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Innovation Evaluation - Sime Darby - Fuji Xerox - Wall Mart and Hewlett Packard - Food Packaging Industry

Innovation Evaluation - Sime Darby - Fuji Xerox - Wall Mart and Hewlett Packard - Food Packaging Industry

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Published by Irfee
Building construction and motor vehicles are two high profile industry sectors where companies are utilising (DfE) Design for Environment Strategies (Table-1), to incorporate eco-efficiency principles into their product development processes, thereby strategically reducing the environmental impact of a product or service over its entire life cycle, from manufacture to disposal. Companies that are incorporating DfE are at the forefront of innovative business management in Australia for example. As the link between business success and environmental protection becomes clearer.

Companies have the opportunity to improve business practices to be more competitive in a global economy and increase their longevity. As every organisation's operations are different, so too are the strategies and tools that may be used to achieve greater eco-efficiency. A suite of suitable tools is available to increase company's eco-efficiency that includes: DfE, environmental management systems, product stewardship programs, public environmental reporting, environmental auditing, environmental accounting and supply chain management. DfE is a critical tool for manufacturers wishing to become more eco-efficient. (Environment Australia, 2001).
Building construction and motor vehicles are two high profile industry sectors where companies are utilising (DfE) Design for Environment Strategies (Table-1), to incorporate eco-efficiency principles into their product development processes, thereby strategically reducing the environmental impact of a product or service over its entire life cycle, from manufacture to disposal. Companies that are incorporating DfE are at the forefront of innovative business management in Australia for example. As the link between business success and environmental protection becomes clearer.

Companies have the opportunity to improve business practices to be more competitive in a global economy and increase their longevity. As every organisation's operations are different, so too are the strategies and tools that may be used to achieve greater eco-efficiency. A suite of suitable tools is available to increase company's eco-efficiency that includes: DfE, environmental management systems, product stewardship programs, public environmental reporting, environmental auditing, environmental accounting and supply chain management. DfE is a critical tool for manufacturers wishing to become more eco-efficient. (Environment Australia, 2001).

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03/27/2011

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Wall Mart and Hewlett Packard:
Innovation in designing and packaging is indispensable component of modern day lifestyle. Furthermore,customers are also increasingly becoming aware of the importance of sustainable development to a healthyenvironment and robust economy. Producers, or manufacturers, are starting to minimize the environmental impactof their products by using more recycled materials and making them more efficient during use. More consumersare incorporating environmental considerations into their purchasing decisions and thinking more about how theydispose of a product when they no longer need it. Thus, one such report suggest that Global re-designing andenvironmental packaging industry sales touched over US$1,254 billion in 2006, up by 4.1 per cent in currentterms from 2004. (Ahmed, Naser and Ahmed Salman, 2007).Walmart's Home Entertainment Design Challenge 2008 was open to all suppliers of consumer electronics products and three criteria were used to evaluate the submissions: Great design that attracts consumers, Productinnovation that reduces the environmental impact for its product category and Packaging design that facilitatesreuse and recycling, reduces waste, and reduces or eliminates the use of toxic materials. In accordance with itslong-standingdesignstrategy, HP (Hewlett-Packard), wins the challenge. HP, radically redesigned the packagingof the HP Pavilion notebook by replacing conventional protective shipping materials and boxes with the HPProtect Messenger Bag, a stylish and protective accessory with fabric made from 100 percent recycled materials.This allows for a dramatic reduction in overall packaging content and size while delivering equal, if not better, product protection when compared to conventional packaging. (CSR wire, 2008).This redesign packaging is available nearly 1,700 Walmart stores and 594 Sam's Club locations across the U.S.Moreover, HP notebook will be displayed on shelves wearing only the HP Protect Messenger Bag. Customerswho purchase the HP notebook will leave the store with the computer and its accessories cushioned safely in thenotebook bag. This makes it easier for consumers to make a more environmentally responsible choice for example, by removing the burden of disposing of the cardboard, foam or plastic typically found in consumer electronics packaging.
 
