Every member of modular factory management regards innovation with a lot of skepticism and for good reason. Rising costs associated with freight, new regulations and codes and now the rapid increase in lumber prices can have that effect on people.
It costs virtually nothing to:
- Communicate a vision of innovation
- Set goals and objectives for ideas, prototypes and innovations
- Ask your people for ideas
- Ask builders for ideas
- Ask your customers for ideas
- Ask suppliers for ideas
2. It costs very little to:
- Run brainstorm meetings
- Evaluate and select the best ideas
- Build models and prototypes
- Ask customers to evaluate your prototype products or services
- Implement small incremental innovations in your products, services and methods
- Empower people to try more initiatives in their areas
- Investigate new collaborations. Partnerships, ideas and products
3. It costs a lot of money to:
- Roll out major new products or services
- Try an entirely new business model
You should do a few things from Category 2. Definitely move the best ideas to the prototype stage and evaluate them (but kill them if necessary).
You should think long and hard about items from Category 3, but be prepared to allocate some of your scarce resource in this area.
Innovation involves making bets. Often these bets fail. But if the modular housing industry is to stay in the game someone will have to start making small bets until one or more come off.