Structured idea management is key to Pentax' success
PENTAX Life Care is a global manufacturer of endoscopes and is renowned for technological innovation at the highest level, setting new standards for the medtech industry. An endoscope is an instrument used by doctors to look inside the human body without performing surgery.
Effectively collecting, evaluating and managing ideas from employees, in order to capitalise on the vast knowledge across the company, are critical issues at PENTAX Life Care.
During the development of a Global Service Strategy it has become obvious that PENTAX employees have great ideas in their head. The questions now was how to build up a platform to harvest these ideas.
Andreas Sauer from Global Service of PENTAX Life Care, contacted Nosco and together they worked on an effective IT solution and structured process to ensure the best ideas are identified and taken further.
Nosco’s software Nosco App appeared to be the perfect solution for PENTAX Life Care. With its specific focus on idea campaigns it became very easy to create the desired structure. 3 Key elements within Nosco App ensure this is achieved:
- A specific topic is defined
- Objective criteria for good ideas are established
- Relevant participants are selected and a limited time period for the idea campaign set
1. Everybody work in the same direction
Choosing a specific topic provides focus for all participants on what the company wants to achieve by a certain campaign. By defining the topic, in PENTAX’s case “Process improvements in Service”, everybody was able to work in the same direction.
2. Evaluation shortened and simplified
Defining the criteria to evaluate ideas prior to launching the campaign shortened and simplified the evaluation process. It also eliminated the temptation of taking promising ideas further, for example ideas with high earning potential but a long implementation.
Also by predefined criteria a more objective evaluation is possible and everybody known already upfront which criteria the idea has to fulfill. The evaluation criteria were:
- The benefit for the customer?
- Internal / External performance increase?
- Is the Idea easy to execute?
- What is the necessary investment?
3. Swift Action and High Interest
Employees from different departments were invited to the idea campaign. It ran for two weeks, inspiring employees to take action and submit their ideas. Language barriers, e.g. in Japan and the Philippines, were overcome by Nosco adding realtime translation to Nosco App which enabled employees to write in their native tongue.
As a result of the limited time, the level of interest remained high to the last day of the campaign. Afterwards, employees could follow the progress of each idea during the evaluation period.
More than 160 ideas were submitted, screened and evaluated according to the criteria. The 8 best ideas (five according to criteria and top 3 from the system) were selected for the next stages of the idea management process: Project Pitch, Selection by the Board, Maturing and, finally, Selection by the Management. Some ideas have been developed further quite fast and have been implemented and others are from very high strategic value and the implementation will take at least another year.
PENTAX Life Care experienced how building a process around a well structured and focused idea campaign solved their problem of how to harvest the good ideas from the employees’ world wide. Now, the process of collecting and evaluating ideas has a set structure, is properly defined and can follow a working schedule. This saves a lot of time and reduces the cost of new ideas campaigns in the future.