M4.0 technologies such as Io T, artificial intelligence, and analytics will play
in innovation going forward.
Despite manufacturers’ optimism
about the potential for more collaborative approaches to innovation, however,
the transition to collaborative cultures,
processes, and organizational structures
continues to be slow (Chart 8). Only 16%
of manufacturers described their companies’ current approaches to innovation as
g 0 Collaboration Will Benefit Product
Q: What do you see as the top three business benefits
from collaborative innovation? (check top three)
• New product innovation 49%
• Incremental product improvement 32%
• Long-term research projects and ideas 18%
• New services development 19%
• Larger pipeline of ideas 15%
• Operationalimprovements 38%
• Reducedcost 30%
• Speed to market 26%
• Market expansion 24%
• Greatercustomer-centricity 30%
• New business model opportunities 17%
• Other 1%
improvements that they enable (Chart 7).
Analytics and artificial intelligence are expected to make their greatest contribution
in helping manufacturers to improve quality, and 3D printing and digital design tools
will help most in enabling manufacturers to
get products to market faster. Augmented
and virtual reality tools, meanwhile, will
help manufacturers most by enhancing ideation, respondents said.
Manufacturers See Value in but
Struggle with Collaboration
Manufacturers also believe they can improve and accel- erate innovation by enhancing collaboration inside and outside their
enterprises, particularly with customers.
Manufacturers responding to the survey
said engaging in more collaborative approaches to innovation will allow them to
deliver greater new product development
and operational improvements (Chart 10).
At the same time, 30% of manufacturers