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Introduction

Innovation, in simple terms, is enhancing the use of a product or a service by adding an extra feature to it. In other words, it means making existing products and services of an organisation more useful (Chun, Chung and Bang, 2015). The report below is based on Rowlinson Knitwear, a United Kingdom based company which deals in garments for retailers, school wear as well as corporate wear. The firm intends to work ethically and with transparency to its customers. Focus of this association is mainly on the quality of its products distributed in the market. This is one main reason of its success and widespread recognition in the UK.The company is looking for maximizing its Return on Investment (ROI). Along with this, the aim of the company is to establish innovation and commercialisation in its organisation culture within a year. To achieve this, the report explains the concept of innovation and how it is different from invention. It also elaborates different types of innovation. The report discusses to process of commercialising innovation in detail and range of methods for protecting intellectual property.

P1. Concept and importance of Innovation in comparison with invention

The procedure by which usefulness of services and products of a firm increases is called innovation. It is of vital importance in the dynamic and challenging business environment like that of today. Firms that fail to implement innovation in their culture, fail to adapt with the changing demands of the buyers.

Another process that is important for Rowlinson Knitwear is invention. This is discovery and creation  of an absolutely unique commodity presented by a company. The invented offering could create new market segments as well as generate additional demand from customers.

Some prominent differences in context to innovation and invention is elaborated below:

Basis

Innovation

Invention

Concept

Innovation is a process which adds usefulness and value to those original offerings. Scientists working in companies create unique offerings to satisfy unaddressed demands, whereas innovation satisfies new demands of consumers.

The idea behind invention in Rowlinson Knitwear is to create an offering that is original.

Interdependence

Innovation is dependent on invention. It cannot take place without existence of an original commodity.

Invention is a novel or unique offering of an organisation. It is not dependant on any factor due to its original nature (Miller and et. al., 2016).

Uses

It is not necessary that the invented offering provide multiple uses to its consumers. It might be invented for a single purpose and might be limited to that purpose only.

The aim behind innovation in the company is to make existing offerings more useful (Sengoku, 2015). This process could make the commodities multi-purposed which could enhance their demand in the market too.

 

To embed innovation in organisational culture, it is very important that employees understand the importance of this process. It is necessary to integrate views of the employees in Rowlinson Knitwear towards innovation. Its importance is elaborated as under:

  • Benefits to customers: Rowlinson Knitwear is one of the most recognized garment firm in the United Kingdom. It has customers in almost everywhere in the country. Innovative product ideas of the company would benefit to customers as they could satisfy their new demands. This could attract more such consumers from which could really help the firm in expansion of its consumer base.

  • Benefits to employees: Innovative products and practices within the company will be beneficial for employees in their career growth as well as enhancement of their creativity. Creativity would lead to adaptability which would enhance their sustainability in the workplace and the market altogether.

  • Benefits to business: Innovation develops decision-making and compatibility of the firm which states it ahead of all the existing competition present in the marketplace (Maritz and Donovan, 2015). In case Rowlinson Knitwear decides to innovate its production process, this would enhance its productivity and product availability in the market. These innovation practices would maximize the firm's Return on Investment (ROI), which is the primary cause to implement innovation. It would also make employees more committed towards the company which could help the firm to establish innovation in their organisational culture

After the importance of innovation, it is necessary to identify various sources of innovation for Rowlinson Knitwear. These sources are:

  • Incongruity:  This is one of the major sources of innovation for Rowlinson Knitwear. This means incompatibility of demand with supply. In context of this company, this element would make the firm incompetent with the change in demands. This calls for innovation in the company.

  • Perception: With clothing, it is very important that companies emphasize on the current and latest trends (Dincer, 2017). Customers in the UK change their perceptions quickly according to latest trends which require Rowlinson Knitwear to innovate their products.