Product Design:
Product Design is one of the most important non-price factors which determine the success of a product. The roleof product design changes throughout the life-cycle of a product. In the initial product development stage, the roleof design is to create a marketable product from an innovation. The product may create a need where none existed before, (for example when the Sony Walkman was introduced) or quite different products may be competing withothers in the same market (for example trams, cars and buses compete for urban transport). As the product lifecycle matures, more competitors enter the market and the chief role of design is in product differentiation;through quality, appearance, performance, ease to use, reliability, reparability and so on. In UK, studies of thereturn of investment in product design have been carried out by the Design Innovation Group of Open Universityand Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. One study showed that 'Design Conscious Firms' had athree per cent higher return on capital, one per cent higher profit margin, 28 per cent higher Turnover growth anda seven per cent higher capital growth than a representative sample. (Murray, 2005).Furthermore, in industrialized countries, the link between design of products and industrial competitiveness hasincreasingly been acknowledged by economists and policy makers themselves. For example in England twoimportant reports stimulated debate into the important role of design in competitiveness. (The Corfield Report,1979) on Product Design and the Finniston Report, (Engineering our Future, 1980). The reports suggested thatBritain was declining industrially through loss of market share to other countries, especially Germany and Japan, both of which were renowned for the high quality and design of their products. The reports pointed to a cause being the UK's relative lack of investment in Research and Development and Product Design (Rua-design, 2004).Such has been the concern with the country's decline in the share of the world's manufactured products, thatduring the 1980s, the Conservative government significantly departed from their policy of reducing publicspending when they funded a new initiative to directly subsidize product design within firms.(Rua-design, 2004). Critically
, different cultures perceive and see various roles for design in a different way. For instancethe UK is seen as having a more analytical and marketing approach to design, whereas in Japan, design is more concernedwith what 'could be'; therefore in Japan design is seen as being more of a creative process.
Japanese management system is based on a replacement of the mass production system with a flexiblespecialisation system (JIT) Just–in– Time management. The mass production system emerged as the dominantmode of production in the last century through the realization of economies of scale through standardization of components and processes. The system has become increasingly obsolete due to the increasing volatility of markets which increases the cost of large inventories and a greater (
continued)
 
demand for differentiated products. A further factor is that firms were traditionally seeking to reduce labor coststhrough the 'dumping down' of the labour force and the introduction of automation. This was causing labour unrest, whereas in Japan the emphasis was in using labour as a resource to be maximized. The basis of the newJapanese paradigm is in the reduction of product inventories. The system is based on the following eight points:
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Reducing inventories in order to 'pull' production through the factory [In contrast, in a mass production system, production is maximized in order to optimize machine use].-Making quality a responsibility of every worker at every stage of production – in order to reduce reworking andreduce inventories.-Having a cellular production system rather than a linear production system.- Reducing batch size.- Reducing the changeover time for machinery through a flexible labour system whereby workers are given theresponsibility of intervening in production and are trained in multiple tasks-Optimization on a system wide basis rather than at an individual plant, worker or machine level- Closer co-operation between the company and its suppliers.- Making change continuous.In a case study of Mauritius, World Bank has highlighted important role of design. Bank concluded that there has been downward pressure on wages since companies profit margins have been reduced by internationalcompetition after markets were liberalized. The bank suggests that investment in product design will upgrade products, increase workforce productivity thereby maintain or increase both profit margins and wage rates.Therefore, in developing industrial strategies, the role of product design must be seen as an important element for success. Developing countries need to invest in improving the quality and design of their products in order toremain internationally competitive. There exists the opportunity to create new employment and provide productswhich meet the needs of people in developing countries through product design. Therefore capacity needs to bedeveloped in order to educate a body of designers who understand the role and process of design in thedevelopment of individual companies' products for both domestic and export markets.

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