Fortune Magazine - November 29 2004 - Get Employees to Brainstorm Online Although short, this excellent article by Fortune's Anne Fisher is full of interesting data. Some bullet points?
- According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, almost half (45%) of lucrative ideas—whether breakthrough products or services, new uses for old ones, or ways to cut costs—come from employees.
- Grace's chemical-manufacturing division has run 34 online campaigns to solicit employee suggestions. From those efforts a total harvest of 2,685 ideas has yielded 76 new products and 67 distinct improvements in how things get done
- Employees, responding to a campaign called Customers Do the Darndest Things, reported that customers were telling them about unexpected uses for existing products, leading the company into new markets that have boosted annual revenues by as much as $3 million.
- At Georgia-Pacific, management zeroed in on shaving the cost of the cardboard tubes inside rolls of paper towels. The company spends about $30 million a year on the components, that the "consumer really doesn't care about." Mill workers from among the company's 16,000 North American employees quickly responded with little changes that shaved about $1.2 million a year, or roughly 4%, off the cost of the tubes.
Some great benchmarks for all corporate innovators!