  • Technological Advancements: This might or might not relate with the products the firm has to offer, but it surely relates to the production process. With new technologies, clothing companies are enhancing their production capacity. This is perhaps the major source of innovation for Rowlinson Knitwear,

In the present scenario, the firm plans to maximise its Return on Investment. To achieve this objective, the firm needs to embed innovation and commercialisation in its organisational culture. The firm plans to introduce innovation in its products. Moreover, the firm aims to change the whole perception of clothing for its customers in the UK. The way in which Rowlinson Knitwear would measure innovation is through the perception of employees towards innovation, as well as the response of the customers towards their innovated product.

To evaluate the innovation and invention rightfully in the firm, Rowlinson Knitwear must take certain aspects into consideration to effectively evaluate these factors. For instance, the firm must check the feasibility before innovating an existing offering or creating a new one. Moreover, the firm must consider customer demands and the range up to which both the aspects are capable of satisfying these wants. Another way for Rowlinson Knitwear to evaluate these aspects is by analysing and estimating the time limit up to which the invented as well as innovative products and services could satisfy customer demands. In this way, they could develop strategies that could aid the purpose for a longer term for strategic resource management as well. 

P2. Influence of organisational vision, culture, leadership and teamwork on innovation and commercialisation

The practice of innovation in an organisation enhances its capability, compatibility, performance and profitability (Polzin, von Flotow and Klerkx, 2016). In context of Rowlinson Knitwear, innovation could help the firm maximize the Return on Investment which would help the firm build a stronger image in the market.

There are few factors in the company that shape innovation in a company. These influencing factors in Rowlinson Knitwear are described below:

  • Vision: The company sells its products to independent retailers. The vision of the firm is to produce garments that are of topmost quality with affordable pricing. They want to serve more retailers to enhance the profitability of their business. This vision could shape up innovation in the company as there are many clothing companies giving standard products to the customers. These firms could fetch out better deals with the retailers. Innovation would make company make products that are capable enough to enhance their productivity. It could also help the firm achieve its vision in an appropriate and balanced manner. 

  • Culture: The culture of Rowlinson Knitwear is built around certain values which inculcates care, trust and focus on being better. The culture of the firm also supports empowerment of others working with as well as outside the company. This culture which focuses on improvisation and empowerment could shape innovation and commercialisation in the firm. This is because innovation enables companies to be better in every aspect (Collet, Hine and du Plessis, 2015). It will help Rowlinson Knitwear to produce more useful clothing range as well as effective production methods which would allow the company to produce more garments in a limited time frame.  This would enhance the profitability which would empower and encourage employees to work innovatively.

  • Leadership: Rowlinson Knitwear is considered as one of the finest clothing organisation in the UK. Even so, that it has been ranked 23rd in annual Best Workplaces ranking (Rowlinson Knitwear named one of UK’s Best Workplaces, 2018).  The firm has effective leadership which motivates and encourages employees to perform better. To embed innovation within the firm, Rowlinson Knitwear must adopt participative leadership. This would encourage the employees to put in their efforts and generate new and effective ideas on the methods adopted by the company. Innovation and commercialisation must be effectively explained by the leaders of the company. In addition, they must support the workforce to adopt innovative methods and practices that could enhance the operations of the company. 

  • Teamwork: It is effectively understood in the company that teamwork contributes to success. This teamwork could help the company incorporate innovation and commercialisation. Team members would have different way of working and different mindsets (Ismail, Nor and Sidek,, 2015). While implementing innovative practices, team members could support each other in adopting the methods effectively. Moreover, teamwork could enhance agility in employees removes the resistance to change. This way teamwork could help the company in shaping commercialisation as well as innovation.

Rowlinson Knitwear must give proper training to their employees in terms of adopting innovation and commercialisation. They must focus on positive impacts of innovation in the firm and give employees the assurance that their hard work will pay off. In this manner, the company could develop and foster innovation in their organisational culture.

P3. 4Ps of innovation and usage of innovation funnel in Rowlinson Knitwear

The retail market in the UK is growing stronger everyday. There are new firms entering market everyday with their innovative design and production procedures. For employees of Rowlinson Knitwear, it is essential to understand how the innovative ideas could be shaped up using 4Ps of innovation. These factors are mentioned below:

  • Paradigm Innovation: This factor focuses on the overall manner in which business is done.  The changes taken into consideration could sometimes be radical. However, it is not necessary that these changes be in the favour of the company (Fitzgerald and Cunningham, 2016). Rowlinson Knitwear must focus on developing those changes that are profitable for the business. To be on the safe side, the firm must consider all the pros and cons of changes its about to implement. In this manner, it would the company to conquer the marketplace. 

