In a nutshell
At 24 locations, seven of which are dedicated exclusively to research and development, nearly 800 ROSEN Group employees work directly in development, perpetually creating new technology applications for specific customer needs or implementing improvements identified by experience gained directly from within the organization. Consisting of engineers, developers, and scientists from various disciplines, these specialized teams have long lists of defined projects, and often have innovative ideas or thoughts worth pursuing that are not already in the developmental pipeline. It is not uncommon that in our daily work we encounter situations that spark the thought of a new approach, or even a new technology. For various reasons, these spontaneous ideas rarely come to fruition. Given the time, however, 24 hours is long enough to create a prototype for a new product, as exclaimed by our Executive Vice President, Dirk Maiwald, “Things were presented today that can translated into new products or services right away.” Truly an impressive feat.
To foster innovation and see what can come of these impromptu ideas, the ROSEN Group in Lingen, Germany held its first edition of a so-called ShipIt Day in January. Following a concept that we can’t take credit for but happily embrace, this day is designed to give individuals an opportunity to attempt things they don’t have a chance to in their daily routines and, in doing so, possibly develop a new approach or create something entirely new. 30 participants from the science and development divisions within the organization split into 12 teams and began translating their ideas into tangible solutions. Each team was allowed to spend the entire day working on their idea.
At the end of a 24-hour period, they were asked to present a prototype of the software, hardware, mobile app, process improvement, etc. The results were astounding, ranging from software applications to mobile apps for the viewing of our already existent integrity software, to improvements of existing systems. And not only potential products were created: One team took a different approach, focusing on training systems. This group created an interactive defect generator capable of illustrating defects in a pipeline as they would be seen in the data analysis software versus what the actual anomaly would look like.
The winning team, “The Six Sensies”, went so far as to create a brand-new measurement technology so relevant to our industry that patents are already being applied for, only 2 months after our ShipIt Day took place! This team combined their know-how in chemistry, mechanics, electronics, and software to simulate this new technology in just 24 hours!
So, what’s the benefit of dedicating this time to innovation?
For one thing, by the end of the 24-hour period we had gained insight into ways to improve internal processes for more efficiency, identified new market opportunities and how we could respond to them, and developed new features for the betterment of our existing solutions or products. For another, next to the clearly palpable motivational factor within our group, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.
All in all, the results of the first ROSEN ShipIt Day were remarkable. Closing out the day, before the results were announced, Executive VP Dirk Maiwald said a few words that perfectly summed up not only the impressive results but also the initiative’s intention. After thanking the participants he said, “Many things were presented today that can translated into new products or services right away. That makes me think we may need initiatives like this more often, to really kick-start innovation and to be inspired.” And with that we look forward to following up on the initial creations and to having more events like this in the future.