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Managing Innovation at Nypro

For any profit oriented organization to be assured of a competitive edge and maintenance in the world of business, innovation identification and implementation must be a fundamental, non-compromise policy. All stakeholders in such an organization must not only be willing to implement new and original technological and organizational inventions, but they should also be nurtured in a way most appropriate to be creative in their own capacities.

This is more emphasized among the higher management and technical level personnel because they are the key players in decision making processes and delegation of duties.

As shown by the methods applied by Nypro Inc (1955), a leading global manufacturer of molded plastic parts for precision custom injection, the process of innovation management is a complicated issue that involves several stages; from the innovation idea, to implementation and evaluation. However, if such an innovation is adequately put into place, then the perceived costs are usually far much below the achieved benefits that results (Harvard, Business School, 1998, p. 3).

Discussion: The earlier models of Nypro’s injection modeling machines used to melt relatively smaller plastic material beads.

After which, they would squeeze the material under high pressure, such as hydraulic powered screw or piston operated in a cylinder,

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to develop the customers’ ordered products with the highest precision possible by this technique.

Due to the low economies of scale linked to plastic molding at that time, this industry was basically composed of small-scale, low-value added molders since entry barriers were minimal and at the same time it was quite difficult to have any kind of differentiation.

However, Nypro made a diving surge into the large-scale molding capacity in 1962, when Gordon Lankton joined the organization as the General Manager.

The introduction of the Novaplast, the newly invented molding machine, came as a revolution to Nypro. Lankton’s superior technology development strategy was inspired by Nypro’s customers who were technologically progressive and demanding (Harvard Business School, 1998, p. 4). Lankton, an aggressively competitive person, introduced a new innovation structure which enhanced healthy internal rivalry among the various Nypro plants world wide.

This was initiated at individual level, and to maintain it, he devised the method of stock incentives to the best performers so that others could strive for the same. This came as a form of conflict oriented progress and proved fruitful for Nypro. He thus developed project teams that constantly kept each other at heels towards inventions as each expected to gain the highest ranking. It was decided that every plant operate as a company so that both vertical and horizontal managerial requirements were attained, as well as maintaining the flow of information among all the plants.

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