I find that most supply chain leaders would like to innovate more to save more, but aren’t sure how to do it. There is a simple answer to this problem: “Experiment more to innovate more!”
The reason that this works is that experiments (trials, tests, surveys, research, focus groups, investigations, etc.) will give you new ideas and new ways of doing things, and as a byproduct, give you the hard evidence to sell your better ideas to your executive management team, staff and co-workers. Scientists do this all of the time to find evidence for the right way forward!
For instance, a supply chain manager asked me recently if I thought that most hospitals were bundling their supply charges. I said “I thought most hospitals were bundling their charges, but don’t take my word for this until you perform an experiment”. I then suggested that he survey hospitals in his region to obtain evidence that this was truly the case. This is a much better way than guessing, predicting or intuition!
I read recently that this is the culture of Amazon who has dozens of experiments into new products and services going on at any one time. That’s why Amazon is always coming out with new products and services almost daily, when their competition is stuck in first gear. Intuit is another company that embraces experimentation. Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit, told Business Week Magazine that “he is trying to create a culture of experimentation in which failing is perfectly fine. Whatever happens, he tells his staff, you’re doing right because you’ve created evidence, which is better than anyone’s intuition. He says the organization is buzzing with experiments”.
Do I really need to say anything further about “experiment more to innovate more” to convince you that this makes sense? If the leading companies in the world employ experiments to drive innovation at their organizations, then it should be proof positive for you that you too should experiment more if you want to innovate more. It’s just that simple!