1,600 ideas richer

Companies that can understand their customers’ problems and suggest ideas to resolve them also create value for their customers. The key lies in getting personnel who work in the customer’s operation to help drive the ideas process.

This is the reasoning of Alan G Robinson, a Professor at the University of Massachusetts and the author of several books on improvement in organisations, creativity and development. Professor Robinson took part in Coor's annual managers' meeting this October to talk about his conclusions.

Do we at Coor create value for our clients? Yes and no. I know we are doing a lot, but the way I see it there's always room for improvement. Coor made 2008 its year for client improvements. The starting point of a more comprehensive, structured, methodical way of working with client improvements. Today we have implemented this working method in 90% of our contracts, worth in excess of 10 million Swedish kronor in turnover a year. Since the process began we have recorded just over 1,600 suggestions for improvement, which have then been presented to our clients. And clients have chosen to implement almost half of them. One of the truly major suggestions for improvement was the invention of an automatically adjustable cutting fluid nozzle for a machine at Volvo Aero. The invention now saves Volvo Aero time and money, and you can read about it in Nova.

Professor Robinson talks about the importance of basic, minor improvements – the ones that are easy to introduce and produce results fast. The minor improvements are particularly important when it comes to starting up the ideas process in an organisation. At Coor we have already made good progress, but the key now is to raise the momentum.

Mats Jönsson, CEO of Coor Service Management Group