  • Product Innovation: This innovation directly links to the products or services provided by the company. Rowlinson Knitwear must introduce innovation in their products. It could be in their clothing design, or innovative fabric, or packaging and delivering. Product innovation undertakes all the aspects related to production of the commodity up to its delivery in the market. 

  • Process Innovation: This innovation type takes the process of the company into consideration. Rowlinson Knitwear must inculcate those methods within the firm that improve the processes inside the company. This can be done by employing efficient technology to enhance production as well as quality. This can also be done by changing the delivery process acquired by the association. 

  • Position Innovation: The last P of innovation mix emphasizes on the perception as well as the image of the firm in front of customers and stakeholders (Balmer, Bulpin and Molyneux-Hodgson, 2016). Rowlinson Knitwear is considered outstanding in terms of employee management, leadership and products. The firm however, must continue working towards enhancing this image in the country and beyond.

Innovation Funnel in Rowlinson Knitwear

The overall procedure required for development in a product or a service are explained using innovation funnel. This funnel could be of effective use of Rowlinson Knitwear as it would enable the company manage introduction of new product in the market (Ajagbe and et. al., 2015). It could be used to screen ideas and concepts before breaking them down to fit the demand of the company. Efficient use of innovation funnel could enable Rowlinson Knitwear generate maximum Return on Investment.

The stages that are involved in innovation funnel are briefly discussed below:

  • Thorough analysis of opportunities: Rowlinson Knitwear is required to analyse all the potential opportunities in the market. There are vital opportunities available for the firm in UK market after Brexit. It can introduce innovative products at fair price in order to improve standard of living of the citizens of the country.

  • Ideas based on insights: Managers and employees at Rowlinson Knitwear at this stage must focus on generating those ideas that help to capitalize their efforts.

  • Conversion of ideas into concepts: The firm's manager would analyse each idea and the most profitable idea would be chosen for the firm's next product or service.

  • Evaluation: Management of Rowlinson Knitwear are very particular about reviving and reviewing their chosen strategies. They would evaluate the new product on the basis of the response of customers.

  • Dispatch: If the product is well accepted in the community, it would be launched at a wide level.

The innovation funnel, if used effectively, could help Rowlinson Knitwear generate high return on investment within limited time frame which would help the company situate itself way higher than the competitors.

P4. Developments in Frugal Innovation in Rowlinson Knitwear

In simple terms, Frugal Innovation means the modifications made in the company's existing offerings which allow reduction in cost as well as the service or the product's complexity (Akinwale, Adepoju and Olomu, 2017). This means that frugal innovation could help Rowlinson Knitwear to develop new segmentation and target market as the firm now has a wider reach. Furthermore, frugal innovation would maximise the firm's ROI as with reduced cost and complexity, more consumers would be encouraged to buy the company's products.

One such frugal innovation in Rowlinson Knitwear could be use of materials and fabrics that change their colour after each wash. This way, consumers would get access to multi-coloured clothes with a single piece. This would save the cost of the customers and they will be motivated to buy more such clothes.

With advancements in technology, frugal innovation will help the company to create new markets and attract new customers which could help the firm experience a whole new spectrum of business (Tsai, 2015). This would benefit the firm as now Rowlinson Knitwear will not be facing major problems in case the production level doesn't match with their expectations. This is because their product will be fulfilling multiple demands. This could also leave an impact on the culture of the organisation and the firm could embed commercialisation and innovation within the firm.

Another factor of frugal innovation that would help the firm receive high rates of investment is that frugal innovation reduces the waste of resources available with the firm. Rowlinson Knitwear would be capable of optimum utilisation of each resource that is available in the company. This would reduce the cost and would add on the revenue, hence driving the organisation towards success.

