Role of external environment in shaping Macphie and Ronnie’s innovation responses

Role of external environment in shaping Macphie and Ronnie’s innovation responses

Macphie, Ronnie’s Story

Ronnie leads Macphie’s sales and marketing activities and was responsible for the initiation of an innovation program that moved beyond new product development.
The Issue:

As the food industry continued to consolidate, Macphie found it was competing with larger and larger companies who were reducing their supply chain costs through economies of scale. This, together with volatile raw material input costs, meant that Macphie could be at a significant disadvantage on the basis of cost, and therefore had to differentiate – and to differentiate it had to innovate.

What You Know:
Macphie is a leading manufacturer of food ingredient products for the European bakery and food services markets. It is a family business and has an enviable reputation for quality and flexibility of service.
Working with outside advisers, Ronnie and others at Macphie reviewed the common success factors adopted by industry leaders and developed an integrated innovation framework specific to its needs.
Implementation started by putting the suggestion scheme on hold and then defining the strategic framework and the specific business imperatives for the current year.
By aligning innovation activities across the organization to business success factors, the number of ideas did not increase, but the relevance and value went up considerably.
Ideas were more likely to get approval, funding and management focus, and as a result the enthusiasm for the innovation program gathered momentum from across all teams.

How did the external environment play a role in shaping Macphie and Ronnie’s innovation responses?
What external entities were brought into play (stakeholders, consultants, competitors, et al), intentionally or unintentionally? What factors determined these external players, and how much control did Ronnie and Macphie have over their inclusion?

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