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Managing Innovation

Furthermore, Lankton came up with the strategy of “taking” the manufacturing plants to the clients. This is a form of decentralization that made the customers feel the organization was committed to their needs and services. Local plants and products were tailored to the customers’ desires and specifications. Precisely, Lankton believed in providing better quality than the customers expected in order to win them from his competitors. In an effort to manage new technological development and adoption, the company adopted the process and not the product, as the major scope for successful innovations.

This was designed as the different teams were working for solutions as to how production and customer profitability could be attained. It involved an understanding of the perceived innovation, those valuable to be implemented to other plants, the innovation development process applicable to other plants as well as the possible standardization of the new innovation (Harvard, Business School, 1998, p. 6). The Vistakon project, for example, is a good case study in which Nypro teams were able to reduce by half the (in the hardest circumstances by then) dimensional variability.

Another notable case involved the bi-component molding development in manufacturing the Reach brand toothbrushes. These toothbrushes’ handles were made using

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two types of materials; the main rigid structure and a softer, rubbery coating for enhanced gripping. Another strategic innovation management adopted by Nypro was dealing with the continuum of varying competition. This required evaluation of value-added working hours in concerted efforts to give the shortest delivery time quotations possible. This would ensure customer satisfaction and the result would be increased order placements.

Another important development that came about was the introduction of, though hotly contested initially, a new production planning software, the MRP2-the manufacturing resource planning. This was an advanced integration program for process control and overall quality management. When it was fully recognized and installed, information transfer became perfect thus improving product quality as well as organizational management. Conclusion: One vital key to the success of Nypro was based on Lankton’s opinion about the importance of avoiding stagnation through vigorous growth rate maintenance.

He believed that success was not only based on successful execution of strategies. Vigorous growth was an integral key input in order to formulate and achieve success. Furthermore, Lankton believed that if the company stagnated, then more innovative, and consequently more entrepreneurial individuals or organizations eventually leave Nypro to other organizations, or start their own. Harvard Business School (1998). Managing Innovation at Nypro, Inc. (A). Harvard Business Rev. December, 18, 1998, pp. 1-10

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