P5. Importance of Commercial Funnel in Rowlinson Knitwear and New Product Development (NPD)

Commercial funnel means the buying process of customers while purchasing the offerings from a company. This funnel works on an idea that out of a large market that the firm considers while commercialising its products, end up being just a fraction of customers who actually buy that offering (Ahmadi and O'Cass, 2016).  Rowlinson Knitwear could effectively use this funnel to identify prospects that could actually turn into their customers.

Commercial funnel would save the cost of the firm to commercialise their product and service to prospects unlikely to become customers. Commercial funnel could also help the firm to build customer loyalty through effective market and sales strategies.

Since the current agenda of the company is to increase their Return on Investment, the firm is planning to launch a whole new product in markets of the United Kingdom; the current trend of the country is to become more aware of the latest trends in clothing. People in the nation follow celebrities and role models and tend to follow their fashion sense, their colour combinations, etc. To fulfil this demand of UK millennial, Rowlinson Knitwear is introducing an innovative product, “Chameleon Jeans”, which would change its colour every wash. This innovation could make the firm standout in the market as well as would allow the company to gather more customers under their radar. Rowlinson Knitwear could use commercial funnel for Chameleon Jeans, stages of which are elaborated below:

  • Generation of idea: The first stage of NPD considers development of innovative and unique ideas that the firm could use for maximizing its Return on Investment (Planko and et. al., 2017). Out of all the potential ideas, the firm is choosing the idea of Chameleon Jeans as it believes it would help the firm in achieving its purpose. 

  • Screening: This is the second stage of NPD, which emphasizes on screening the above idea. Rowlinson Knitwear is required to screen Chameleon Jeans and determine the rate of feasibility the product is providing the firm with. 

  • Concept Testing: The newly developed concept is communicated to the customers to test their responses. The success of Chameleon Jeans depends majorly upon the response the concept receives from the customers. 

  • Assessment of need for New Product: The success of the product plan of Rowlinson Knitwear will be analysed thoroughly by the managers of the organisation. This would determine whether the firm would go ahead with the product or not. 

  • Commercialisation: This is the last stage of New Product Development and the firm would introduce Chameleon Jeans in the UK markets.

P6. Chameleon Jeans' Innovation Business Case

Rowlinson Knitwear would introduce a completely unique product in the markets of the UK which would help it achieve the agenda of maximizing the Return on Investment. This would increase the customer number and range in the country and the firm would effectively manage to enhance its profitability (Scholz, 2015). The Innovation Business Case for Chameleon Jeans is described below:

Steps

Description

Overview

Rowlinson Knitwear is a UK based retail company that deals in corporate wear, school wear and garments for retailers. The firm aims to maximize its ROI through innovation and commercialisation.

Objectives

The company wants to embed practices of innovation and commercialisation in its organisational culture and maximize its Return on Investment to attain more profitability

Solution

To achieve the agendas, Rowlinson Knitwear is introducing Chameleon Jeans in order to penetrate deeper markets in the UK.

Innovation In The Commodity

The innovation in Chameleon Jeans is that it changes colours after each wash.

Research

To research the market, the firm has used online as well as offline research methods like questionnaires and online quizzes.

Funding

To generate adequate funding to develop and launch Chameleon Jeans, the firm is relying on existing capital as well as bank loans and government funding to provide them sufficient amount to make it a success.

Benefits

This would benefit the firm as it would make their product more useful, and would be a standout in innovation. In this manner the firm would generate more return on investment. Another benefit is the establishment of innovation and commercialisation within the organisational culture.

 

To effectively attain funds, the firm would apply various resources for fund allocations for its Chameleon Jeans.

  • Ownership Capital: This refers to the cash already present with the firm which acts as capital for a new project or product. Rowlinson Knitwear would provide fund out of their own accords to effectively fulfil the financial requirement for the jeans. 

  • Bank Loans: Another option is bank loans. It refers to financial support gained by banks. The firm would approach certain banks along with its project and if the bank forecasts that the deal is effective, it would grant the firm a certain amount of loan. However, regular interests would be required to pay by the firm or it would be subjected to certain lawsuits which are ineffective for the company.

