The M2M process is a holistic business process that we’ve been implementing as an innovation process since September 1. Bühler has been working with the M2M process for 12 years; we want to build on their successes. But what does it mean to innovate using the M2M process?
M2M means creating products for a market according to customer needs. Bühler executes the M2M process separately from order processing: innovations are developed for markets, not for customers. This removes the risk from customer projects and ensures that new products can be sold to many customers without adhering to any blocking periods.
The M2M process provides us with a proven methodology for our innovation projects. By working methodically, we can manage risks and still save time. We won’t have to rethink our approach every single time we begin a new project; we can rely on an established method. Like any good innovation process, the M2M process focusses on content and quality – the higher the quality during development, the lower quality costs are later in the product lifecycle.
Every phase of the M2M process is essential to the success of an innovation. Consequently, every innovation project begins with Business Planning. This is where the features of a product and potential target groups are defined; the business plan will continually be refined in the following phases. During Conception, a technical concept is developed. After an in-depth analysis of the possibilities, the best solution is chosen and put forward during the phase of Design and Development. A prototype is developed and tested; if the tests yield positive results, Market Introduction is prepared and the product is launched.
According to the M2M process, milestones and results of each innovation project are documented to make sure that future developments can be built on them. This results in a higher degree of transparency: everyone in the company can access knowledge that was gained through the process and make use of it. This saves time and effort and sharpens our competitive edge. More transparency also facilitates communication. By working on innovations together with colleagues from all business areas and departments, the quality of our work increases. Their expertise pertaining to different fields, their unique perspectives and their extensive knowledge guarantee successful innovations. In our next article, we’ll show you how we can integrate all these different viewpoints into the innovation process: with peer reviews.