Thursday, March 17, 2005

British firms leading on innovation

THE UK is identified as a breeding ground for new ideas after a report finds it harbours a quarter of the world's most innovative companies.

Research by consultancy Innovaro found that five of the biggest names in UK business were outperforming their global rivals in areas such as growth, brand value and product launches in 2005.
  • Tesco was seen as more innovative than Wal-Mart - the world's biggest retailer - after a decade of rapid growth that included the launch of the UK's first customer loyalty card and moves into financial services and online shopping.
  • The research also found Royal Bank of Scotland leading the way in the banking sector,
  • BP ahead in energy,
  • Virgin Atlantic as the top airline, and
  • Reckitt Benckiser pipping US giant Kimberley Clark to the post of leading household products firm.

It marks an improvement on 2004 when Tesco and BP were the only UK firms to secure top rankings from Innovaro for innovation.

Innovaro, a consultancy based in London and Amsterdam, analysed the innovation of 1,000 leading companies across 20 sectors from aerospace, airlines and fashion to sports and pharmaceuticals.

It drew its conclusions from measuring firms against criteria such as strategic focus, product launches, growth, brand value and culture."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Outsourcing Innovation

Today, the likes of Dell, Motorola, and Philips are buying complete designs of some digital devices from Asian developers, tweaking them to their own specifications, and slapping on their own brand names. It's not just cell phones. Asian contract manufacturers and independent design houses have become forces in nearly every tech device, from laptops and high-definition TVs to MP3 music players and digital cameras.
First came manufacturing. Now companies are farming out R&D to cut costs and get new products to market faster. Are they going too far?
Read on.