  • Government Funding: Rowlinson Knitwear could also approach non-government organisations to acquire fund for chameleon jeans. These  refers to the loans, grands and assistance by the government to accelerate the procedure.

As per the scenario, the firm would invest £50,000 into producing and distribution of Chameleon Jeans. It includes all the aspects required for marketing such as advertisements, promotion, distribution etc. However, the project was profitable for the firm. It was determined by the calculation of Return on Investment (ROI). It is a performance measuring tool which is used to evaluate the efficiency of investments made for Chameleon Jeans. It would help the firm in effectively measure the return amount on the investment made by the firm. It is extremely beneficial in order to calculate the gain and effectiveness of the product in the UK market.

Calculation Of ROI:

It is imperative for the firm to calculate ROI in order to evaluate the success of Chameleon Jeans. The firm has invested a total of £50,000 and the net profit of the firm after its sales would be approx. £5,000 as per the future market prediction. Thus, the calculation of ROI is described below:

ROI = Net Profit / Total Investment * 100

5,000/50,000 *100 = 10%

Thus, it is proved that Chameleon Jeans would be a profitable venture and an opportunity for Rowlinson Knitwear.

P7. Different tools for Rowlinson Knitwear to protect intellectual property

In organisations, innovation is important to make it adaptive and excelling in the dynamic environment. It is required that the innovations introduced by the company and its employees are protected against any wrongful use of these products. Such protection is also important because in retail industry, there are huge risks of infringements in design, patterns as well as processes. For instance, the firm has developed Chameleon Jeans which is an innovation required to be protected. The processes which could help Rowlinson Knitwear in protecting intellectual property are:

Trademark: It means the expressions, signs or designs that distinguish similar products with each other. Trademark is really useful for Rowlinson Knitwear, as it would help the company become brand owner of its products and services. Another benefit of trademark is that the firm will have a legal advantage over the company during trademark infringement.

Copyright: This is another IP protection method which would protect the original innovation and invention of Rowlinson Knitwear. This could be of vital importance of the firm as the procedure for products like Chameleon Jeans as well as their technology would be safe with the firm.

Patent: This protection of IP helps the inventor to exclude external entities from using the creation in any manner possible. A patent is valid for almost 20 years. However, Rowlinson Knitwear will have to disclose the product in public if it wants to have a patent on that product.

Conclusion

Through the above report, it is concluded that innovation helps companies in business development, business expansion and enhancing its creativity to sustain their position in the market. The report briefly discusses the context of innovation, invention and commercialisation and explains the distinction between innovation and invention. It discusses how culture, leadership, vision and teamwork of a company influence the concept of innovation and commercialisation. It discusses the role of innovation funnel, frugal innovation and commercial funnel to help companies embed the concept of innovation and commercialisation in their culture. Lastly, methods through which intellectual properties could be affected is elaborated within the report. 

References

  • Ahmadi, H. and O'Cass, A., 2016. The role of entrepreneurial marketing in new technology ventures first product commercialisation. Journal of Strategic Marketing. 24(1). pp.47-60.
  • Ajagbe, A.M. and et. al., 2015. Barriers to technological and non-technological innovation activities in Malaysia. European Journal of Business and Management. 7(6). pp.157-168.
  • Akinwale, Y.O., Adepoju, A.O. and Olomu, M.O., 2017. The impact of technological innovation on SME's profitability in Nigeria. International Journal of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation. 1(1). pp.74-92.
  • Balmer, A., Bulpin, K. and Molyneux-Hodgson, S., 2016. Synthetic Biology: A sociology of changing practices. Springer.
  • Chun, D., Chung, Y. and Bang, S., 2015. Impact of firm size and industry type on R&D efficiency throughout innovation and commercialisation stages: evidence from Korean manufacturing firms. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management. 27(8). pp.895-909.
  • Collet, C., Hine, D. and du Plessis, K., 2015. Employability skills: perspectives from a knowledge-intensive industry. Education+ Training. 57(5). pp.532-559.
  • Dincer, I., 2017. Importance of research, innovation and commercialisation for technological success. International Journal of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation. 1(1). pp.8-22.

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