Neither technology nor innovation exist in a vacuum. They respond to customer needs and/or social and technological trends. Or even better, they anticipate them. The third and final part (part 1, part 2) of the discussion between Birgit Stelzer, a researcher at the Institute for Technology and Process Management at Ulm University, and Guido Beyß deals with the relationship between producers/suppliers and customers, with the response to new trends, with the anticipation of new technology trends and with the question of how to document knowledge which is relevant for technology management. Weiterlesen
Technology and innovation are closely linked. Technology without innovation – i.e. Vorschautechnology which cannot be successfully used on the market – will remain invention at best and stuck in a pre-market phase. The second part of the discussion on technology management (part 1) between Birgit Stelzer, a researcher at the Institute for Technology and Process Management at Ulm University, and Guido Beyß deals with what defines innovation, how innovation originates, which type of culture promotes innovation and what kind of vision a technology-driven company needs. Weiterlesen
Technology management, which involves the planning, implementation and monitoring of the development and use of (new) technologies to create competitive advantages, is one of the most important steering tasks in R&D-heavy industries. Birgit Stelzer, a researcher at the Institute for Technology and Process Management at Ulm University, spoke to Guido Beyß about key aspects of technology management. We will document excerpts of the interview in three blog entries. The first entry will focus on a fundamental understanding of technology management, its integration into the company and its internal and external points of reference. Weiterlesen
How do corporate decision-makers in a high-wage country (such as Germany) screen the pile of ideas, proposals and suggestions to select those which may be profitable in the long run? First, they need to identify valuable innovative ideas, and then they have to decide which innovative ideas the company will pursue. As a rule, this situation is complex and uncertain. In practice, companies have a range of tools and methods at their disposal and rely in addition on the personal experience and expertise of internal and external experts to assess ideas. Nevertheless, all efforts to base decisions on an objective and facts-based evaluation of new ideas are subject to certain limitations (see also “Die Bewertung von Innovationsideen. Eine empirische Analyse von Bewertungsdimensionen und sozialen Einflussfaktoren”/“The evaluation of innovation ideas: an empirical analysis of evaluation criteria and social influencing factors”, doctoral thesis at RWTH Aachen, 2012). Weiterlesen
Business is war and peace. But not like in Tolstoy’s novel, in which war and peace alternate. No – in business life, war and peace occur simultaneously. As Ray Noorda, the founder of software company Novell, put it: “You have to compete and cooperate at the same time.” American authors Adam Brandenburger and Barry Nalebuff used Noorda’s term “co-opetition” as the title of their much-noticed book of 1996, in which they described the phenomenon in more detail. They wrote about the new mind-set: “Business is cooperation when it comes to creating a pie and competition when it comes to dividing it up.” Weiterlesen
Using the term “supply chain management” in a discussion will initially earn you some confused looks. Some of your discussion partners will think of the complete supply chain – from procurement to processing and ultimately distribution –, others only of sub-suppliers. And quickly, the discussion will move on to commodity prices and other issues.
However, supply-chain management is quite an important issue. Just try to combine this term with the words “partnership” and “key account management”, ideally in the same sentence. Distributors will at once begin to fear that their flexibility is to be restricted or that they may have to accept unacceptable “Terms and Conditions” in their distribution agreements. Weiterlesen