Mittelstand Innovation: focus, frugal and efficient
The medium-sized companies are becoming fashionable. Helping the crisis, their long-term vision has transformed these organizations ideal company. They are called innovative but ultimately knows how badly it is organized in this area. Analysis.
Do you know the “Global Niche players”? These businesses, often family, who managed to impose itself on the world market by cultivating excellence in a very specific area. This category is called the Mittelstand in Germany or ETI (midsize) in France, all show a system very similar values. They cultivate the art of long-term independence (including financial), love of work well done and are very attached to the mastery of skills (they prefer when it is “homemade”).
These “guidelines” have clearly shaped the culture of innovation in these companies. Several things make it unique compared to large groups. Highly specialized, these companies focus, for example, their efforts in R & D technology and a single. This feature could be deadly but instead stimulates the creativity of the teams. These last are always looking for new uses, new developments to expand the scope of the technology.
Develop performance for the customer
Management “good father” of these companies also impacts the way we consider the return on investment in innovation. Financing capacity is limited, ensure all develop applications more than concepts. SNF, a polymer specialist based in Saint-Étienne (France) providing chemical solutions including hydraulic fracturing, this “constraint” requires chemists to house state of the art scientific literature before making their new polymer and complete the project in six months to prove the concept.
This very applied creativity also requires businesses to include the end user of their product very early in the design. The goal is not to co-develop but to understand what competitive advantages they expect the products they sell them. Rational, a German manufacturer of kitchen equipment group, sells its customers ovens and cooking systems but places great emphasis on saving space that allows for innovation in the kitchen.