Organizations are challenged daily to find new ways to grow their business. Our client, a Fortune 500 Global Medical Device, was focused on growth through innovation — creating new products to fulfill an unmet need for its customers. They embarked on their strategic planning phase and asked our research teams to help:
• Uncover and validate unmet customer needs that could be used for future product innovation.
• Validate a new surgical product concept against unmet needs in order to receive management approval and funding to support further product development.
• Identify innovative business opportunities to support business growth for the short-term (two-year), mid-range (five-year), and long-term (10-year) time frame.
Our team started by clarifying themes and identifying key topics for a discussion guide. This guide would be our foundation for understanding our clients’ past research and key topics of interest and would help us build a survey aimed at surgeons and nurses that would help validate our client’s concept and market interest. Upon creating the survey, we then deployed it to 170 surgeons and nurses. To provide additional insight, we then co-generated new ideas with industry experts and stakeholders. This included a one-day workshop composed of a cross-functional team of client R&D, business development, regulatory, and marketing representatives, to cover:
• How can we fulfill current customer unmet needs?
• What does the operating room of the future look like, and what products does it need?
• How do the needs of emerging markets differ, and how do we provide for them?
• In what novel ways can we incorporate health economic data early in our product development process?
• How is the market dynamic evolving, and how must we adapt to it?
Our workshop resulted in the generation of 40 ideas for our client, including: Product Innovation
• Novel formulations with enhanced product performance characteristics.
• Addition of agents to promote faster healing and reduce risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Product Delivery Innovation
• Design applicator for use in emerging surgical procedures.
• Develop an automated product preparation system to decrease risk of human error.
Customer Service Innovation
• Create online product training modules to train operating room staff remotely.
• Provide training via mobile devices with dedicated product support.
Our customized scorecard allowed our client to uncover a broad spectrum of ideas ranging from product innovation to customer service and product delivery innovation, separate the ideas into short-, medium-, and long-term opportunities, and prioritize opportunities for strategic planning purposes. With a healthy innovation pipeline for future business growth, our client could build a better business case for management funding of further concept development.